I’m sorry for the long delay in entries, but I can explain…I was extremely busy preparing for the (falsely) predicted end of the world. I was stocking up on rice and beans and instant coffee…wait….no that’s just the normal diet here.
The holiday season is always a busy time, well for you guys in the
, so I was
just thinking of you. I didn’t want to burden you with the task of reading
about my life here in US .
I really don’t have an excuse, but I can provide you all with an update for the last two months. First of all, I hope you all had a happy holiday season and Happy 2013! Let the countdown to my return begin.
Let’s see, Thanksgiving was non-eventful for me, but it was a time filled with drooling and dreams of all the delicious food that I missed. Good news: I will be back in time for Thanksgiving and will be sure to make up for the two lost years.
The beginning of December was very busy. The school year ended and the 6th grade graduations took place. I was so proud of all my students that graduated and am very excited to know that the majority of them will continue their studies this next year. The graduation ceremonies were quite the to-do. I felt kind of like a celebrity. After the ceremony, everyone wanted their picture with me and invited me to their house to eat. I can’t really complain about free food and photo-ops.
At one of my schools I was just part of the audience and photographer. I could handle that, so the next day I was expecting the same duties; not at all! This time around I was a VIP and sitting on a panel with other VIPs and handing out diplomas. If that wasn’t enough to end the ceremony the head VIP (delegate of the office of education for my community) said a few words of congratulations to the graduates and included how I traveled more than thousands of kilometers to come here to Nicaragua to help all the students and appreciation for my work. It was very nice of him and everyone appreciates notice of their good work, but in the moment I was mortified. And all of you know how I show pretty much every emotion on my face and how I tend to turn red when I’m embarrassed, well I can only imagine the shade of red I was wearing while everyone was applauding and snapping photos. I appreciated feeling like a celebrity for the 2 hours both days, but in reality I could never handle the limelight.
La Purisima was the next stop on the calendar. I believe I mentioned this last year at this time, but a bit of a refresher. It’s a celebration of the Virgin Mary and conception. I find the easiest way to describe it as trick-or-treating but for the Virgin Mary. The kids all go around to various houses singing songs about Mary and they receive oranges, sugar cane, candy and Chi-Cha (a drink I try to avoid. It’s the color of Pepto-Bismol and made of corn, clove and other spices, not my favorite). Last year, I participated and maybe was just so overwhelmed I didn’t really notice; but this year I’m hip to the game and was more observant. I went to the one in my neighborhood and was kind of scared. Adults were pushing and shoving to get a Tupper-ware bowl with an orange and some candies inside it. Let’s be honest I could have easily taken one if I wanted (it’s like Shaq in a see of normal sized people), but I politely stepped aside. I didn’t really care that much about the treats. But, my neighbors stuck up for me and fought their way to obtain an extra one just for me. YAY! I still won without the fight.
The holiday season is time for a ton of towns to have rodeos. I’m not a huge fan of the rodeo and feel like once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all; but I continue to get invited and go. Again, I’m hip to the game and am able to make some keen observations instead of just being in awe and/or horror of events. I sat and watched the on-goings of the rodeo: abundance of beer and beer advertisements, drunkenness that just progresses with each hour, loud music, the obvious men riding/attempting to ride bulls. I look at it and say no thank you to the whole environment, but then imagine what Nicaraguans would think if I took them to a college football game. Really the only difference is there are not bulls. Why I do I say no, thank you to going to rodeos, but yes, please to going to say a Wisconsin Badger game?! I’ll continue to ponder this.
Christmas came and went without really anything to share. The New Year came and went without really anything to share either. Both occasions, I celebrated with the same group of friends and two pigs were slaughtered for the events. Santa didn’t find me here and I didn’t even stay up until midnight to welcome 2013. Again, next year I’ll celebrate in style.
I’m waiting to see what 2013 has in store for me; hopefully some more funny stories to share, lessons to be learned, memories to be made and best of all my return to the