The end of the school year is quickly approaching and I’m preparing myself for the “summer” vacation. Only a month left of classes and then it’ll be a lot of time for me to spend with Rupert, maybe I’ll train her to do some pretty awesome tricks. The weather is getting chilly here, although not comparable to the Midwestern winters I’m cold enough to wear a fleece – and you’re probably rolling your eyes because it’s a low in the 50s or 60s. It’s orange season; so instead of an apple for the teacher, my students have been giving me enough oranges that my vitamin C levels are sufficient. I do like oranges, but I’m waiting for mangos and avocados to come back into season.
My 6th grade students are learning to sing “Imagine” by John Lennon in English and Spanish for their graduation. I’m very excited because it’s coming along very well. They should be prepared for their first year in high school, with a little advantage of this year of English.
I’m already dreaming about the Thanksgiving food that I’ll be missing again. I’m really craving pumpkin anything right now; pie, muffin, latte. I’m torturing myself, which is leading to my compulsive eating disorder. I recently received a couple of packages from my Grandma (thank you so much!) and they had some little snacks. Note: I normally share everything; I even brought back with me nearly 10 pounds of candy to share with my students, neighbors, anyone who comes to my house. But, over time I’ve missed things from home more and more, and noticed that they like the candy, but don’t appreciate it like I do. Obviously, they’re going to like it, the candy here sucks…it is all hard candy filled with gum, and it’s not good. I love it and it brings me happiness; therefore, I hide it. It’s not that I’m greedy, but if they see it, then I have to give it to them and then they tell their friends and then it’s gone. So I hid the snacks that I got in the packages and then ate it until it was gone. For example, one day all I ate was Goldfish and Starbursts; then the next day, cashews and Goldfish and on and on until my supplies were depleted. Hindsight is 20/20, I probably shouldn’t have done that, I could have shown some self-discipline and spread it out a bit more maybe even shared a little, but will I repeat this with my next shipment….probably! Hey, at least it’s junk food and not drugs that I’m talking about. And, can you blame me?! My diet pretty much consists of rice, beans and tortilla.
Finally, this year has gone by so quickly I can hardly believe it. I’ve learned a lot and considering how fast it’s gone by I’ve created a list of some things I still need to accomplish or not….
Talents that I’ve learned during my year:
- Cooking. I can make arroz, the Nicaraguan way; gallo pinto, tajadas, maduros, chilero…
- Speaking Spanish – much better than when I arrived, but still quite a few errors are made
- Learning to listen and tell when the bus is coming before seeing it
- Hand washing my clothes
- Using a machete
- Making arts and crafts from trash
- Slowing down my life and accepting a lot of down time to lay in my hammock
- Tasting the difference between Pepsi and Coca Cola and preferring Coca Cola
- Drinking Tona, (beer)
Traits of Nicaraguans I have yet to learn:
- Speaking Spanish perfectly
- Saying “tuani” (cool) and having the conversation continue without laughter
- Predicting the arrival of rain with near 100% accuracy
- Whistling and creating a system of call and response whistles with my friends and family
- “Painting” my face with more makeup than I would wear in a whole year
- Dancing (my Norwegian ancestry didn’t really help with the dance/rhythm department)
- Being able to eat rice, beans, tortilla and cuajada daily without complaining
- Finding rodents and reptiles in/around my house without fear/screaming/crying
- Drinking Rojita (soda)
Obviously, there’s more, but these are the easiest to express into words and some of the least pressing matters to deal with.