Friday, June 18, 2010

I´m HERE!!!

So, I made it here safe on the 15th! I am going to give a brief description of my warm welcoming and then describe the past few days. When I arrived in Managua, Nicaragua at the airport, the other leades were there waiting for me right outside of customs with a sign with my name on it! After another girl on my flight arrived we left for a bus to take us to San Jorge, Nicaragua (2.5 hours away). On the bus there were 4 volunteers from the U.S. and two from Nicaragua. So, to get to know each other we spoke both English and Spanish. When we finally arrived at the house there were more volunteers waiting for us. They all greeted us with hugs even though we had never met before, I could tell it was the right program for me!

There are about 15 of us living in a small house right now. We make up the leadership team for the programs in both Nicaragua and Costa Rica. About half of the volunteers are local, and half are from the U.S. So, everything we do is biligual, but the local people try to speak English and people like me try to speak Spanish as much as possible. I can tell already that my Spanish is improving because even when I am typing up this post, I am thinking in Spanish (or Spanglish I can't tell)and having to translate.

The house that we live in is very small in comparison to the houses in the U.S. There are four small bedrooms so there are about 3 or 4 people living in each room. There is one bathroom. We cook all of our meals in the small kitchen in the house, and spend most of our meetings on our patio. But, I am already learning that we do not need nearly as much as we think we need to survive in the States!

The town that we live in feel very safe. But, I definitely had and am still having culture shock. Some of the houses do not have floors, they are only dirt. Some of the houses do not have doors or windows. I woke up one morning to our neighbor slaughtering a pig (the pig was screaming). Chickens run through our yard and there are horses at our neighbors houses. Children use horse and carriages to get around. I could keepgoing, but it is very different! And, I{m loving it.

Because I am at theleadership training our days have been filled with meetings, but they are always fun! We dance a lot and tonight one of the locals are going to give us salsa and bachata lessons. Yesterday we went to Ometepe. It is the lake of Nicaragua (the second largest lake in North America I believe) and saw two tall volcanos.

Uh oh, I have to go, its time for dinner! I will write more later!

I am having a great time but miss you all SO MUCH!!!

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