Monday, November 17, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Back from Vacation... almost

Oh how I love vacations at the beach, and really just vacations in general, but especially when you plan vacations to climb volcanoes! There is a volcanoe very close to where i live (and by that i mean 5 or so hours in bus) that I and a few of my friends were planning on climbing this past weekend. This place is beautiful. It has a lake in the crater! Exotic species of birds, and breathtaking views. But none of this i know from seeing it in person, because i got sick. Yes, you heard me right. I was sick. I got sick the day before the trip and therefore missed this amazing adventure with all of my friends. But they had a good time. I´m planning to do the trip again one day soon, maybe in december. But i just had to share my good fortune with all of you. Oh, and not to mention the fact that i had to pay $30! yes, that´s right, $30 and i lost it all! Now i´m broke from that, and paying medical expenses, and angry that I missed such an amazing trip. But I suppose the positive way of looking at this is that I didn´t have to sleep in a tent on the beach in the rain for 2 nights in a row. AND that i got sick before the trip and not during bc that would have been a whole lot worse!
take care all, stay away from amoebas... they are not fun! will try to write again soon, probably next month.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Almost Independence Day!

Finally the weather is becoming bareable! Whew, before I would be sweating no matter what i´m doing. Now if i´m sitting in the bus and the breeze is blowing, i don´t sweat! Oh what an amazing thing... and just think, its gonna get cooler. well be cooler i actually mean like ya know, low 80s, but still! it will be more than tolerable.
things are going well. getting back to work after the vacation has been fun, but in a week i will have another week off. and this monday is teacher´s day! that means, no class and all day party! that should be fun! i can´t wait, well actually it gives me quite a bit of pena (kinda like embarrassment) to dance in front of the teachers, but they love it, so i´ll just have to suck it up. hey, at least there will be free food and gifts!
also hopefully i´ll get to celebrate the 4th with some other pcvs here in chinandega. should be a good time if we can make it happen. nothing better than celebrating the 4th of july with firneds grilling cheeseburgers in the backyard! I´ll be sure to let you all know how that turns out.
Things in general are going well. The transportation strike has been kept at bay so far, so nothing to worry about on that end. And the weather looks like its starting to cool down. The rain is coming (on and off right now, but that will be changing to just on soon) so that keeps it more or less cool, well there´s at least some cloud coverage to block out the sun. The day of the revolution is coming up soon as well. July 19th, big day here. Not sure how it will be spent. I hear that there are festivities that take place in managua to remember it. I´ll let you know.
Well as you can see, life is just getting back to normal.
However, i did have a very nice elderly man say something very sweet to me 2 days ago when i was riding my bike through town in the rain. "chela fea!" he yells at me, wasn´t that sweet of him. i really should have said thank-you. ya know, nothing makes you feel better than old men yelling "Ugly White Girl!" as you as you pass.
well that´s the exception though, to be honest i don´t get too many "fea"s or "chelona"s (menaing big white girl) usually it´s "mi amor" "gringa" is by far the most popular, sometimes i even get "chelita" (which i know is a lie but it makes me feel good)
well happy 4th of july everyone! hope you all get to go to the parades, and grill out and enjoy life in america. don´t take it for granted this year. we are fortunate to live in a country that truly has indepence. while some argue that with the growing oil crisis we are dangerously becoming dependent on other countries, I´ll confidently say that we are nowhere as vulnerable as we could be. oil dependence is one thing, total economic dependence is another.
So do me this one favor as you´re relaxing in your lawn chair this 4th of july. Pop open a nice cold (really cold b/c it´s really hot here remember) beer (anything but miller, i´m not a fan) take a moment to think about how fortunate our country is, and how hard we work as individuals, families, communities, states, and a nation to keep it that way, raise your can annd take a huge gulp!

Friday, June 13, 2008

I´m baaaaaack!

