Sunday, May 13, 2012

a small little adventure

today was my first day at my host family. i was a bit concerned at first considering i had all day to do... nothing. what am i going to do? i haven't made much of a connection yet with my host family, so i anticipated being very bored. it was a little both.

i slept in because i was exhausted. several days of very little sleep takes its toll after a while. my host bro and i seem to have bonded by playing on our computers at the table, so we did that for a while after getting up.  then we watched some soccer and talked about our favorite teams. then we headed into town along with my host sister to get the lay of the land.  our house is about a kilometer outside of the main center, so it is a bit of a walk.  i anticipate taking little mototaxis for the most part that cost C$6. we ate some ice cream. it was delicious. it was cloudy at first, and even rained a bit, but then the sun came out while we were walking around so it got fairly hot. i think being hot is going to be a theme of my life here. it was comforting, somewhat, to know that my host siblings were also hot and i wasn't just the crazy gringo.

after lunching, i took a nap, because i love naps.  they have already noticed that i like to sleep. thanks to my fan they bought me, it was much more comodo. after that i beat my host bro at chess. it was his idea to play, so i don't feel bad. haha. then we went off to visit laguna del apoyo.

Laguna de Apoyo
traveling in latin america is always an adventure, even for short distances.  sometimes you wonder how old is the vehicle you're in and if it will break down at any moment. other times it is packed full of people yet still continues to pick up one more person on the road because there is always room for one more.  we took a bus to catarina, which wasn't very full. we walked a ways up a hill to the mirador at the laguna.  it is a beautiful little lake inside a crater next to a volcano. beyond the laguna is the city of granada on the shore of lake nicaragua.  neither of my siblings could remember which volcano it was, but a little google mapping says it was mombacho. very cool. i want to climb some of them at some point in the next two years.  hopefully once we've settled a little more into training i can sneak away to one of the close ones with a few people and climb one.
kevin, my host brother.
we were having a discussion about smiling for the picture.

here are a few pics of my siblings. kevin is 15 and katherine is 19. kevin goes to a local private high school here in masatepe and katerine goes to la universidad centroamericana in managua. she's studying engineering of some sort.  i forget what specifically she told me.

i counted the smirk as a success.

katherine, my host sister. 

the laguna and volcano. unfortunately, it was a bit cloudy.

as i mentioned, the ride back was more typical of bus rides in latin america. it was packed full of people and we had to stand in the aisle.  i think i got hit in the head as a guy carrying a fan tried to push his way out of the bus. either way, we survived. on our way back into town we got pupusa. i.e. delicious.  it is like a corn tortilla, but thicker because it is stuffed with cheese and beans. it may have had a little bit of chicken in it too.  then we put "salad" on top which mainly consisted of cabbage in a "spicy" sauce with some peppers, onions, etc. i didn't think it was that spicy, my hermanos did. either way, it was still delicious.

for dinner we ate tamuga which was kind of like a tamale of some sort. it was initially wrapped in banana leaves and had a corn outside.  inside it was stuffed with rice and beef. apparently it is just a masatepe thing.  they don't really make it ouside of this town.  it also was delicious. although i liked the pupusa better.

tomorrow marks the start of full blown training.  language classes for several hours plus a couple hours of applied training in the afternoons.  i lucked out and classes are at my house for the next three weeks so i don't have to walk the kilometer to the other girl's house in my group. it should be fun though.  we're going to make a map of the community and we already have to start recruiting kids for our youth group.  this isn't a youth group like a church one, but it is a group of young people interested in creating their own product of some sort.  then we help them along with the process of planning and implementing the project.  i'm super excited and can't wait to start the training.

here are a few other pics from the last few days.  i haven't taken many...
waiting at reagan forever. 

flying into managua
it's about freaking time! a couple of PC staff in the background.

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