Host family: They are pretty awesome! I am number 14 of other PC trainees and volunteers that they have had at my house so my family definitely knows what to do with me. I live with a host mom, dad, grandma and brother. My mom is an awesome cook. Thank God as of now, I have not gotten sick. My strong Mexican stomach is adjusting pretty well, let's see for how much longer I can keep saying that for. In case of an "emergency" the pharmacy is right across the street and the hospital next door, pretty reassuring. I live in a modest room which my host family decorated for me with a giant poster of the Barcelona soccer team and another giant one above my head of the national beer. The first 5 minutes in my host house was the first of many embarrassing moments I have had in this country...the toilet didn't flush. Turns out the water had been shut off in the entire town which is actually pretty common, nobody seem to think it was a big deal I couldn't flush. No better way for the Universe to say WELCOME TO NICARAGUA!
Normal Day in Training: Usually consists of many hours in Spanish class but since it is my native language, my team gets more freedom to do other projects in the community. Our facilitator takes us to many important places in our community and has us introduce ourselves like police office, the mayor's office, the cultural house, schools and museums. Lots of places with lots of names to remember. Our facilitator also enjoys getting us "lost" in the community and has us find our way back. Into week three, we all feel pretty comfortable with getting around and I actually blend in quite well. A woman actually asked me for directions, I was happy that she asked me but sad I had no idea where she wanted to go. Guess I could have just sent her somewhere, it's a pretty popular thing here. People will give you directions for a place they have no idea where it is, not to be mean but because they just really want to help. I can ask 3 different people how to get somewhere and will get 3 different answers, 21 days in Nicaragua means many opportunities to get lost. Street signs don't exist in this country so directions consist of reference points so one needs to know every reference point possible. When I am not getting lost in Nicaragua I am at my elementary school co-planning or co-teaching for my fourth grade natural science classes. My kids are great...LOTS OF ENERGY! They love to talk...ALOT!
Technical training: Apart from language and cultural training, we have technical training. As part of the environmental sector we are all required to start and maintain a "Huerto" (vegetable and fruit garden) at our school. We were shown many techniques for various fruits and vegetables which I am excited to get started at my school. It is a totally normal thing in Nicaragua for me to ask my students to bring garden supplies to school like a Machetes to work on the garden, I'd get arrested in the US if I did that!
Things I've noticed about Nicaragua so far:
1. People leave their front door open...ALL DAY. I can walk up to any house, just yell "BUENAS" and they will receive me with open arms, give me a "Fresco" or something to eat.
2. Talking about your bowel movements among other trainees, volunteers, PC staff member or pretty much anyone in this country is completely normal. Even while eating. Especially when it comes to the topic of Diarrhea.
3. People are very persuasive when it comes to selling stuff. I was almost convinced into buying a baby pig at the market.
4. Laws of the road are merely suggestions. Usually when I get into a "Moto-taxi" to get to school I am gripping the seat and praying. Hoping to get used to it
Streets of Nicaragua: