First plane ride, first foreign country, first huevos rancheros

August 20, 2011

Last month I had an opportunity to head to Denver for leadership training provided by the charity I like to volunteer for: Water For People.  The more I learn about them, the more I think they are doing things correctly, and that it is worthwhile putting some time towards them.  In a nutshell: they are working to give people in developing nations what we have.  Turn on the faucet, clean water comes out, a healthy place to go to the washroom, and hand washing routines that reduce the incidence of disease considerably.  All of this is provided by local people working on committees, in their jobs, and the people that benefit pay a fee, much like we do with our water and sewer bills.  If you get something for free, you don’t tend to appreciate it as much as something that you pay for, and work for.  It is also better for local people to help themselves, rather than foreigners to swoop in on a week trip, build something, and then swoop out.  Other innovative programs include starting a repair person business so that people have someone to call when something breaks.  They are basing many of these programs on business models, rather than giving things away for free.  Their latest goal is to start a business in crap.  Yup, crap.  Let’s say you get a lovely new latrine, which works great for 7 years but then it’s full.  Now what do you do?  Who do you call, how do you pay to get it cleaned out so that you can use it another 7 years?  If you can call a local business that has advertised in your area so that you are aware of them, and they you can sell your s^%t to them, and they turn around and sell it somewhere else for a profit, then the whole thing keeps going doesn’t it?  Water for People gives opportunities for people like me to volunteer in their monitoring work; they monitor each program for 10 years after completion to ensure that it is still working and operating properly.  One day, one day I’ll do this. 

But back to the trip to Denver, Althea did wonderfully on the 2 hour plane ride down.  She checked out everything, but everything.  Towards the end of the trip she started getting a bit fussy, and  I was standing up in the aisle with her rocking back and forth.  She then filled her diaper to capacity, and felt much better as our sunny girl came back.  I had to go to the front of the airplane to change her, and I believe I scared the front row people into never having children due to the sheer number of wipes it took to clean her up.  Hee hee.  While I went to the training, Mr. J wandered around Denver with the baby in the stroller, getting mobbed by women.  Even some men, one guy complimented him on his genetic prowess “Good job man, she’s really cute”.  Ummm, I helped to, in fact one might say I did a lot of the work?  Mr. J somehow manged to fight off all the women and get Althea down to me at the training a few times, I fed her in the back of the room once or twice while presentations were going on.  The people putting on the training were very baby friendly, which was wonderful, but Althea couldn’t stay long as she was delighting in her shrieking voice.  Over, and over!

I had vowed to eat Mexican (Tex-mex actually I don’t like real Mexican food) every day since it is good in Denver, and crap here.  Unfortunately I discovered or remembered something else, it upsets my stomach.  Yup, my old guts are back, all the benefits from my pregnancy are gone and I have to start watching my fat intake again.  Even though we were eating on a budget we still managed to find yummy things to eat, but we didn’t find a Chipolte’s so that Mr. J could have one of their burritos. 

During one of Althea’s naps we wandered by this construction site, and I was awestruck but the artistic yarn bombing.  Here is my confession, be upset with me if you want, I don’t like most yarn bombings.  One good rain storm and they look ragged and dirty to me.  But this one was different, this one was a work of art, and brought colour, life and beauty into the ugly construction site. 

 Breckenridge was so beautiful, whether due to the alpine setting, the beautiful building styles they have obviously preserved, the flowers everywhere, or the fresh air.  I know it seems silly to almost need a vacation from our vacation, but I really relaxed here after two months or running around, and being buried under “To Do” lists.   I can’t relax like this at home where I’m constantly staring at things I need to be doing.  Mr. J went for a bike ride, we went for walks with the stroller, had naps, watched tv, and explored the town.  Unfortunately the yarn store wasn’t that great, but that is good for my pocket-book.  I ate huevos rancheros as much as  I could, it is so damn good.  So good.  Not as good as in Moab, but pretty good none the less.  I think the trick is with the green chili sauce, it needs to be hot, but just the right level, and also very fruity to give a robust flavour.  Smother the tortilla, refried beans, potatoes and scrambled eggs just so.  So good.  It will be my mission to find a recipe and try to make some up here, if I can find the correct chilis. 

On the way home Althea was again a champ, and even slept a bit on the plane.  People complimented her behavior, as I’m sure they had the mental thought “Oh no a baby, she is going to cry the whole way”.  But nope, she is a world traveller just like her Mummy, and now she has the passport and foreign country visit to prove it.  Plans are afoot for us to go back to Breckenridge next year for Mr. J and some friends to enter one of the endurances races in the area.  I’m looking forward to it immensely.


One Response to “First plane ride, first foreign country, first huevos rancheros”

  1. Cheryl S. said

    I love the yarn flowers! What a great idea.
    Glad Althea had such a good time with all of those “firsts”.

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