Alright, so the vacation to the states went even better than I had hoped, but it also went a lot faster. I am very happy that I was able to see so many of my friends and family and also that I got to see my little sister graduate from high school! Yay Brooke! I´m sooooo proud of you!
The trip was all in all a huge success... well up until the flight home that is. I had a flight out of Miami at 12:45pm on Wednesday that was supposed to get me into Managua by 1:15pm local time (plenty of time to get back to my town) but the flight out of Miami was delayed because of maintenance issues. But not an issue that I had ever heard of before. Not that they had to replace a some instrument on the panel board in the cockpit, or even that inside cabin pressure gauge wasn´t reading correctly (which have happened when I have flown before) no, this time it was because there was a dent in the plane. A DENT. Now, I was never informed how it got a dent, I don´t know if maybe it had a mid air collision with a bird, or maybe ran into another plane when it was taxi'ing to the gate, but the point is, there was a dent. So they had to fix this dent because it had "no history" apparently dent´s with histories are perfectly fine, but because this one was a newby they had to check it out. They they decided after the 30min long inspection that this dent must be repaired, not a problem just another delay.... sure not a problem if we hadn´t already boarded the plane and hadn´t already been sitting there for 30min. (not to mention the fact that having a dent in the plane is freaking me out... i mean i don´t know much about flying but i´m pretty sure it´s important to have those panels on nice and tight and dent-free... I couldn´t get all those news clips of the space shuttle with the problematic loose paneling out of my head... there was going to be sparks and fire caused by air friction and this plane was going to go down... right in the middle of the golf of Mexico... or so i thought to myself.) I was however, trying to be very careful not to share these thoughts with the 13yr old boy traveling alone in the seat next to me (well he said he was 13 but he looked more like 10 to me).
So 2 hrs later..... they make the announcement that the mechanics have "fixed" the dent in the plane and that we would be taking off shortly, just had to finish up the paperwork.... 2 1/2 hrs later we take off... I´m exhausted by this point and try to fall asleep, well that and not to mention the fact that i was scared half to death to fly on this plane. (Here I must mention that I actually love to fly. I am rarely scared or nervous to fly maybe because I do it so often, I´m not sure. But THIS was not like most times) So roughly 1/2 hr into the flight we start to hit a little turbulence which wakes me up from my little nap on the fold-down table from the seat in front of me... and I quickly remember the dent, not that I had forgotten really but ya know rough air and dent just didn´t sit right with me. But the turbulence was soon over thank God and I was calm again.
THEN we dropped. We dropped out of the sky. The plane I was on dropped so fast that had I not listen to those videos at the beginning and had not fastened my seat belt I would have touched the ceiling (not kidding). Everyone screamed, except your´s truly (but not because I wasn´t scared, Oh was i ever, and not even because I wanted to be brave for the little boy flying alone next to me) because I couldn't make the noise. I was too scared even to scream. THEN CAME THE BANK, after the fall the plane decided to turn sharply to the left and the people that were once sitting calmly to my left were now sitting almost below me... now people were really getting rowdy. Kids started screaming, Women started praising Jesus and saying prayers in Spanish, other´s were covering their hands and balling so nobody would here them. But the little boy next to me just looked over at me, with tears in his little eyes and said, "I´m scared". Man did that just jerk me into reality. I realized that I could NOT let this kid think he was going to die. (Even though that´s exactly what I thought was going to happen... just like i had predicted, going down into the middle of the gulf of Mexico) So i then started to explain to him about how sometimes when we go through clouds it get rocky like that, and I´m sure the pilot is going to fly us up a little higher so that we can get out of it, and that it won´t happen again.
Finally the turbulence calmed down and the pilots did take us up higher, and little boy finally had a calm face...but needless to say the 1 1/2 remaining on the flight was the longest in my life!
But I´m back. Safe and sound. Had to stay the night in Managua, but it all worked out for the best.
It was a wonderful trip (menos the flight back) I was able to do so much more than I hoped for and see people that I was not expecting to see ;) but now it´s back to work. I just want to thank everyone-I truly had a wonderful time.

Now for the upcoming plans. I´m still working in the schools 4 days a week, I´ve been playing with a group of 6th graders on Wednesdays but I am hoping to evolve it into something more like a scout group rather than just something where we play games. And I am also planning to build onto one of my schools. I hope to put some pictures of that up soon. Things are doing well all in all... I think. I already miss all of you and hopefully some of you will be down to visit me soon ;) You all must know that I welcome visitors at anytime... it´s just that if you expect to have some fachenta vacation here, you might have to be my sugar daddy for a bit of it considering i make in a month what most of you make in less than 1 week ;) but honestly, if you´re flexible, traveling here is cheap, safe, fun, and ALWAYS an adventure. I promise you will be in good hands if you come to visit me. I´m now taking reservations. I cannot have more than 2 or 3 people visit me at once though, and 3 is honestly stretching it. Well that´s if we come to my town, if not than as many of you can come at a time as you want.... but we wouldnt be able to stay the night in my house... which I know will just bum you out ;)
take care all
I´ll write soon

