I guess I’m not that great at making New Year’s resolutions. No blog in the month of March but here goes April…
I moved! I wasn’t sure if it was worth it because I only have 7 months left then realized that 7 months is a pretty long time. A friend was looking for someone to rent one of her houses and gave me the opportunity to rent for the same price I had been paying in my previous spot. It’s much more space and a little farther away from the center of town, which is exactly what I wanted. Two Nica friends helped me move in on Saturday after waiting 3 hours for the man with the truck to finally arrive and transport all my things. $3 (for the truck) and 4 hours later, I was all settled in. There’s a great breeze (due to actually having windows), high ceilings, a huge gated front porch, space for a hammock, my own indoor bathroom and shower, and no mosquitoes. I’m not a fan of the chickens that come to visit fairly frequently. The entire house is cement, including the floors, which is even better because now I don’t have to mop. I just sweep then throw water on the floor to get rid of the dust. I already have a great relationship with my neighbor and her family because on day two, I got locked out twice…
I had just woken up at 6:30 am and went outside to fill the lavendero (where I wash clothes and dishes) because we didn’t have water the previous day. As soon as I walked outside, the wind slammed the back door shut and I was left outside in my pajamas with flip-flops but bra-less. My neighbor was nice enough to let me borrow a sweater to walk about 5 blocks to my old host family who had the extra key. At 7:00 am I was back in the house, taking a shower to head to catch the bus leaving for Boaco. I get back from Boaco, lock the gate, open the front door, and head out the back door to fill up my water bottle. Wind comes. Door slams shut. This time I was in a trickier situation because I now had both sets of keys on my plastic kitchen table. I went back to the neighbor’s and she just kind of shrugs her shoulders and says, “Now what do we do?” Luckily a man passed just at that moment. I explained to him my situation and without thinking, he climbed up the pointy gate that’s supposedly protecting my house and entered the open front door and handed me the key to open the gate’s lock. (I probably shouldn’t be writing this because I’m sure my mom is now worried about me living in an insecure house. Don’t worry, the security guy from Peace Corps approved it.) Each time I tell that story the response is, “You really need to use a rock to keep that back door from slamming shut.” “Yea, yea, I know.”
Aside from those two mishaps, everything is going really well! I had an amazing spring vacation on the Atlantic Coast. The life is so different there mainly because the majority of the people speak Creole (a mix between English, Spanish, and native dialect). The 12 hour trip out there wasn’t the best (7 hours in a school bus overnight, waiting 2 hours from 4:00-6:00 am, 2 hour motorized canoe ride) but very worth it. The week after spring vacation, I went to Selva Negra, a beautiful nature reserve up north where it is very cool… I’d even say cold although that doesn’t take much anymore. I went on Tuesday to give a presentation to the new environment group and had another presentation to give on Wednesday all in Spanish. On Thursday, my group came for a few presentations and I was back in Teustepe on Friday.
Now, back to class. I’ve been contemplating a lot about what I want to do after Peace Corps and there are no definite plans yet. I was seriously considering going to graduate school for social work but I’m pretty sure that I now realize my forte is teaching. I’m sure I’d love all aspects of social work but do feel really comfortable in the classroom. I now need to decide on exactly what I want to get a Masters in. Definitely something that deals with education but also will give me the opportunity to work overseas. Any suggestions??
My women’s group is still making earrings. We recently sold 14 pairs and made C$280. The softball team is on a bit of a standstill. We try to practice or play on Sundays when no one has class. I’ve been working with a man from a local organization on my school compost and gardens. We’re also going to work in two communities to give presentations on patio gardens then give each family seeds to start their own garden. Class, as a whole, is going very well. Teaching two days per week at each school with each teacher has made a huge difference. There is much more continuity in the lessons and I feel that the students are learning more.
Just a funny anecdote… I was waiting for a bus with another volunteer outside the airport to get back home. Of course no buses passed so we took a taxi to the bus terminal. The taxi driver asked where we were from so we said the United States. His response… “But you’re not the type of gringas with the blue eyes.” Nope. As a matter of fact, not all gringas have blonde hair and blue eyes.