Friday, March 28, 2008

WE MADE IT!! We are REAL volunteers now!

Well, Semana Santa (holy week) passed without much event. We attended a procession each day. Let me describe this. We followed a unattractive statue of Christ around the streets at Nica pace. This pace is slightly slower than an amble. Depending on the day, he was doing different things: blindfolded, holding the cross, in the coffin and finally sunday was resurrected and flanked by angels. My sisters secret boyfriend was one of the chosen few who carried the statue. It was quite interesting. Saturday night the youth in the town made this "carpet" in the street out of sawdust and made designs in it with different colors, including a picture of the pope. Then that night.. the night of the crucifixion, they carried the statue around in a glass coffin with lights on it and a generator following behind along with a brass band playing the soggiest music you have ever heard. It was hardly sad. But the cool part was that they walked it across the carpet and it was a big moment. Other than this excitement we did absolutely nothing but chill with my family. They made this desert (almibar) out of whole mangos, jocotes (a little round fruit), cashew fruit, pina and other surprise fruits all boiled together with a couple huge bricks of pure cane sugar. Its extremely "rico".. as many things are.. including plane white rice according to Nicas. We made dinner for our families as well this weekend. We made pesto creme sauce and pasta for my family, but we didnt have olive oil, nuts, cheese ... or really anything else one makes pesto with except some sad looking basil (almahaca) that was intended to be used as a home remedy for something like cough or congestion or bewitching. So my family said it was a bit "simple". This is not a good thing. When nicas say this... it means it kindof sucks. My grandma later used the rest of my basil for a "cure" for her extremely bad cough and claimed that it really worked but this was only because she REALLY did not want to go to the doctor. We had better success with Korys family. We made french toast with a banana/syrup topping. We did this while the two kids were slowly but surely torturing two kittens nearly to death and trying to put their fingers in the bowls. But it was a success. Kory says he did a service to all of their future volunteers. He knows this because he was blessed enough to get crepes every once in a while.. a recipe that Dona Claudia learned from a past volunteer. 
Moving on... We came to Managua and finished up training. It felt so good yesterday to know that it was our last day stuffed with lectures. We met with the US Ambassador and USAID for some "briefitos". But finally we were done! Kory even raised another level of spanish which put us both at Intermediate Mid. 
We are staying at a cute little hotel in managua near the office that has a little pool. Today we got all decked out in dresses, guayaberas and what have you, mounted the bus and went to the nicest hotel in Nicaragua for our ceremony. Our families were there waiting for us and it was good to see them for one more time. The ambassador came, along with the official from the ministry of health and the media. We sang the Nicaraguan national anthem (see the video.. hehe) and the american one. We had to say two oaths. One is a promise of service and the other one is the official peace corps oath complete with the promise to defend the united states at all costs.. which is so cute because we are in the Cuerpo de Paz. 
Tonight we are enjoying the pool and the nearby clubs and restaurants that are waaaay out of our budget. We spent about $20 on dinner and almost shat ourselves. It was a huuuge splurge. This is nearly 1/6 of our monthly budget. They unfortunately wouldn't take my regular debit card, and we had to use our Cordoba account. Sad. It was important that we eat there though, because I'm having problems with my movements and needed some serious fiber. So we went to this restaurant that makes whole wheat bread and loaded up. Well. Im just sharing with you all what life is like. And.. as usual in my life.. bowel movements are always a topic of discussion, but probably more so. 
So now that we are REAL volunteers, we can live together for the rest of our service! We will be going to Matagalpa on sunday for good. We cant leave our site or have visitors for three months. This may be the hardest thing we have done yet, which is saying a lot. This will really put our spanish at the forefront of things. 


Becky said...

Heather, your hair looks awesome! Lovin the original color. You guys are awesome! You survived probably more lectures than most people have endured. I'm so happy that you guys get to live together now. Three months huh? hehe, I'm getting excited to come and see you and Teresa says she will bring Mekai when we come!

Becky said...

Oh ya, Kory, you look snappy too :) You shaved your head!

spintzdee said...

well, i think you both look good as well, but heather, your eyes look hollow on that video, it scares me