Howdy, Ya’ll (Que Tal?)
If you don’t like sweating, questionable water supplies, cold showers, bugs, or continual rice’n’beans, don’t come to Nicaragua.
If you like Latin American mansions full of college students and recent graduates, or learning another language, or eating chocolate-covered bananas, or tutoring children, or enjoying life at all,
then you should probably come check it out.
My first week’s schedule:
Sunday: arrived at the Manna Project International Compound and met my twenty housemates.
Monday: Read Disney books in Spanish with orphans at La Chureca, Managua’s city dump where about 2000 people live and scavenge for plastic and aluminum; went swimming in the Manna house’s pool; played guitar; ate two choco bananas (si, chocolate covered).
Tuesday: Helped construct a chicken coop for our next-door neighbors’ armed guard; played with the children of the Cedro Galan neighborhood while their brothers and sisters went to Manna’s bi-weekly feeding program; replicated Cadinsky (sp?) paintings with Cedro Galan’s high schoolers; traded English and Spanish lessons with four adult English students.
Wednesday: Played jacks and read “Jorge el Curioso” (can you guess which children’s book that is, non Spanish speakers?) at La Chureca’s ; taught English, played basketball and volleyball at the high school; played more guitar; tried mamones, a Nicaraguan fruit, and ate another choco banana; talked for an hour with the choco banana sellers, who also gave me my first merengue lesson.
The Days Are Just Packed. I love being busy-but without the pressure to be. I love the kids I’m working with, both American and Nicaraguan. I love that my Spanish is improving by the day, and I love the fact that I will get to be a part of another community for two months. The set-up is surprisingly successful: volunteers participate in as many or as few activities as they want, or to start new programs. So far this week, I’ve checked out just about everything, and next week will decide in which of the programs I will invest the majority of my time. Top of the list? Guitar, choco bananas, and merengue.
Vaya con Dios!