PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS BLOG IS NOT A REPRESENTATION OF MY HOST COUNTRY OR OF THE PEACE CORPS.
For the past week I have felt like a chicken running around with my head cut off [well, just to put it simply]. Peace Corps does an incredible job of filling up our time during training with activities. They do such a good job that sometimes I feel like I don’t have time to sleep! It gets a little overwhelming at times but it definitely helps in making the time fly by. For example, today I: gave a charla at the health center on “Exclusive Breast Feeding”, followed by Spanish class, a quick lunch, a language level interview, a youth group meeting and a charla with them on “Gender Roles.” Tonight I have to start preparing an HIV prevention charla and another on Teen Pregnancy Prevention, write a journal entry about how our youth group went, make it to bed eventually and get up at 5:30 because training is in another town tomorrow. I don’t want to sound whiney though because I know my service after training will require a schedule completely planned on my own (aka I’m going to be bored on bored on bored if I don’t throw stuff together). I cannot even believe that training is nearly halfway over. I’m trying to be optimistic through the stress and see the cup half full instead of empty. Next week is practicum and all of the health trainees will be traveling to other parts of the country to gain experience alongside a volunteer who is stationed at that site. I am headed off to Chinandega and while that means absolutely nothing to you, here it’s a different story. Chinandega, so I’ve heard, is brutally hot and every time I tell someone that I’m going to there, they apologize and laugh at me. Talk about a confidence builder, huh? I wish I could compile gifs of the facial reactions I get when I tell people. It’ll be a nice change of pace to see a new part of the country and I think I’ll come back to Santa Teresa with a very thankful heart for the beautiful breeze we get up here.
Other than that, I’ve been a pretty boring gal the past week… Hopefully I’ll have some better stories to update you on in Chinandega. Pray that I don’t get heat stroke during practicum and that I can make it through the rest of this week as a sane human being. And finally, I’ll just leave you with a video of my role model because this video will never get old for me.
Surgery and a terrible sunburn
I’m not a wimp (usually) when it comes to medical stuff. However, it's apparently different when it comes to animals. This past week, Chingo, my Tía and Tío’s dog, got straight up hit in the arm with a machete. Some crazy person a couple streets away decided to take out some aggression on the poor little guy… I mean, this dog only has 4 teeth and probably weighs about 30 pounds… he is harmless. By no means is animal cruelty necessarily accepted down here but there is a different mindset about animals than back home. Luckily, my cousin has training as a veterinarian (who would have known… a guy who drives a moto taxi by day and is a DJ by night). I wish I could say that the whole thing went smoothly but this little 4-toothed cutie fought HARD against that anesthesia. I have to give him props, that little guy had some serious strength despite his droopy-eyed-tongue-hangin’-out-of-his-mouth complexion. When we finally got him up on the table, it took 5 of us to hold him down while my cousin stitched him up. My cousin’s girlfriend is currently studying to be a nurse and she nearly passed out from all the commotion! It made me feel a little better that I wasn’t the only one about to faint. Good news though, Chingo is running around on three legs and in much better spirits (don't worry he still has the other leg).
Okay I need to get this off my chest. During holy week, there were a whole slew of masses held at church. On Thursday night, I attended the longest mass of my life (but that’s beside the point). So you know the individual kneeling benches that fold down behind the chairs in Catholic Churches? Got it? Alright, you got it, so a little kid a couple of rows ahead of me knocked one down during mass on Thursday. It wasn’t even that loud but the entire church jumped like 7,000 feet in the air. Absolutely scared the crap out of them. I sat in pure shock. WHAT ABOUT THE BOMBS THEY SET OFF OVER THE WEEKEND? THE ONES RIGHT NEXT TO THE CHURCH EXPLODING DURING SERVICE THAT LITERALLY SHATTERED MY EAR DRUMS AND GAVE ME HEART PALPITATION?! HOW DID Y’ALL JUST SIT THERE LIKE NOTHING’S HAPPENING BUT WHEN A KNEELING BENCH FALLS. A. KNEELING. BENCH. IT’S THE MOST STARTLING THING YOU’VE EVER EXPERIENCED?! Boggled, absolutely boggled.
And in latest news, yesterday the whole family packed up and went down to San Jorge beach in Rivas. We left around 7:00 am to head down there. There was a little traffic but we arrived within an hour and a half or so. I could not believe how many people were already there… I was never good at those “guessing how many jelly beans are in the vase” games so I cannot even make a rough estimate but it was ridiculous. Also, it was crazy to me how much easy business was going on there. We paid someone to set up some sticks with a tapestry tied to it so that we could have some shade on the shore. Well until yesterday, I thought Nicas were crazy for how much they don’t like the sun. But what I didn’t see is that it’s because they understand how powerful it is. Oh my days I totally understand that power now… I am absolutely FRIED, head to toe, but it definitely helped move along my Chaco tan. So thankful that I brought a big thing of Aloe Vera with me. Moral of the story, I will happily pay for someone to tie some tapestries on sticks for the rest of my time here.
Happy Easter sweet friends and family! Such a great reminder today of the incredible sacrifice that Jesus made for us so that we may experience God in all His glory. Hoping today that each of you will feel that beautiful and perfect love wherever you are. I’m so thankful for each and every one of you, besos from Nica!
Hola, I'm Justine