Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My last days (daze?) in Nicaragua

Well, my time here in Nicaragua is almost over. Time flies when you you don't have a concrete job and only work 3 days a week. But as my time here is coming to a close I guess I should let you know about my daily life here in Nicaragua.

First off, there is no hot water for showers. That is annoying but not terrible. Just unexpected. Also, I wash all my clothes by hand which means I don't wash my clothes very often. I sleep in the office which is free but noisy especially with all the different groups coming in and out of the office. My coffee/breakfast habits here are persistent and still a hold over from before Peace Corps (one egg, 1/3 cup oatmeal and a cup of coffee) which is rather comforting. We figured out how to make toast and I will send a picture of me making some pour over coffee. Otherwise, life here is really relaxed. It feels a lot like Peace Corps. Mainly because one of the people we hang out with most often is a current Peace Corps Volunteer and she happens to live across the street from the office. But beyond volunteers I met a woman named Amanda who does green buying for a company called Thrive Farmers. She is very knowledgeable about coffee and just an overall very intelligent woman. We have been spending a lot of time with her and her boyfriend Erick, who is from San Ramon and a great artist. 

In regards to work, we help Marisol out with her English class as well as hold our own. She is teaching English to people working in the tourism sector and local artisans while we hold English class for local kids 3 times a week—twice in Matagalpa and once in San Ramon. The kids are great and we have fun but it isn't anything like China (seriously, the realia room with Disney was amazing). Also, with only 5 weeks it is hard to really establish class routines without a native speaker in the room and losing a whole week to nothing but classroom English. We would have gone into the routines if we had more time, but alas, 5 weeks it was just enough time for kids to learn some simple phrases and play a lot games. But the kids seem to really like Whitney, and since Whitney likes me they seem to tolerate me. One girl really likes punching me in the stomach. Sounds like my classes in China, there was always one kid who really likes to hit me. Oh well, I guess I am just very hittable.

Other than teaching English I am not sure what we do. We hike a lot, hang out with other volunteers. We spend most of our time with an Irish volunteer names Aine, the PCV Marisol, and a very cool volunteer from Vermont names Julia. Julia works with the same organization as I do, Aine works down the street and Marisol lives across the street so I guess it makes sense that we all hang out. We seem to have gotten into the habit of getting ice cream every afternoon around 4. I don't know why or how it started, but it seems to be a habit we picked up. I guess there are worse habits to have.

In regards to random stuff we did in Nicaragua, we can add releasing baby turtles into the sea to the list. Which was pretty awesome. We also got to visit another ecolodge, Selva Negra, this one on a much larger scale than Finca Esperanza Verde. And we got to hear howler monkeys but they managed to allude us so we didn't get a chance to see them.

As you can see, life is life. Whitney and I are doing well. Preparing for our time in the US and Alaska for the summer. We land back in the US on April 3rd and from there have no solid plans. Right now I am working on a blog post about “Voluntourism” but it needs some editing and little bit more research. 

my coffee tools

Julia and I with baby sea turtles

Making toast

Making coffee

Making English

They respect Whitney more than me


Coffee blossoms

The church at Selva Negra

P.s. It should be noted that I look disheveled constantly because there is no mirror in the office so I have no idea how I look.

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