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hello everyone back home! Sorry it has been so long since my last post. I have been busy, i think. Time has gone by really quickly lately. With classes starting i hardly have any free time except for the weekends. I also just started a youth group with a group of 6th grade girls. well i didn´t start it, one of them found me and asked if i could teach her how to plant trees. (how lucky am i?!?!?!) i said, get some friends together and we´ll do it together, so i will be doing that this afternoon! very exciting!
Also for the past week i was out of Tonalá at a language taller (workshop) in Carazo, very close to my trianing town, so i was able to go back and visit my host families for the weekend. it was a really fun time. we had a nice 45 Environment (my group) reunion the weekend before the taller and all met up in the city of granada - it was a blast! there is some amazing food to be eaten in granada! also some fun dancing as well. and then being able to spend 2 nights in my old training town at the end of the taller was the perfect way to head out. also this week is Semana Santa so there is no work/no school so that is fun, all the people go to the beach to celebrate, i don´t really want to go, so i dunno what i am going to do. maybe i´ll go do a midnight full moon volcano hike.... what do you all think? things are going well so far, just making new friends and enjoying my time here, trying to get closer with my community, but it has been harder than i thought since i have had to be in and out of town because of medical stuff. but i am hoping now that i am feeling better than will change. sorry i do not have any pictures to post. it´s not like i´m on a vacation as a tourist so i really don´t use my camara alot unless i am out of tonala, i´ll try to get better at that. ok, well i´m starving so i think i am going to go grab a bite to eat at On the Run, yes that´s right, the gas station... it has air conditioning and a free toilet... you´d use it too if you were me. Dad, Jamie y Brooke - i can´t wait for you to come. maybe we can all eat at on the run together!!!!

cuidense todos
congratuations Jill! I miss you soo much! i wish i could be there with you at such an important time of your life...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Another picture of english class.
My beautiful kitchen-living room- dining room-entry way- other half of my house! Ain´t it purdy?!?!

View2, from the back.

The view of my "bedroom" from my front door.

My kitchen, bathroom, and back yard, all in one!

Cows on the soccer field, while the team is practicing.

My community english class in 4 Esquinas.

So I moved into my own little house, por fin! The school year is starting and we are having a little get together at the beach for all the volunteers birthdays soon, but i wanted to send out some picks of the new place. I´m still in the process of organizing. I have to buy some cinder blocks and wood planks to make shelves with. Still need a fridge, and a bike, but that will come with time.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Well classes started today... but I am not there :( I am in managua again for some asma problems, but no worries, I am sure that the meds they put me on now are going to work. Lots of good news though. I finally found a house. It's beautiful, 1 room, with a running water shower outside, my own lavandero and latrin (outhouse) to use. The landlords let me a plastic table, and a dresser! I am soooo lucky b/c those things are sooo expensive! I will share a yard with my neighbor, but that's fine with me. My neighbor has a whole family of little ducklings, which I am sure are going to wander into my house, but she said that she has to get rid of her pig... he eats the ducklings! I'm telling you, they are bravo here... although, i don't know why the starving dogs don't eat the chickens or the pigs, but there are a lot of things that i don't have explanations to as of yet ;)

So far things are going well. English classes are a lot of fun. The kids seem to be really enjoying it. We have had to slow down are lesson plan, but that's for the best, we have a lot more younger students than we thought we would when we first set it up, which has actually served to help the class a lot i think. They have so much energy, and are not as shy about not knowing the right words. That's one of the hardest things to accomplish i feel, to get people to forget about they're fears of saying the words right, and just to say them. Which i think we are all guilty of that, at least i was, but now i don't really have the choice to be shy, just gotta say it.

I have met with the environmental sector in the mayor's office and hope to start getting some work accomplished with them. I would also like to get started on a youth group, but that will probably take a little bit more time, maybe not. Just got to get creative. I can't wait to get started on my garden and my compost pile! finally i'll have the ability to do it. thank god my neighbor keeps her pig tied up and i haven't seen any wandering pigs in the yard.

List of things I bought for my house:

juego de sillas (set of 4 plastic chairs, that i beleive are made out of recycled plastic ;)

cocina (a gas range with 2 burners that i bought used from another volunteer)

balde con tapa (plastic bucket with lid that i will use to bucket bath when the water goes out, and to soak laundry and store whatever)

panita (bowlish that i can use to scoop water while doing laundry or baithing)



dish drying rack


wooden table to put cocina on

cleaning stuff

*luckily the voluntaria before me left me some dishes! and plastic containers to store things! (seriously saved me a lot of money!)THANKS!!!

and some other stuff like black beans, brown rice (yes i splurged), bread, tuna

well i know that's exciting to read! i would put prices next to all of it, but that would be hard to explain b/c for instance i paid 4o cords for a mop stick and 27 for the head, which is like 2.50 dollars, but that set me back a bit. especially with all the other purchases.
hope all is going well back home, hope to have pics next time!