Monday, October 1, 2007

Our first weekend

Dylan and I have decided to share a blog instead of posting two warring blogs. So, now you will all have the opportunity to read about life in Nica from both of our perspectives.

It’s been a little while since Dylan last wrote, so I thought that it would be best to catch you up on the past few days in Managua – we are starting to become legit Nicaraguans.

Friday was a relatively ordinary day. We struggled through our morning meal of pink hotdog-like meat and a pancake and then spent the rest of our morning and early afternoon lounging around our home stay reading and watching Chester and Spike (the dogs here at the home stay) attack one another. At lunchtime we headed to MetroCentro (the mall) and met Esmir, one of our Nicaraguan friends, for lunch. After an hour or so of pestering Esmir with all of our questions, we wandered back home. As you can imagine, there is only so much time that we can spend lounging and reading in our home stay, so we decided to venture to the Mercado Roberto Huembes (the big market in Managua) to look for flashlights to fight the blackouts. Amazingly enough, we quickly found a recharge-able fluorescent light, some dvds and some Nicaraguan cigars for Dylan. Certainly enough to keep us entertained for a few evenings.

This weekend has held many small accomplishments for Dylan and me. Saturday was our “day of acceptance.” Saturday morning was pretty typical. We started our day with no solid plans. After breakfast we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood in an effort to beat the monotony of morning reading. During our walk we followed signs to Parque Japones. Parque Japones is this big, private park where we took all of the kids from the orphanage during our spring break trip in March. At the park, Dylan quickly found two young boys playing soccer who eagerly invited him to join their game. We spent the next hour or so with Dylan playing soccer with two young Nicaraguan boys (and eventually an older brother?/Father?/Friend? to the younger boys who joined in the even out the teams) as I watched from the park bench and wrote in my journal. It was a perfect Saturday morning – and it started our Nicaraguan acceptance. When we left the park we continued our walk and eventually made it to La Union, the supermarket. When we got there Dylan and I had to question whether or not we were still in Nicaragua. We could have been in the United States – the supermarket was fully stocked with everything we could have asked for. After purchasing some cereal, powerbars for Dylan, a Nicaraguan version of peanut butter and some apples that I had desperately been craving, we walked to MetroCentro and then back home to the home stay. At the home stay Mara, our host mom, was ready and waiting for us. After bringing our lunch, she was quick to come out with pictures of her son’s high-school graduation as well as pictures from her time as a dancer. She is always sure to talk in very slow Spanish, enunciating all of her words so that I can catch a word here and there while Dylan has time to translate the rest for me. In addition to sharing her pictures with us, Mara also gave Dylan and I each a fosforos doll – a Nicaraguan doll with an apron pocket to keep your matches in – one to each of us to put in our homes back in the states. The rest of our day was pretty uneventful, but Ernesto, our host mom’s son, talked with us after dinner for some time and offered to take us for a walk around the neighborhood Sunday morning to show us the sights and help us feel comfortable. Eventually Ernesto left to go meet his girlfriend and Dylan and I were left to watch a Hillary Duff movie on tv before going to bed around 9:30.

Today, Sunday, has been another productive day. We were actually busy from 8-2 – very impressive for us. After breakfast Ernesto took us for a long walk around the neighborhood, making sure to point out all of the highlights. After our walk Dylan and I headed to MetroCentro to meet Brad and Esmir to catch a bus to Church. Church was a little tough – seeing as I understood about 1 in every 37 words that were spoken, but I am hoping that as the weeks pass I will understand more and more. All of the Casa Bernabe Orphanage children were at church, however, and it was great to see them again. It’s funny that they are still so quick to run up and ask for a hug or squeeze your hand – whether or not they really recognize me from the last trip – but they still want the love that we have to provide. After church we rode back into town on the orphanage’s bus so we had a little bit of extra time with the kids.

Tomorrow our schedule will change a little bit. We will have Spanish classes from 8-12 Monday through Friday for the next few weeks. I’m a little nervous about how those will go – but I am ready to start understanding things being said around me. It will also be nice to have a bit of a structured schedule – at least for the first half of every day. Tomorrow we also become legitimate apartment leasers. We are meeting with the real estate people at 2:00 tomorrow to sign the contract, and the apartment will officially be ours – for the next four months anyway.

Things are looking really great. I feel like we are making definite progress in being accepted and also with our acceptance of the way of life down here. I will admit that it is a slow process, but I think that we are growing accustomed to life down here. Each day brings new blessings and brings us one step closer to accomplishing what we came down here for.

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