Saturday, May 12, 2012

arrived and hosted

well, i made it to nicaragua. what a whirlwind it has been.

tuesday morning i got home around 5 am after saying goodbye to the gf and proceeded to finish packing up a few things and then got ready to go. staging was in washington, dc so i had to catch an 8 am flight up there. i noticed another girl holding a blue peace corps folder full of staging materials, so we chatted for a little while on the plane about peace corps and how we ended up doing this. staging itself was... necessary.  i can't say it was fun, but i understand the purpose. we covered a bunch of regs and expectations (the first of many times). we also did several activities discussing what we were looking forward to and what made us nervous.  it was nice to know that most of us were worried about the same things.

they gave us some walk around cash for the day/next morning and then said to be ready by 2am to catch the bus to reagan. why we had to get to the airport so early is beyond me, but when you're trying to organize 29 people, mainly early 20 somethings, i guess extra time is always a good thing. so we got to the airport around 3 and sat around for a while while we waited for the ticket counters to open. then we waited some more until finally our flight to miami was ready to depart.

fast forward to arriving in managua... it was cloudy as we flew in so it was hard to see anything, but eventually we could see one of the main volcanos jutting out of the landscape a ways away beyond lake managua. it was pretty exciting to finally be in country. by touching nicaraguan soil, i finally became a member of the peace corps (a trainee though, not a volunteer yet).

the first four days were a retreat where we convered all of the rules and regs again. they stressed the importance of realizing that this is a full-time, professional job... albeit super low paying. it's like they have a bunch of kids just out of college wanting to kill time and have fun for two years or something... weird. haha. it was good though. they laid out the expectations of training and then sent us on our way to our host families.

right now, i'm probably about an hour outside of managua. my host fam lives a bit outside of town on a dirt road, but it still seems to be trafficked fairly heavily.  they've converted the front of their house into a "pulperia" which means a little store basically.  pulpo means octopus, so the store has tons of different things. it also has a little tiendita which has some clothes and other little things. the husband is working in construction in costa rica, so i have a host mother, brother, and sister.  plus carmen, the maid.  my room consists of four concrete walls, a tile floor, and a corrugated sheetmetal roof. i have a full size bed, so those twin sheets i was so ambitious about packing won't be very useful. also, apparently they were very concerned at lunch since i was sweating like a beast, so they went out and bought me a fan for my room. haha.

i think on the whole, i can definitely say i overpacked. and i knew that, but i didn't realize it would be to this extent. i thought i'd have to do laundry by hand every day, but my family has an empleada (maid) that will wash my clothes apparently. i might shed some stuff when i leave this location for my actual site.  i primarily have to be dressed business casual all the time anyways, so i don't really need so many t-shirts and stuff. or maybe even one of the pairs of jeans that i have. i don't know. that's getting ahead of myself.

it was quite the adventure hanging my mosquito net that peace corps provides. the maid helped me put it up and i swear she looked like she was going to fall half the time she was on the ladder since it was only one side of a step ladder leaned against the wall. but it is up, and i will be quite safe from mosquitos. right now there aren't many bugs. i say that now before the rainy season is about to start. that could change dramatically.

that's about all for now. not many profound thoughts at the moment. just trying to stay awake. tomorrow is our first day off, and i plan to rest for most of the day. from what i hear, we don't get much time off during training.

hasta luego,


  1. you are living my dream!

  2. it's never to late to apply! why not?