Sunday, May 20, 2012

food, life, and fun... so far anyways

gallo pinto (top) accompanied by some other things

food: in short- rice and beans. a lot. of. rice. and. beans. it's a good thing i don't mind rice and beans. the most common type is gallo pinto. it usually consists of black beans and rice and then refried with some extra salt. the nicas love their salt and queso fresco (a very salty cheese). usually the gallo pinto is accompanied by something else, for dinner tonight, it was with fried chicken, plantains, and some scrambled eggs.. for some reason tonight it also had pasta in it...

this morning i ate nacatamal. it has a doughy like outside, a little bit of rice (of course), chilis, and meat. the one i had was beef. it was delicious. i was warned that i needed to be careful since it was going to be spicy, but they don't know how spicy i like my food. i probably would have made it more spicy if possible. haha.
inside the nacatamal
last night we ate chalupas. delicious as well. toasted tortillas, beans, chicken with some other veggies, and “salad” which is primarily cabbage. they tried to put some queso fresco on it, i was not a fan and requested mine “sin queso.”

daily life: lately i've been getting up by 630am and getting ready for the day. breakfast has been anything from last night's left overs, cakey like “bread”, eggs with gallo pinto, fried tortilla with beans, etc. basically it varies day by day.

we have class from 8-12, a break for lunch, and then more “applied” class. this is where we tend to go out into the community and introduce ourselves and also go to the high school where we are forming our youth group as well as working with one of the teachers.

one of the places we went was the police station this past week. we talked to the subcomandante de la policia and introduced ourselves. he seemed surprised that gringos were in the community and had no idea we were here with cuerpo de paz. i think he was pulling our leg and bromeando. he gave us his 8 cell phone numbers but said them all so fast that none of us really were able to write them down.

these guys are my best
friends because they eat many
of the bugs in the house
friday we had technical training in managua. this past week we learned about establishing a community bank, which is a really cool concept. a community bank is a bank in its simplest form. members of the community pool their money together and then loan the money out as members of the bank need it. each bank sets up its own rules and what is permissible. the loans are short term and paid back with interest, which allows for all of the members to grow income. it is microfinance on a super small scale within the community and doesn't need any outside funding. i am very excited to hopefully start one in my community once i am on site.

training on the whole has been interesting so far. i'm looking forward to more integrated training where we are working hands on in the community and less sitting in a classroom describing random situations. for me, i find it difficult to do those exercises because i don't spend a ton of time describing things like that in english either. how much can i say about how a person looks? they have brown hair, skinny, pretty nice... what else do you want to know? haha. i've been told i need to use more details for such descriptions though. i'm working on it. ;) according to the training director we're going to start having some more liberty soon to self-direct study.

fun stuff: we went to a beauty pageant to select the queen of the fiestas patronales on thursday. it was a serious event with tons of people there. us being the gringos showed up when they said it was going to start, but then proceeded to wait for about an hour and a half until the room filled up. we had close to front row seats of all the action. there was dancing, singing, music. the whole deal. it was great until we decided we needed to leave early. my family was waiting for me to eat dinner and the others' families were expecting us home soon. unfortunately, the room had filled up so that there wasn't any way out. we literally climbed through the crowd, on top of chairs, through groups of people until we reached the back. it was awesome. haha.
nacho, my host dad

related to the beauty pagent, there has been a fair of sorts in the main center of town this whole weekend with artisan crafts, music, games, and even a mototaxi race. i missed the race, but i totally would have been there if i knew there was going to be one. the fair was fun, but it was interesting that most of the booths seemed to be selling similar things. a lot of them even looked like stuff i saw in panamá. i've heard that other countries pay nicaragua factories to put “hecho en X” on products and then sell them as their own. something to think about next time you buy that cool braclet you think is unique to whatever country you're in. either way, i'm not sure how anyone makes money on these things when they're all selling the same thing. i'm sure that will be something i am constantly investigating during my time here.

not much else to report. just life as usual for the moment. getting used to a new routine, schedule, etc. if you've read this far, i'm proud of you. i had a whole week to catch up on.  


  1. Nice - sounds like your getting settled in. Watch out eating all the starches, i.e. rice & beans, you'll put on 20lbs before you know it.

  2. that's why i've started running in the mornings!