martes, 20 de octubre de 2009

The word of the week is TERRIFIC

This past week has been good and quite a bit has been going on. Saturday I saw my first volcano. It was exhilarating to be outdoors, do a little hiking and seeing something new, all with some pretty cool peeps: my fellow trainees. The landscape at the park was beautiful and offered some great views once you climbed up the dormant volcano (there was another one that was active and smoking). Afterwards hit up the nearby town and had the best pizza I’ve had in Nicaragua to date, mind you it still doesn’t compare to pizza back in the states, but that seems so far removed from here it doesn’t even matter that much anymore.
Sunday was a much calmer day. I got to sleep in (which means I stayed in bed until 7:30am) and then read my book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which is terrific. After breakfast I went out to work on the garden. It looks terrific! One of the pumpkin plants died after transplanting, but everything else is thriving. The pepian (kind of like a squash) looks especially good, I might even be able to eat one before I leave my training town.
Monday and Tuesday I worked with my youth group on a recycled materials project where we made picture frames out of inorganic waste such as popsicle sticks, candy wrappers, chip bags, plastic bottles, and more. Had some interesting results ranging from the really cool looking to the kindergarten level, but they got a kick out of it. The rest of the week went pretty smoothly too. Thursday I had my second language interview that I was a little nervous about. Although, they have yet to tell me if my level has changed at all, not that it matters since I still have class anyways. I do feel that my Spanish has improved since I've been here, but its not perfect so I guess its good I still have class.
Saturday was terrific. Me and a few other Peace Corps peeps (along with some German guy) took a bus out of town and went to La Laguna Apoya. It was awesome. First had a nice hike down into the crater, straight through a forest (unfortunately I did not see any monkeys), which took about an hour or so. The water looked so pristine, and the temperature was perfect, nice and warm. It felt so good to be in the water again.
Sunday I went to Jinotega with my host sisters and their ballet. The town (or maybe it was the department) of Jinotega was celebrating their 118th anniversary with an Hipica (sort of horse parade) and my sisters did traditional Nicaraguan dances. The area was beautiful set amongst the mountains, and the weather was quite refreshing. It was also neat seeing all the dances and the regalia they dressed in.
Right now I'm getting excited and a little anxious as next week I get to know my site where I'll be living and working for the next 2 years! The interview I had today with my boss over it was almost nerve wreaking trying to convey my wants and expectations. We'll see how it goes.
Hasta Pronto!

jueves, 8 de octubre de 2009

This last week has been great. I've actually been out of my training town since Wednesday because I got to do a Volunteer Visit. What happens is that for a few days I got to visit a current volunteer at her site, basically as a shadow. It went fantastic. It was my first time traveling in the country on my own. It was such a long trip. I took a bus (1 hour) from my town to Managua, then a cab ride to my bus stop, and then a very bumpy bus (3 hours) to the town I was visiting in the department of Matagalpa. It was a medium sized town up in the mountains with beautiful views of the hills and mountains and wonderful weather (I was actually cold at night). It was great also to see what the life of a volunteer is really like, which is extremely different than being a trainee, where everything is heavily regimented and I am constantly tied to a strict schedule. I was also excited about eating non-Nica food. Don't get me wrong, I like the food here, but it was nice to have normal dishes like stir fry veggies or pasta without ketchup.
As you can see I've also finally posted some pictures so enjoy them! Anyways, its been a really long day so I'll leave with just these few words and these images of my life in Nicaragua.
Hasta Pronto!