Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Pix

The day after Christmas we met up with our PC buddies for lunch. Seen here are (l-r) Lisa, Sean, Dennis and Andrew.

Olga´s brother, mother and me.

Olga and her husband Martin dancing on Christmas Day at her aunt´s house.

More dancing...

Olga, Matt and I.

Olga´s baby MarieChristine holding the baby Jesus lawn ornament.

We are so glam.

Her Santa hat lit up. So cute.

Me and Olga´s brother at Olga´s parent´s house on Christmas Day.

Christmas Day in the sun, lounging on the hammock.

Matt and I spent Christmas with my college roommate Olga and her family. It was great to meet Olga´s husband and three year old child. Olga´s brother just got back from China, where he participated in the World Special Olympics. He won several medals. Olga´s Mom told us stories about being a Panamanian in China and not speaking English. She had several escapades on the bus trying to get to the stadium to watch the Olympics. Olga´s sister just had her third baby shortly before Christmas.

On Christmas Eve we ate a lovely meal at Olga´s parents house. It consisted of ham, turkey, arroz con pollo, a large rosca or braided bread, dates, apples, grapes, fruit bread, spiced punch and sangria.

Then on Christmas Day we took a trip to Olga´s aunts house in a nearby town and had a catered Christmas dinner. The men drank Chivas, rum, and wine. Both houses had real Christmas trees and were decorated like in the States. Everyone made us feel very welcome. Thanks so much Olga!

Back at our site, we are eating lots of grapefruit and oranges and looking forward to a birthday party on New Year´s Eve. As for work, we are making the rounds and working on starting our youth group. Matt has a fungus on his back, neck and now face. It´s little white spots, but you can´t see them from far off. We were ignoring it for a while now, but it moved to his face the other day so he went to the doctor´s today and got some medicine. Don´t worry, it will clear up in a few months! Otherwise, we seem pretty healthy.
Thanks so much for being in touch.

Miss you all very much.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas

Wow, heard about the snow situation back home! Craziness. We miss you all very much and are thinking of you often.

Well, just in time for Christmas, Dell computer hand delivered and installed our new hard drive yesterday at the PC office! They accidentily brought the Spanish version of Vista, so they're ordering us the English version too (no complaints!) We waited 2 months for the hard drive to arrive from the US and it didn't, so this visit was a relief and their costumer service was excellent.

We hope you all eat some pork pie and Christmas cookies for us! We don't know what we'll be eating with Olga's family, but we're sure it will be excellent.

Unfortunately we won't be able to host our annual New Year's Party this year, but from the sounds of it you will be snowed in anyway! Okay, just kidding.

Oh, congratulations to Erin and Russ! They had a baby girl named Abigail earlier this month! Can't wait to meet her next year.

Peace and health in 2008.

Love, Lisa and Matt

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Our New Site

Lisa walking alongside the sugarcane!

There are large expanses of cow pastures.

The cemetery.

The Catholic chapel.

Our room. Yes, we have a bed with a mattress!

Our host family´s house.

