Wow. That was sure a surprise when I looked down at my wrist watch to see that the little “8” that represented the month had, seemingly mistakenly, changed to a “9”. It seems like it was just yesterday that it was the start of July, and Emily and I were starting out on our road trip.
Wrong. It’s September.
While it is true that time flies when you are having fun, apparently it is also true that time flies when you don’t know what you’re eating, or when you can’t decide whether to journal in English or Spanish, or when you accidentally call something a penis. Our schedule for the last two and a half weeks has been jam-packed. Peace Corps Nicaragua has a very comprehensive, 12-week Pre-Service Training (PST) curriculum in place for all trainees, where they will transform our group of 20 Americans into lean, mean, English-teaching Spanish-speaking culturally-integrating machines. If this sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is! Thankfully, the PC Nica team is on top of it all, and helps us break down our schedule in bite-sized, weekly chunks.
Nerds that we are, Emily and I are loving it (which is probably the biggest reason I can’t believe it is already September). Sure, it can feel overwhelming at times, but we are just focusing on taking things one week, one day, one activity at a time. With all the fun we are having learning and integrating and speaking Spanish and trying to meet deadlines, I keep feeling the urge to blog almost constantly to share and record our memories. In lieu of writing an encyclopedic narrative, here are some of the highlights from our last few days of –ST, in mostly photographic form:
Our morning and afternoon were filled with Masaya adventures. We traveled to Volcan Masaya for two morning training sessions, followed by a trip to the crater. For a more detailed (and interesting) account of our adventures at the Volcan I suggest you check out the blog entry of a fellow trainee, Char. She even recounts a story about yours truly being a valiant gentleman on a crowded microbus.
After training, Emily and I ventured into the city of Masaya to the market to purchase cell phones. We’ve had sim cards for a week, which grant us unlimited conversation with all of the PC Nica crew, but we weren’t able to purchase cell phones because the local store was bought out of the cheapest model. It was a bummer not being able to communicate at all during the week. However on Saturday afternoon we were successful in our endeavor to buy phones, and found a model for $15 a piece! Great success!
Emily spent the weekend with me in my training town, and we enjoyed sharing our first cup of tea together in Nicaragua.
After that we headed to la finca for another full day of festivities with family!
Our third week started off with a bang, actually many bangs! September 1st was a day for the local school children to parade around the town in preparation for Nicaraguan Independence day on the 15th of September.
After the nine bands and countless students marched by the house in which we were having Spanish class, we got back down to business.
We also hosted our first youth group meeting, and had the youth help us create a map of their community to help us understand what places are most important to them.
I finished my afternoon with my first co-planning session with my English teacher training counterpart. We had a great session, and I’m excited to work with him in the future.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures. Stay tuned for more information as soon as Emily and I start co-teaching this week!