PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS BLOG IS NOT A REPRESENTATION OF MY HOST COUNTRY OR OF THE PEACE CORPS.
Hi August, Bye August
Woops, it’s been a while! So sad news first? Last week the sweet little cat, Micho, in my house died. We’re pretty sure that an iguana killed him in an epic roof battle but we haven’t spoken to witnesses. This cat was a smarty pants and also could eat chicken bones without chewing them. As a memorium, here is a picture of him figuring out a way to get into my room through the gap of me wall and the ceiling from outside.
I’m not trying to toot my own horn but I’m getting pretty popular around town… Within the past 3 weeks was invited to 2 birthday parties. My girl Guadalupe turned 7 and Alioska hit the big 1-0! Toy Story and One Direction themed parties #blast. AND, last weekend in Somotillo was the Patron Saint celebrations. My friend Kendra (another PC volunteer that lives there) and I literally just spent the whole weekend eating and dancing. The HIPICA/HIPICO, I can’t figure out which is the correct one, was a good time as well but the rumor is that the celebrations and HIPICA here in Villanueva are suuuuper mejor. Those will take place from the 11th-15th of September and people are already getting out their outfits to prepare for the craziness.
Work has been super busy which has made this month absolutely fly by. I finished my murals in the health post in Becerro that I have been working on but now the nurse that works there is trying to think of other murals for me to make because we have way too much fun working together and she wants me to stick around. I will be starting the next health post mural project in a community called Israel so that will be fun! Oh, and I can’t forget the sweet “Diarrhea” mural I have been making for the health center. When I finish, you know I will share that with you all. I got to visit another health post last week and my job for the day was “recording fichas” or.. like... data points? But I just want to get something off my chest, I am AWFUL and writing spanish names. TERRIBLE. First of all, I usually cannot understand what they are saying in the first place because people in Nica speak at 100 mph with hushed voices and they each also have like 7 names. (Okay.. 4 names but still) My counterpart just has accepted the fact that I need to work in pencil. At the Casa Materna (maternity house), the nurses and I have been working on our garden! We cleaned out the super overgrown forest and are now speaking to people in the community to help us out with tires, dirt, seeds, and paint. Shout out to Mama LaVoye who is sending down some seeds for us, thank you mom! This little garden project will be fun because we are trying to not only just teach the women about gardening but also incorporating nutrition into it. We’ll be growing lots of veggies and I’ll be drawing up a huge mural to paint in the kitchen at the Casa Materna to teach about essential vitamins and nutrients from locally sourced food! Fingers crossed that we will be able to get supplies from donations around town because I am not allowed to apply for project funding for at least another 3 months! Once we really get started with planting and painting, I’ll post pictures! Oh, and I also went on a vaccination campaign with one of my counterparts to vaccinate dogs in the community from rabies! So many puppies, so very precious. Aaaand other than that, I’ve still been giving charlas in the schools around town. Sadly, I am no longer the interesting white girl that people want to pay attention to… Now I’m just boring Profe Justina and kids treat me just like the other professors and don’t always wants to participate or pay attention. I need to be more strict because they get carried away with the fun we have in our activities haha. For example “snowball fight” with crinkled up balls that we wrote our future dreams and goals on. There were kids who fell over desks and others that were wrestling each other to the ground. We’ll figure it out…
And here is a picture from our monthly Red Comunitaria meeting. This month’s topics were Chikungunya, Malaria, Dengue, and Leptospirosis as they all have a presence here in Villanueva. We had each group present on a different topic either doing a sociodrama or presenting the topic as a story or as a broadcast. These women were giving a radio talk about Leptospirosis and it was hilarious. I’m super lucky to have a solid group of midwives (parteras) and community health workers (brigadistas) in my municipality.
The last weeks of August are pretty full and next week I will be back in Managua with my Nica65 group, reunited after nearly 3 months, to have our in-service training! I can't believe it has been that long since I've seen so many beautiful faces...
Hoping everyone back in the states is doing well! Prepping for school, packing for college, getting ready for the September 1st move out/in... All I'm saying is that my baby sister is going to college and I'm having a minor life crisis haha (love you Boo). Enjoy the last weeks of "summer" my sweet friends and family! Don't worry, it's going to be hot here forever so you're welcome to come and visit if you miss the heat!
Hola, I'm Justine