For the last couple of weeks we´ve been in our new site. It´s in the middle of country in the Province of Veraguas. It´s an agricultural community surrounded by fields of sugarcane. Yes, it´s hot here, but we´ll take it. It´s much better than freezing--we´ve done enough of that in our lives. I do however, need my shorts. Peace Corps frowns on shorts but in our site nearly everyone wears shorts because it´s just too hot for pants.
Our host family is a retired couple in their 60´s. The father is the president of the agricultural cooperative I´ll be working with and he´s a jovial man who tells a lot of jokes that we laugh at but often don´t understand! Our host mom speaks rapid fire Spanish and is the main caretaker for several of her grandchildren, who live nearby. She´s a bit intimidating, but seems to like us enough.
She´s currenly not impressed that I can´t eat fried food at the moment due to my many illnesses. Wow they like everything fried here. I guess I didn´t realize how spoiled we were with our host family during training. They fed us very healthy food.
Typical breakfast for our host family is thick homemade tortillas (she soaks corn overnight or boils it for a while) then grinds it in a mill and then forms it into a dough the size of a large frying pan and grills it until it´s cooked. Sometimes she puts cheese in the middle of it (don´t get excited, it´s yellow individual wrapped pieces of American aka fake cheese, oh we´d kill for some Cabot cheese!) She serves these with fried hotdogs. Other times for breakfast it´s patacones (fried green plantains) with a fried egg or hotdog.
Lunch is usually white rice, beans (all sorts) and sometimes some meat (chicken, pork or liver), or fish. Sometimes there´s coleslaw, cucumber, or a sweet fried plantain. Dinner is the same as lunch. Sometimes after dinner we walk to the coop and buy molasses cookies, they´re good!
Matt´s most likely going to work on building composting latrines. They´re a type of latrine that doesn´t require a hole to be dug in the ground. The people here all have pit latrines and they´re bad because during the wet season (April-December) they´re full of water. Another project he going to investigate is trash. Right now there´s no landfill, so yeah the trash is all over the place.
There are a lot kids (there are 800ish people in the town) and few youth groups. We´d like to start a girls scout troop and an environmental group. Our closest volunteer has both of these groups in her town and she´s going to bring her kids over to ours to see what the interest level is in our town.
There is a Catholic church youth group in our town, however we only have a chapel and the priest only comes every 8th of the month. We went to mass on Mother´s Day (December 8th down here). It was nice. Two babies were baptized.
Well, as long as we have our health, life here should be much better for us. The people are so generous. We´ve trying to visit every house in the community in the coming months. So far we received bags and bags of oranges, had fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, and agua de pipa (a type of coconut that one slices the top off then drinks the water out of it, and then one cuts it in half and eats the white, milky flesh inside).
Yesterday our next door neighbors, another couple in their 60´s, who don´t have children, made us a typical chicken stew. It was excellent. In addition to the chicken it has yucca, ñame (a root vegetable like yucca) carrots, and squash.
Happy holidays! It´s 85! We have to keep reminding ourselves that it´s December and that Christmas is rapidly approaching. I´ve never been anywhere this warm for X-mas. When I was Spain, Monica and I travelled to Italy for X-mas and it was cold!
Note: Post offices are few and far between here, which is why we don´t write snail mail much and why you Christmas card isn´t there yet!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Pictures from Thanksgiving

Volcan Baru, as seen from the front seat of our bus back to David.

Most of the country´s vegetables are grown in this part of the country, the province is called Chiriqui.

The day we left it was gorgeous with great views.

A truck full of iceburg lettuce or cabbage, I can´t tell.

Danny serving up some of his town´s coffee. It´s cold (like you need a fleece) where we had Thanksgiving.

Emily, Logan, me, Kelly, Adam and Ashley hanging out after eating too much turkey.

Our bags! We travelled for three weeks before T-day. We shared this room with one of the other couples, Greg and Lisa.

The lodge we stayed at. I took a hike with other volunteers one morning through the jungle and it was amazing (not to mention wet and muddy). The lodge provides rubber boots, which are a necesity.

Micah, me and Adam.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday weekend. We´ll miss dinner with our families, but we´ll be meeting up with the other volunteers here in the mountains for a few days. And we´ll have plenty of pavo y papas!

In other news, we got a new site, and we love it. It´s a sugar town in the middle of the country and it´s warm. The people are also really nice. We hope to move there sometime next week.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers and all the encouragement. It´s been a rough month, but we´re determined to be successful volunteers.

Special shout-out to our pals at SUNY and the paper.

God bless.

Love, Lisa and Matt

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pixs from the day we were sworn in

These photos from the day we were sworn in are from our friend Ashley. The ceremony was at the Canal Museum in Casco Viejo, the old part of Panama City. After the ceremony we ate at a cool Italian place.

Matt and our friend Dennis, a business volunteer and a Cornell graduate.

Ashley and Peace Corps staff member Gil.

Our whole group on the steps of the Cathedral.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hey, it´s Matt´s Birthday today

Okay, let me just respond to everyone´s posts about Halloween. You see, Matt doesn´t really get ¨dressed up¨ for Halloween. He figures out a way to humor me without making himself uncomfortable. He was ¨arroz¨ so our friend Emily took one of his blank white t-shirts and wrote, ¨Arroz, Producto de Panama¨ on it. Yeah, I wore the construction paper chicken fixin´s.

