Saturday, September 24, 2005

PC training - week 3

WHO: Essa (aka Vanessa)
WHAT: Peace Corps,
Environmental Education
WHERE: Nicaragua
WHEN: Sept '05 - Nov '07
WHY: La vida es un carnaval

I started with the Peace Corps about a month ago - but I just found a computer to recognize my digital camera! I hope I can keep this blog going for the next few years, but it depends on computer access once I get placed in my site.

I think the fun is just beginning. I've been in my training town just outside of Managua, the capital city, for about 3 weeks. I'm living with a great host family and my days are packed with Spanish/Culture classes, technical training, chewing the fat with the locals, and trying to stay clear of mosquitoes and sopa de mondongo (beef intestine soup - the photo shows the before picture - not going to show me after).

Here's my wonderful host family (minus one)
(L-R: Petronio, Nazareth, Maura, not pictured is Mijail)

This was taken on the first night of the rolling blackouts - Nica's answer to the rising price of diesel. We lost power every evening for a few hours last week.

Petroni0 runs a small store out of the house, and Maura takes good care of us all and keeps the peace between 6 year old Nazareth and 15 year old Mijail.

This is my hermanita, Nazareth, jamming on the Djembe. She is Petronio and Maura's grandaughter. She teaches me lots of Spanish and I'm sure she's destined to be a poet - her sentences flow so beautifully!

Mihail shown to the right - he works almost every day at a local mechanics shop. He likes to watch an American progam recently created about buiding cars. He also got me hooked on "Pasion de Gabilantes" - a Colombian super cheesy soap opera. The only problem is sometimes it rains so hard (as its been doing for the past four days) on the tin roof, that we can't hear the TV at all.

Kids in my barrio - they play outside in the street a lot, and LOVE the digital camera.

This is our training group working on a "vivero" or tree nursery. We have technical training on weekends usually, and they are lead by current volunteers. There is a big push for tree nurseries because Nica, like most of Central America, is suffering the effects of deforestation.

I also just gave my first "charla" or talk on deforestation last week to about 30 - 6th graders in my training town. It went well and though I wasn't looking forward to going back to the classroom as a profesora, I was impressed by the student's attentivness, particpation, and formal thank-yous at the end of my lesson. Hopefully my experience in the classroom will erase all the bad memories created as a substitute back in the States!

Some future trees!

Marcy, Noemi and I (PC trainees) and Marcy's host family at Catarina. A popular local tourist
trap with a beautiful view of a caldera lake.

Waterfall at a local privately owned national park called "La Maquina".


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