here are a few things i've done recently:
|one of my new neighbors/archenemy-|
|somewhere along the way|
|stopping for a coffee break at a family that lives|
on the mountain
|near the top|
|in a random corn field!|
|pretty sure this was a discussion|
about which way we should go down
|a view from afar. our guide's house is the one you can see.|
|yes, we business volunteers can get|
|making the chimney|
|the nica/pcv crew|
my family here at site now wants one after i told them about the benefits of the improved stoves and ovens. they want to build one of each. it might be good practice for me! ha. sadly, work with the org i'm going to be doing these ovens has gotten snagged and is currently being worked out by the higher ups between the two orgs. i had a few community visits planned once i got back from the workshop, but wasn't able to do them. i'm hoping things are worked out soon because i am really excited to get started with this project.
i judged an english singing competition at the local level in one of the high schools i work in. it was by far the highlight of my week. i wish i had brought my camera because it was hilarious to see these kids singing "we are the world," "eye of the tiger," "lean on me," "rolling in the deep," and "baby" (by bieber). keep in mind, these performances included dance moves and choreography. hilarious. the group i thought should have won didn't, but the winning group won by less than a point, so it was a close competition. the departmental ministry of education has already asked me to judge the departmental contest this week, so i have a second chance to bring my camera and take some pictures/video of this awesome event!
last weekend i went up to ocotal and hung out with several pcvs at carnaval. it seems like each city in nicaragua has a carnaval at some point in the year depending on their patron saint. it basically turns into a huge street party with several stages of music and lots of dancing. so we all danced it up in the middle of the street in nicaragua! somoto's is in november and supposed to be the "best" in nicaragua, so we'll see what happens then!
those are some of the main things that are happening. with work, things have kind of kicked up but then hit a lull. partly due to the issues with my one org. i'm hoping that soon i'll be able to establish some sort of routine between all of them. right now i have an excess of free time leading me to burn through several seasons of 30 rock, all of the current episodes of game of thrones, plus a few books as well. this coming week is looking a little more busy, and i've finally gotten in touch with the 3rd ngo i'm to work with and they are very excited. they were concerned that they had already "lost" three weeks (put in perspective of the two years i'm here, it doesn't seem that long).
personally, after a month, i can say that i am feeling fairly adjusted to my new way of life. i often catch myself thinking about the two year commitment i made and, depending on my current outlook, it either seems super long or like no time at all. this month has seemed very slow, but at the same time i can't believe i've already been here for a month and in country for almost four. i have a feeling this will happen a lot during service, but as my workload increases it will lean towards the "i can't believe how fast time is flying" perspective more.
luckily, i have two sitemates here at site, so i have been able to jump into a new friend/support circle fairly easily, so that has helped with some of the adjustment to site. now my main concern is making some nicaraguan friends and integrating more into the community. my current goal is to meet someone new every day, or on average every day, throughout the week so that i can at least have people recognize the crazy gringo walking around. things like the english singing competitions help with that.