Well, now for the updates. Unfortunately for everyone involved, I got really sick again. Matt and I were at our site for 4 days before we had to head back to the hospital. I was initially diagnosed with ameobas and then sent to rest at a hotel. Unfortunately after a couple of days, I got worse and had to go spend the next 3 nights in the hospital. While I was in the hospital, a piece of Matt´s tooth broke! Lovely.

So, we are currently in Panamá dealing with medical and administrative issues. Matt got his tooth repaired on Friday and I´ve been trying to lay low while my guts heal. Today we went to the Catholic church in our neighborhood, called Don Bosco. It´s a beautiful church built in the 1800´s and has mass every hour on Sundays, starting at 7:00am. The 11:00 am mass was packed. Tonight Matt wants chicken from one of his favorite restuarants down the road from our hotel.

Oh, and Matt´s Mom sent me an email to let me know that I got a check from my former employer because they decided that I should not have had to pay for parking throughout my tenure there. I´m so happy I could do cartwheels...well that might not be a good idea at this juncture! I always resented having to pay for parking! Life is unfair, but sometimes, justice is served.

In other college roommate Olga, who as many of you know, is from Panama, has emailed me. She and her husband and daughter will be visiting Panama for Christmas and New Year´s and she has invited Matt and I to visit her parent´s house at some point. We´re very excited. Olga is currently living in Germany, so it will be great to see her and meet her family.

Stay warm...heard it´s in the 40´s up there.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

We´re official volunteers

Matt and I swore in as volunteers on Thursday. Our group got all dressed up and headed to Panama City for the ceremony. The US Ambassador to Panama, the minister of health, the Peace Corps director, and the head of the cooperative organization that I´ll be working with, along with several current volunteers, were all in attendance. We had to stand up and introduce ourselves in Spanish. It was fun and a reception followed. After the reception we took a tour of the canal museum.

A bit later our group went out to eat at an Italian restuarant in the city. It was good. I had a salad, spinach ravioli and some red wine from Argentina. Matt had a salad and some garlic bread and some beer (he´s on a diet...just kidding).
After dinner we went out dancing! Unfortunately the cheap dress up shoes I bought here in Panama fell apart half way into the night, so I danced barefoot (always questionable).

We stayed out v. late for Matt and I but we didn´t mind the lack of sleep because the next day (Friday) we all piled into a diablo rojo and headed to a beach a couple of hours outside of the city. We all bought food at the grocery store before arriving and ate breakfast and lunch in our rooms and dinner at the restuarant.

Despite the fact that it rained a lot, we still went swimming and played ultimate frisbee on the beach. We´re going to miss our group. It might sound strange because we´ve only known our new friends for 10 weeks, but I think we´re all really close at this point. We´re been through a lot together. This morning Matt and I got up and headed straight for the bus. We said bye to a few people, but I think it´s best to just go and not say goodbye.

The good news is that we´ll see them all in a few weeks at Thanksgiving. We´re headed back to where I went for my sector conference for turkey! I´m really excited.

I´ll post pictures from this weekend sometime soon. We didn´t use our camera, but everyone else did and they´ll post the pictures soon enough. On that note, I should mention that our laptop is locked away in the city. Unfortunately the hard drive, which is less than a year old, is dead. It might have been the humidity. The good news is that it´s still under warranty and Dell is shipping us a new one in a month. We´re going to have to figure out a better way to store it down here! Ah!

Hasta pronto and Happy Halloween! Oh, I forgot to mention Matt and I dressed up as arroz con pollo for Halloween! Chicken with rice...he was arroz and I was pollo. So cute and thanks to Melissa and Emily for making our costumes!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Site Visit

We´re back at training after another adventure. We traveled to our site last week after meeting our community guides at a conference in Coclé. The town is beautiful, with views of the mountains and the Pacific, and our hosts are wonderful. We toured the town and met all the teachers and students at the primary school and the government health workers. Matt also hiked into the jungle to see one of the aqueducts. The weather was sunny and comfortable in the morning, misty at midday and very rainy all afternoon. We look forward to living and working here and staying in one of the concrete houses, where we can stay dry and watch it rain. The food isn´t too bad, with large quantities of rice and beans, boiled green bananas, yucca, and a little bit of chicken.

