I have quite a few resolutions in 2012, one of them being more consistent with my blogging. I'd say at least once a month. I can't believe the last post was in September.. yikes.
Anyway, I'm sitting on a pretty comfortable couch right now because I'm house sitting for an American couple who live in my town. This really couldn't come at a better time even though I just got back to Teustepe a few days ago. It does feel great to be back (I was welcomed with very many open arms) but the animal situation in my house is becoming a problem. The first day back I was awakened in the middle of the night because a little mouse crawled on top of my mosquito net and me which was really scary. The second day back I couldn't fall asleep because I saw a huge opossum hanging out in my roof. I threw down some venom so hopefully within the next few days I'll be flinging mice far into the backyard.
As for more upbeat news, the end of the school year went well. The month of October was pretty brutal because of the endless rain but once November rolled around, I was able to cross all creeks and return to work in all schools. We did some fun projects (model of the Solar System, string bracelets, puzzles out of cardboard and National Geographic pictures) and the sixth graders in their cap and gowns made me proud to be their teacher. I attended my fair share of graduation masses and parties and am definitely looking forward to the upcoming year. A few changes have been made in the Environmental Education sector. Instead of working with six teachers, each one day a week, I will now be working with four teachers twice a week. It will be a more rigorous schedule but much more productive in the classroom and school gardens. As much as I loved the students and one of the teachers I worked with in the school I’m dropping, I’m looking forward to not making that 6-mile journey each Tuesday. The straw that broke the camels back happened the day of the sixth graders’ graduation at this school. It was 1:45 and the teacher and I had to catch the 2:00 bus back to Teustepe. I asked how I could help clean up so was given a gigantic tub, half full of rice, to bring back to the woman who made it. Little did I know, she lived on the other side of the creek so with bag, umbrella, and tub in hands, I carefully stepped across the 25 large, wet stones and arrived safely on the other side but not after a few scares of twisting my ankle and falling into the water.
This week I stopped at the librarian’s house with a friend (and fellow earring maker) to discuss what we will do with our earnings and to see her 2-month-old baby boy. After buying 20 bottles of paint, pliers, and new paintbrushes, our group gained $260. The girls were astounded and we are all thrilled to begin our work on the library. As you know, the initial goal was to buy one bookshelf but it looks as if we will be able to do so much more. Unfortunately the town does not feel it is necessary to put money into the library but this is where we come in! We’ll be able to buy bookshelves, paint, and hopefully new chairs to make the library a more welcoming and comfortable place for the kids. I also think I’ll be solicited to paint something large on the front of the library… we’ll see how this goes. January 21 will be “sweep, mop, dust the library day” and we’re going to work from there. Muchissimas gracias to everyone who supported our project!!
Like I said, I'm enjoying being back and am loving the weather. Probably a sunny 85 during the day and low 70s at night. It's perfect. But, I had such a wonderful two-week vacation at home. It was freezing cold a couple days but I know I'll be trying to turn back time to experience that weather come March. Christmas and New Years were both fantastic. Lots, probably too much, food was consumed. A comfy couch and the need for a down blanket while watching Weeds and Californication were heaven. I'm so lucky to have been able to spend time with family and friends, even making it up to Boston! I love and miss you already ...... now come to Nicaragua :)