Central America, Spring ^10

May 29, 2010

hello!

Filed under: Uncategorized — samanthabass @ 9:05 pm

I only have a few minutes, but hello! I´m in Esteli right now, we´re leaving at four for Miraflor. Tomorrow is Dia de las Madres, which is apparently the biggest deal ever in Nicaragau, don´t know about other countries. But there´s gonna be some sort of festivities in Miraflor tomorrow don´t know what.

Classes are good, really fun. I´m starting to know what I´m doing. I´m a pro second grade teacher. They really like to draw so we´ve been doing some of that. They also talk about the soccer ball that the American students brought last week a lot. I really like English class because it´s like Spanish class for me. And my students LOVE it, it´s such a drastic change from the wild seven year olds.

My friends from Denmark left yesterday. They were here for three weeks and thought they´d stay three days. Really nice we got to teach together for a bunch.

I did four interviews so far, interviews are really really interesting. I understand most of what they say, maybe less than most, but the people are all really nice and won´t let me leave without telling me everything of their life and making me drink coffee and-or tea. I also interviewed two people in the Miraflor office yesterday.

It rains a lot. Apparently there´s some rain storm that´s extra rain over Miraflor right now, according the the radio. I think there´s just some huge rain cloud stuck on top of the mountain and I live in it so it pretty much rains everywhere, inside, outside, etc. It´s really pretty though. Sometimes it stops for an hour or so. The animals love it. The coffee too prob. I got an umbrella.

Well, I have to go catch a bus now. Will write in a week!

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May 21, 2010

Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — samanthabass @ 11:58 pm

I´m in Esteli now in an internet cafe. I really like what I´m doing here and it´s going to be a lot harder than I thought to leave, four more weeks! How fast time goes! The girls from Denmark liked it so much in Miraflor that they decided to stay for another week, which is really nice so we can keep teaching together. There was a group of seventeen students from the University of Boulder, Colorado in Miraflor this week for a service-eco-tourism alternative spring break trip. They helped build two showers by the well and added to the structure to prevent rainwater from mixing with the well water. There were three of them living in my house so I got to talk to them a bit. They´re only in Nicaragua for 10 days total.

I helped my hostcousin? roast and package the coffee for the students to buy. This morning I also went to a meeting at the UCA Miraflor where they were talking about their eco’tourism projects and organizational things.

The kids at the school are really crazy but I think they´re learning. At least there´s three of us in the room now so Mayra helps the kids who need extra help while the two of us teach. Teaching english is really fun, we play games that little kids would play but it´s okay because it´s to learn English. Touch your nose! Touch your ear! Etc…

I´m going to start interviews next week, I wrote up and translated a bunch of questions. Exciting.

May 15, 2010

Hello from Leon!

Filed under: Uncategorized — samanthabass @ 10:06 pm

I´m in Leon right now for the weekend. There´s two girls from Denmark that are staying in Miraflor and helping teach English for two weeks, so we all traveled to Leon for the weekend with the girl from London. Leon´s a really neat city, it´s about three hours away and has a lot of students, it´s where all the major Universites are. We´ve been eating ice cream and taking really luxurious showers and hanging out with other foreigners and Nicaraguans. I took pictures of all the grafitti and murals everywhere. We´re staying in a hostel here, going back Monday morning to Miraflor.

I´m living with Marlone and Mayra in Miraflor, my host-parents, Mayra is also the president of the cooperative that I´m doing my project on. And Marlone speaks English, not that I need to speak English anymore…que rico! They have a seven year old son and their 15 year old neice lives with them in the house. One of the girls from Denmark also lives in the house now, and the other girl is across the street at their grandparents house. All the electricity comes from the solar panel on the roof. I eat lots of really fresh food here, really fresh. The other day I attended the pig roast, watched the whole process. It was a huge event with the kids running around crazy (pig as punching bag) and like twenty people standing around and helping out. It tastes really good and is about as fresh as it gets, I have some gruesome pictures that I may or may not share.

I help cook dinner sometimes and am learning some cooking skills. Really good! Rainy season is here and it rains every night, which is really convenient because they don´t have to walk to the well anymore and can use the water from the concrete water storage place in the backyard. It´s sweatshirt weather in Miraflor, which is really hard to believe because it feels like 100 degrees in Leon. All the trees have fuzzy things hanging from them, it´s really beautiful and neon green. In the mornings there´s usually clouds and from the school I can see them partly covering all the mountains. Sort of lord-of-the-rings-esque/enchanted garden/rainforest paradise.

There´s a huge pig that had piglets last saturday and it hangs out around the house sometimes with twenty tiny pink things jumping on top of each other.

In the morning I teach the second graders reading and math with the other volunteers. Marlone is a teacher at the school, but first grade and second grade is in the same classroom and they only have one teacher. Before Catherine came, (girl from London) he would teach one lesson and then assign work and then teach the other lesson. Now we both teach at the same time so the kids have full attention and don´t stand on the desks throwing each other on top of one another. (ninos!) So now, I´m learning my times tables again in spanish. tres por tres es iqual a nueve…etc. The kids yell ´profe´every few seconds for us to check their work. They´re really cute, and the school looks over a mountain range, beautiful.

The school was built by an NGO from Spain, they pay for the materials and lunch for the kids. Usually the government builds schools and provides materials, but they won´t recognize the land because the land is reclaimed from the revolution and the community doesn´t have the land title. During recess they make us play games with them but we usually have no idea what´s going on because their Spanish is really hard to understand and they talk really fast like little kids. So they move us to different places and tell us what to do and run around us in circles. Funny stuff.

We also teach English classes in the afternoons, which are much more tame and sensible. There´s a beginner class and two advanced classes. The man that volunteered in the community last year brought a bunch of English textbooks that are specific for rural tourism, so we use them to make up activities in class.

Also, I walked into my room last thursday and there was a chicken under my bed because I left the door open for a little bit, woops! I´m taking lots of pictures. I´ll write again next weekend.

May 8, 2010

Esteli

Filed under: Uncategorized — samanthabass @ 9:27 pm

Hi! I´m in an internet cafe in Esteli right now. I left Managua this morning and took a bus to Esteli with my three Italian girlfriends living in Bataola right now (where I was living). We only speak Spanish with each other for lack of common language.

Tomorrow I´m going to Miraflor with my host family to start my research project. All the plants are neon green right now because it rained a couple times. Last time I was here everything was brown and dusty. The rains officially come May 15th, how exciting! I can´t imagine anything being more green but we´ll see.

It was a fun last week, my classes ended on Tuesday. Thursday we had a group outing at Lago Apoyo, I went there during spring break. It´s a really beautiful place with warm volcano water.

We had some of the people we met in Managua over Wednesday night for a ´despedida,´farewell party. We also had ice cream.

Now I´m going to go take a nap didn´t sleep too much last night. Hi Daniel!

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