During our visit we were the talk of the town and crowds of children would either stare at us or come joke around. The Ngabe (picture the a with two dots over it and pronounce the word no-bay) are really sweet people. Many of them live in huts without any walls and most of the children suffer from malnutricion. But they love to smile. They are also proud of their heritage and language, and we went to a conference at a school in a nearby city with our community guides about Ngabe life, where we were told to spell it with the a and not an o. The talks there focused on health and development issues, including controversial mining and electric power projects. Matt felt right at home!

While speakers were getting up and talking about the Comarca, Lisa was lying down next to the bathroom. After several hours of agony a teacher at the school offered to bring her to the nearby hospital. Lisa said yes, grabbed Matt and off we went. But when we got there, Matt called the PC doctor, who told us to go to a different hospital the PC has a relationship with. So we got on a bus for a tense ride up the highway and they got Lisa right into a room at the hospital. Matt developed the same GI symptoms shortly thereafter. Eventually they gave us a room with two beds and we stayed for two nights for treatment of intestinal infections. We had lots of IVs and watched a lot of TV. Gracias a Dios, we felt a lot better Sunday and Monday morning we returned to the Comarca. We feel like real PC volunteers now!

This morning we met the host family we´ll stay with for a while, and they´re really nice and their house is cool. We´re also talking with a guy who has a concrete house we can rent after we leave our host family. Lisa unfortunately didn´t get a chance to really talk with the women who run the cooperative, but we had a great meeting with the water committee and several of the women artisans in town.

There´s definitely lots of work to do, including getting the water back on. The town hasn´t had water in over a month because of aqueduct problems, but for now everyone´s got water because it´s the rainy season. After Christmas, when it dries out, it won´t be so easy. But our thinking caps are on, and we´ve got the cellphone numbers for all our engineer buddies.
Training winds down this week and next and then we swear in as volunteers. Can´t wait! Best wishes to everyone.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Lisa's CED group photo

I had a virus on my flash drive, so this picture did not get uploaded. It's my business group during our technical week.

Friday, October 5, 2007

What we like about Panamá

Okay, I figured out the keyboard on this computer, so I´ll try to include the accent marks on this blog entry!The other night Matt and I were resting after dinner and decided to each make a list of our favorite things in Panamá (thus far).

Matt´s list:
  • the lovely people
  • rice and lentils, habañero sauce and fried chicken
  • 4x4 trucks (Nissan and Toyota)
  • hammocks
  • zinc roofs
  • oranges, bananas and plantains
  • 10-cent packs of cookies
  • riding in old school buses
  • watching the Red Sox with our host brothers (ok, the fact that it´s easier to watch the Red Sox in Panama than it is in Upstate NY is a bit disturbing!)
  • not seeing snakes
  • using a "coa" (a narrow, flute spade) to dig with
  • being outdoors all day
  • listening to drumming practice outside the elementary school
  • greeting people by saying, "Buenas"
  • cabbge salad and potato and beet salad
  • watching skyscrapers being built in Panama City
  • cooking on a fogon (blocks or stones arranged around the fire)
  • learning how to work with concrete and block
  • seeing the Pacific from high in the mountains
  • telling people about where we´re from

Lisa´s list:

  • learning slang Panamian Spanish expressions
  • learning Ngóbe (an indigenous language)
  • crossing the Bridge of the Americas and seeing the canal and all of the containers
  • walking up steep hills everyday (can we say, "buns of steel?")
  • eating exotic fruit and trying to remember which fruit tree is which
  • wearing dresses and skirts almost everyday
  • waking up early and seeing the sunshine just about every day!
  • taking a cold shower at night before bed (it´s the only time I´m cool)
  • buying snacks at the little stores in town during our class breaks
  • sleeping under a bug net (I feel so safe and I am--there are a lot of bugs in Panama!!!!)
  • saying the word chancleta (sandal), over and over again
  • talking about nutricion and health 24/7
  • traveling to the cold part of Panama near the volcano...I do miss fall, but ah not that much...
  • talking to my host Mom at night (she has 3 boys...I think she enjoys talking about girl stuff from time to time)
  • coming home for lunch everyday and not knowing what we´ll be served (today it was an awesome chicken soup with squash, yucca, and rice on the side)
  • being tan for the first time in about 10 years!

