Pueblo tranquilo

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.

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 11.53.19

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 in my training town. That would be Bob the dog.

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.

My many pairs of underwear hanging on the line, like at home!
My bed, complete with my handy-dandy Peace Corps provided mosquito net. Can you spot yourself in a picture on the wall?

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.



Add yours →

  1. Robin Magistrali March 19, 2016 — 6:39 PM

    I am happy to get regular news of your life in Nicaragua, so of course I am happy that you are attempting to keep a record of your experience by blogging! I look forward to your next post.


  2. Buenos Dias Maura!
    I’m glad you have safely arrived in such a sweet town and family. Thanks for sharing your impressions..and look forward to more.


  3. michael (padre) magistrali March 21, 2016 — 1:27 AM

    Here’s an idea for a title: Mi Padre es magnifica!


  4. Amelia Magistrali March 23, 2016 — 12:19 PM

    Why not use ‘que me le vaya bien’ as your title? Alternatively ‘The brightest star in my cartoon’. Or ‘She came in through the bathroom window’

    Also, I want to know how to make tortillas. Share recipes on your blog!


  5. Some how I missed this in the chaos of my email and am just now reading. I am so so soooo happy to be able to read up on you! I loved your picture captions. Bob the dog looks great too. I agree with Amelia, recipes!
    Love you best fraaan. Can’t wait for the next chapter!


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