Monthly Archives: June 2009

Please Don’t Drink the Kool Aid

The good news is…I still have access to my WordPress! (Although, it does appear that three out of five providers here in Guatemala have blocked it.)

The bad news is…I’m so distraught and confused and frustrated and just plain ARRGGGHHHH about everything surrounding the situation in Central America right now, that I can’t even put together coherent thoughts to share.  I have been hearing and reading the most ridiculously slanted “information” about the ousted (former) Honduran president, Zelaya, that I almost feel like I’m living in some alternate reality where evil has become good and where, because the pretty talking heads say it’s so, a virus of head nodding and finger shaking has swept the globe…much of it led by people I respect.  It confuses me and pressures me for the first time in my life to want to ask:  who’s passing the Kool Aid?

For now, I start with this article, which should be read and spread to help break this zombie-like trance the world seems to be in now:

Zelaya’s self-serving lawlessness was ignored completely by OAS leadership and, as far as one can tell, by every government in the region that now dares to pass judgment on Honduras’ constitutional order.


My Dearest Wordpress: I think we’re breaking up…

It appears that while we have been in Honduras, WordPress has been blocked in Guatemala, where I reside and normally write from.  Today, I am stuck in Honduras with aspirations of returning to Guate tomorrow when, hopefully, normal forms of transportation will resume.  But this may be the last I am able to post here for awhile.  We believe WordPress has been blocked as it had been used by many Guatemalans to spread the word about the political situation there (see earlier entries below).  So…I feel in a bit of super surreal situation:  I need to leave Honduras (for a number of reasons…the top one being, obviously, the political instability here…).  But when I return to Guatemala, I will no longer have the freedom to post anything here regarding the government there or here!  And still the top two world news stories remain…Michael Jackson.   Great.  The irony…I seek refuge from a country in the throws of a military coup in an only-sightly-less-messed-up developing nation which will no longer allow me to voice my thoughts online about either of those real life situations and all anyone on the outside cares about is some dead 80s star.  Frustration reigns.

Struggling with WHY

I tend to believe that if it appears in The Wall Street Journal, it’s fairly  important…

unless, of course, it gets printed on the day Michael Jackson dies.

Today not even Iran matters, much less some place called Honduras…

unless, of course, you happen to be in one of those locales.

So while “the world” gasps and comes to a screeching halt because of the passing of a pop icon…

the REAL world probably won’t be quite as affected:

Honduras Lurches Toward Crisis

Deja Vu All Over Again

When we were denied bus service from Honduras for this coming Sunday, I decided to do some looking into it.  The “fijese” the kindly bus lady gave was that it was election Sunday.  Curious.  My Google search revealed that general elections in Honduras are held at the end of November (this year specifically on the 29th).  Curiously frustrating.  We really needed to get back on Sunday.  After a day of searching from here in Guatemala,  a country that shares a border with Honduras, these have been the first and only articles I have been able to find that explain what the big ruckus is about:

Thousands March Against…

Does Honduras Need…

Still curious.  Still frustrating.  And concerning…obviously enough so to cause Hedman Alas to cancel bus services for that day.  And even more so, begging this question in my mind…does a country have to possess either oil or nuclear capabilities to have its crisis noticed?

How Surreal was Your Day?

Mine couldn’t have been more so:

At 8:20 as the church service started, so did the earthquake; like all good Central American dwellers, we waited for the shaking to stop and then moved on.

At 9:00, I listened to a message given to English-speaking Christian church-goers about how not to be gripped with fear while living in one of the most dangerous countries in the world, which incorporated the Islamic proverb:  Trust God, but tie up your camel.

At 9:45, I left church to see someone’s private security guard in the parking lot making sure that that someone could be inside listening to a message about not being afraid without being afraid.

At 10:00 I boarded a city bus to sit behind the military personnel posted there so that gang members might not attempt to kill the driver.

At 11:00, I participated in a protest for justice and listened to people around me chant:  “no tenemos miedo…no tenemos miedo”  (we are not afraid…we are not afraid) as a number of them were flanked by personal security.

