PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS BLOG IS NOT A REPRESENTATION OF MY HOST COUNTRY OR OF THE PEACE CORPS.
Wow sorry folks, the past month has been a little nuts and I haven’t had much time to breathe, never mind tell you all the crazy stuff that’s been going on! So recap: practicum week. Goodness gracious my time in Chinandega was probably the most fun I have had in all of my time in Nicaragua thus far. The week definitely had its fair share of stress with trying to prepare charlas and fulfill all of the activities we needed get done but it was highly rewarding. Oh and the rumors were totally verdad… Chinandega is BRUTALLY hot but strangely, I didn’t mind it too much. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely went through delusional dehydration on the daily but I think I could work with the heat if I end up going somewhere that’s on the warmer side. We did some pretty sweet activities while we were up there too, por ejemplo: visited las isletas de Corrinto (the little islands off the beach in Corrinto), did yoga with a huge group of pregnant ladies at the most beautiful casa materna I have ever seen in my whole life, ate our body weight in pupusas and shwarma (yes you read that right, SHWARMA) in the park in downtown Chinandega, and got to go to a make shift water park on the last day. Let me just take a moment and explain to you how interesante this water park was… first off, there was a merry-go-round and a ferris wheel that both were without motors. So, of course we figured out a way to use them through man operation.
They had about 6 different water slides but the hose could only be on for one slide at a time. And, these were pretty legit slides in their height but you were flying at 100mph into 5 feet of water… as you can imagine, there were some gnarly bruises. The pool was also so chlorinated that you couldn’t see the bottom of the pool and would find yourself stepping on crushed beer cans and mangos that fell in. I just tried to tread water as much as I could. But most importantly was the fact that there were peacocks, sheep, horses, deer, rams, and massive parrots roaming freely throughout the place. It was worth every penny and totally bringing the lucky ones who want to visit me down here.
After practicum week, all of my time and focus has been on trying to fulfill all that we need to get done before heading out to site. I finished my last charlas at the health center, finished up the meetings with the youth group, and got to hang out with my extended host family a whole bunch. One of my favorite activities was learning how to make nacatamales with my Tía. The process took about 6 hours in total and the end products were delicious. My Tía is my cooking buddy down here and I’ll be really sad to leave to leave her when I go to my new site.
I also got a chance to escape with a couple friends and hike the Volcano of Masaya. It was so incredible to get a chance to get away and forget about the deadlines to experience some nature with sweet friends. I’m really excited to continue hiking around and exploring this country. The only intimidating part is how small Masaya is in comparison to the rest of the volcanoes here in Nicaragua. I sure got some work to do before I try San Cristóbal!
But probably the most exciting news to share with you all is that I finally received my site placement for the next 2 years!
VILLA NUEVA, CHINANDEGA (BACK IN CHIN CITY, BABY!)
On site day, I got a little packet that basically explained what I’ll be getting myself into and from the looks of it, these next couple years are going to be incredible. I can already tell that this is where I am supposed to be. Obviously I am psyched out of my mind to be heading back up to the department of Chinandega but I’m more excited to try out this rural living situation. I am such a city girl at heart and I think this will be a great opportunity to take me out of my comfort zone. Cattle and gold mines… washing my clothes in the river… This is going to be an adventure. I am going to go check it out this upcoming week for site visit so say a little prayer for me to fall in love with this place!
OH! I have a couple goals for my time in service that I want to vocalize so that I’ll actually follow through:
Hola, I'm Justine