Monday, October 1, 2007

More pix and our diagnoses...

La iglesia del Carmen in Panama City. Matt and I went for a walk around the city and were just in time for mass in this air conditioned, beautiful church.
Volcan Baru, on the way to my business sector conference.
Lisa at a beautiful hostel in the province of Veraguas (we just visited it, but did not stay overnight). Marilyn check out my necklace!! I love it. Thanks again.

A outside view of a coffee factory we visited with the mountains in the background.
Our medical diagnoses...

Matt has a minor tear in his right shoulder, specifically the labrum, which should heal in a month. He just has to take it easy and it should heal on its own.
I have a parasite and a bad head cold. I had to take some medicine to kill the parasite and then take some more meds. in a week or so. I feel better already.
I did not take any pictures of our cultural week because I was sick for most of it. So, the picture of me and Matt will have to wait until next time.
Oh! One last thing. We have a cell phone now. It does not cost us anything to receive calls from the States, so if you want to call us, send me or Matt an email and we will email you back the number. We would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A few bumps in the road...

So last week Matt and I were apart from one another. Matt and his evironmental health group were building latrines near where he and I will spend the next couple of years. It was especially rainy last week and on Wednesday he was pushing a full wheelbarrow down a really rough dirt road and he flipped over the wheelbarrow and landed on his right shoulder. The next day he had to travel to his sector conference (to meet all of the current volunteers in his program) so he decided to not seek immediate medical attention and see if it would improve with time.

On Saturday afternoon he travelled to see me and realized that he should get an X-ray. So first thing Sunday morning we got up and went to the hospital. They took a regular X-ray but it didn´t show anything. The orthopod who saw him assumed he had torn his rotator cuff, but told him he would need an MRI to see the damage. So, Matt talked the the PC medical office and they suggested he travel 6 hrs. back to Panama City for an MRI. So, he left first thing on Monday morning. He had the MRI on Tuesday afternoon and will get the results today. They suspect it´s a minor tear based on his mobility.

His injury sounds very familiar to me! Unbelieveable!

On Monday morning I headed to where Matt and I were supposed to spend the week. I went to what the PC calls ¨Cultural Week¨ aka when you live in a community near and/or similar to your permanent site. I lasted until yesterday afternoon! I had diarrhea all day on Sunday into early Monday morning. However, I then started to fell better, but couldn´t eat much food. Then on Monday night I woke up with a sore throat, so that on top of intense stomach pain resulted in a trip to the private clinic an hour and a half a way. So, last night I stayed in a hotel with my regional leader (a third year volunteer who stays on to help other volunteers in site), who´s really nice. Anyway I have to go back to the doctor again today so they can figure out if I have a bacterial infection, etc. Luckily, the clinic is within walking distance from the hotel (although yesterday we took a cab because I couldn´t walk!) I´m feeling better today, but still on edge, if you know what I mean.

So yeah, please keep us in your prayers! We need them this week especially!!


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Our site announcement

On Wednesday they announced where we´ll be spending the next two years. We´re going to the indigenous reservation 1 hour from where we visited a couple of weeks ago. I´m going to be working with one of the largest artisan cooperatives in Panama. The group has around 50 members and all but a few of them are women. They even have a store where they sell their goods, which include dresses and bags. It sounds wonderful. I´m going to help them with basic accounting and marketing. Many of them can´t read or write so it will be a challenge.

Matt is going to be teaching health education, nutrition, and perhaps English, as well as digging some latrines and working on the aqueduct, which has some problems. There has only been one other volunteer in this site and that was 8 years ago, so we are essentially starting from scratch. Matt and I are now learning the indigeous language. It´s an historically oral language and ah, is proving to be a bit difficult to learn, but I´m sure it will be fine.

We will have running water during the rainy season (8 months out of the year). During the dry season we´ll have running water 2 hrs. a day. Whether or not we´ll have electricity will depend on where we live in the town. There are 1,500 people in the town, which is quite sizable, but one has to keep in mind that these people are spread throughout the mountains and not really very close to one another. We will have a half hour chiva (4 wheel truck) ride to our site from the main road. It is about a 1 1/2 hour hike if you can´t catch the chiva. I haven´t seen the road yet, but I´m positive it´s a dirt road.