Once I digest all that, I’ll have more to say about the protest itself…

The List List Part Deux (Just in Time for Vacation)

A second edition of lists that have flittered through my twitter (which isn’t really as racy as it sounds!).  And, again, I haven’t had a chance to work my way through all of these, but I  have high hopes to do so now that it’s “vacation” and I have all kinds of “time on my hands”…

Please peruse and use!!

How to Effectively Listen on Twitter:  Ok, this one isn’t so much a list of different things as it is tips presented in list form…still good enough to make The List List Part Deux!

80+ Videos for Tech & Media Literacy:  Any type of list by Alec Couros automatically makes my List List…Part Any!

PurposeGames:  Another disclaimer here…technically this is a whole site where you can both play and create educational games, but the games are then kept in lists… ;).  Either way…looks good!!

7 Habits of Highly Effective Twitterers:  7 Habits of Highly Effective Twitterers written by a “Social Media Strategist” … (I didn’t even know that was a job!)

9 Free Tools for E-Learning:  Like above…pretty much what it says…9 Free Tools for E-Learning 😉

50+ Google and Yahoo Search Shortcuts:  Again…self-explanatory yet quite helpful!

Word Play: A huge list of sites that feature fun with words.  It’s a monster…but at least they’re all in one place!!

10 Awesome Flash-Animated Interactive Websites:  There are 1o…topics ranging from science, social studies, health, music, writing, and more!

8 Habits of Highly-Effective 21st Century Teachers:  Thank goodness for these descriptive and straight-forward titles!  This one from Interface Magazine

30 Twitter Tips for Teachers: You got it…30 tips…for teachers…in regard to the use of Twitter

Teacher Clicks: Twitter in the Classroom:  Now stick with me here…this is a list of lists and article about how and why to use Twitter (in the classroom ;).

100 Awesome, Free Web Tools for Elementary Teachers

Keyboarding Games:  This is a gi-nor-mous list of games just for practicing keyboarding skills!

ICT Mindtools:  ICT tools that engage users in higher order thinking

8 Tips for Super Searching: How to search and get what you want when you want it!

Amazon’s 25 Software Bestsellers and Their Free Equivalents:  Haven’t looked through all yet, but am totally psyched about this one!!  (Just Say “No!” … to Microsoft that is)

100 Terrific Productivity Tools:  This one claims to be for the “bored or unemployed,” but I feel fairly certain there’s gotta be something there for everyone!

(Most of the above came courtesy of Diana Dell, one of my favorite follows on Twitter!  Thanks, Diana!!)

“Calm Down, Alvarez”

…this is what a dear friend of mine always says in a convicting voice whenever I’m getting all riled up about something.  She wasn’t here last night, though, when I got all up in arms about a post on Facebook.  Someone updated his/her status to say something like: “I just bought 1,000 grains of rice for the hungry” which was followed by the Facebook tag line: “Play free games to save the planet.” This upset me for a couple of reasons.   First of all,  the game was free…so you didn’t really buy anything.  Second of all,  1,000 grains of rice is about 1/8 C. dry (so 1/4 C. cooked or half a serving).  Great job.    In reading the pride (which I assumed through the excessive number of exclamation points used) in the post, I just couldn’t help but think…if you really want to help people, help them!  Buy an actual bag of rice (which would cost…what?…$3 for 5 lbs. and yield…what?…45 or 50 servings?) and donate it to a food kitchen.  Or better yet, take that time you spent playing the online game and go volunteer somewhere.    It is somehow offensive to me that someone would choose to use the free time that life in the “developed world” affords him/her to be entertained by playing games with food for the hungry and then brag about all the “good” he/she is doing for the world.

Now, it would have been at about this point that my friend would have stepped in and said, “Calm down, Alvarez.”  But, as I mentioned, she wasn’t here.  So to get my mind off the topic, I decided to check out other news and came across an article that not only said “calm down” even better than she could have, but has caused me to consider the amount of good I’m doing for the world…

Merciful Long Island Storekeeper

I hope you’ll read it and consider the same.