My friends! I write to you, at long last, from Nicaragua! And so I should tell you buenos días, buenas tardes, or buenas noches, depending on where you are and what time it is. Though I have proven myself to be a terrible blog writer, I am tempted to try one last time for a few reasons. I know you, my dear family and friends, are eager to know what I am up to and how I am doing, and I did promise quite a few of you I would keep you up to date. I would also like a recorded document of my experiences and reflections for myself to look back on. But most of all, I want to share with you what I learn about this culture, people, and country. It is my pleasure and privilege to live, train, and work here in Nicaragua and my responsibility to tell you about it, should you care to know.
I am currently living and training in a small town located in Carazo, in the Southwest of Nicaragua. My host mother loves to tell me how peaceful the people are here. I can attest to the tranquility and calmness of life here. Weekends include watching a lot of television (we have a flat screen), cooking up delicious lunch and dinner, and going to church. As I’ve agreed with the three other trainees in this town, there isn’t a lot to do here, but so far, I am enjoying this slower pace of life. My host family lives in a lovely green house with a sweet little patio out the front door. I love to sit there and watch the menagerie of people, horses, bikes, dogs, cats, motorcycles, bull-pulled carts, and cars go by.
My house sits on a dirt road that leads to a neighboring town, where other Peace Corps trainees are stationed. I’ve enjoyed going for a few runs on this road and I especially like going in the morning, as the sun’s coming up. Here are a few photos.
Right now, my time is mostly spent in Spanish class, where I take in new vocabulary from my language facilitator, do my best to speak in complete sentences, and plan training activities with the other three trainees. I can tell I am improving, but as I improve my pride in my language skill increases as well, and I end up feeling more frustrated than before. I get mad at myself for not knowing words or verb conjugations that I think I should know by now. In general, though, I remain thrilled at the chance to learn such a beautiful and useful language and I know that I will just have to be patient, that it will all come in time.
My host family is wonderful and generous and so, so patient with my very slow and childish Spanish. I have seven host brothers and sisters, all older and some who don’t live in the house anymore, but all come to visit and platicar (talk, gossip) in the evenings. I like helping in the kitchen, where I’ve learned how to make tortillas (all you need is corn flour and water!) and am trusted to cut up vegetables and cook eggs once in a while. I’m hoping to make pizza for my family before I leave in three months’ time.
One expression I’ve learned that I’d like to leave you with is: que me le vaya bien. People say it when they say goodbye, especially when someone is leaving the house. I’m still unsure of the direct translation, but from my understanding it means: if it goes well for you, it goes well for me. Maybe the sweetest way of saying “have a good day.”
And so my friends, ¡que me le vaya bien! Hasta la proxima (until next time).
P.S. I’d love for this blog to be an exchange between you the reader and myself. Please give feedback and comments and ask questions. Also I am, as always, taking title suggestions.