There´s another volunteer who lives a 1/2 hour walk from us. Another volunteer Steve, who in our group, will live 1 hour from us, which is excellent because he is an engineer and Matt may need his expertise from time to time. There is only one other volunteer from my group going to this reservation and he will be a couple of hours from us. He´s a native speaker and a computer genius so I´m psyched to have him somewhat close to us. He´s also a New Yorker. He´s from Long Island.

Another thing that Matt is very excited about is that we are going to be in coffee country! And our site has coffee opportunities. So, all sounds good at this point. Right now I´m at the mall in Panama City on my way to a city in the middle of the country for my week long technical training. I get to stay in a hotel. Matt is ah, headed back to the reservation to build latrines all week. He will be staying with a host family. Pobrecito!

After this week, Matt and I will travel back to Brian and Amanda´s house in the reservation (see previous post) for our cultural week. We will stay with a host family for the week.

I´ll try to post a few messages this week. I´m sorry there are no photos of Matt!! He´s the photographer and I´m the blogger. I´m not quite sure how this all came to be. It should be the other way around! I have the camera with me this week, but next week I´ll be sure to take pictures of him. He´s loving life!

Peace out.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Trip to the mountains

A group of our friends hanging out after classes one day.

Amanda, Brian and Lisa on the mountain. We stayed for the weekend at their house.

This area is being farmed by Ngobe families. It is totally beautiful.

Views of the Pacific ocean from the mountaintop.

Isn´t it gorgeous here?

This house was built by a volunteer who lives near Brian and Amanda. He has spectular views from the front of his house.

Brian and Amanda´s house.

Hey, hey, hey.

I’m posting some pictures from our trip to the indigenous reservation in the western highlands. We had a great time with our hosts, volunteers Brian and Amanda. They cooked for us every day and were very generous hosts. On Saturday we all took a five hour round trip hike to the top of a mountain. We could see the Pacific on one side and more mountains on the other. We absolutely loved the people we met and hope to be placed over there.

We find out of Wednesday where we’ll spend the next two years. We’re so excited! We have an idea about where we’ll be, but we don’t want to jinx it. Oh, in other news, one of our host family’s chickens had 5 babies. They are so cute. Some are black and some are yellow.

We still have Spanish classes everyday. My class is organizing a softball tournament and I’m helping with organizing people to make food to sell, etc. We’re hoping to raise enough funds so that we can buy books for the library. Right now there are about 50 books total in the library and none of them are for children. It’s rather sad.

We’re also hoping to start a reading program at the library. We chatted with the librarian and she said that they don’t have any programs at the library. She had never heard of a program where parents take their children to the library to hear a story. I told her it was very common in the U.S.

Matt’s technical training is going very well. Yesterday his entire class spent the day building a latrine for a family with little means who lives outside of the village. He’s a bit sore today. We’re staying very fit despite the excessive carbohydrates. We have two large hills that we climb to get just about anywhere.

We’ll email on Wednesday to let everyone know where our site will be. If you haven’t noticed, we can’t mention specifics on the blog (PC regulations).

Hasta pronto…

Lisa & Matt

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Volunteer Visit

Hey Everyone!!

On Friday Matt and I are going to an indigenous site 6 hours away by bus on the west side of the country. We´ll stay with a married couple for 3 nights and get a chance to see what they do. They are both in Matt´s environmental health program, and they´ve been here a year. Right now we´re in small city near our training town, and we´re about to go the grocery store and out to eat. We´ll post pictures of our trip next week. In the meantime we´re both healthy, happy and well nourished, gracias a Dios! (Lisa has a minor heat rash on both of her arms, but that´s to be expected!)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Some pictures

My Spanish class has 3 other students in it, but on this day a couple of classes got together to play bingo.
The back porch to our house and the chickens!

We have lots of eggs!

The front porch. Lisa looking very happy to go to school for the afternoon.

The view from over our house, which is built into the side of a hill.

Our house. Matt likes to sit in the hammock and watch it rain.

Our roommate!

Our room and US Army bug net.

A diablo rojo. All the buses here used to be US school buses. Most rides cost between 25 and 75 cents.