There is much to report on. I met the other interns and the local FSD staff on last Sunday-ish in Masaya which is the artisan capital of Nicaragua. I hadn’t really expended too many thoughts about the other interns prior to our meeting and didn’t know if I should expect a friendship from them but at most I hoped they would be tolerable. As it turns out Karen and Rachel are both fantastic easy going interesting individuals and we’ve already planned our Semana Santa together. I am grateful that I am so lucky. Or maybe not. So far I can honestly say that I haven’t met one person I didn’t find interesting and perhaps that’s because it takes a similar like-minded individual to work or travel in a place like Nicaragua.
Orientation week (4 days) was filled with many lectures on Nicaragua both in Spanish and English in topics such as history, health, politics, culture, economics and sustainable development. I am not sure if I could pick a favorite lecture but I was amazed at how little I knew about the colorful culture and their infamous history. Politically its divided into the Sandinista’s (FSLN) and the Liberals (PLC), Im not sure yet where I stand or what each party intends to offer the Nicaraguense because every person is biased and both the parties are loaded with corruption.
Mi familia is large but I like it that way. Maria the matriach is strong woman with three living children, 2 died in accidents. One of her daughters, Marta, lives here with us and she has three daughters Anisa (20’s), Rosaura (20) and Gabriella (10) who also live with us. Anisa has 2 children Austin (10), Andrea (2) and Rosaura has one daughter Diana (3). There is also Maria’s husband Manuel (who I cant understand a single thing he says), Marta’s husband Renaldo and Anisa’s husband Walter. The men minus Manuel keep weird hours and I see them rarely. I suspect they might have other families since that’s a cultural norm but I’m not going to ask. I still cant figure out what Maria does for work, something about bartering down and buying products then reselling them but Im not so sure. Anisa I also don’t know much about because she doesn’t leave her house. Marta is a student of something and Rosaura will start school in May to major in Philosophy. We also have a Gallinero (hen house) with hens, ducks, chicks and ducklings. We only eat the eggs from the chickens and they eat both the ducks and chickens. We have 2 Chocoyos (parrots) that never shut-up and one german shephard-ish Oso. Dogs here are nothing like they are in the US. Strictly utilitarian to guard the property at night, never played with and rarely allowed to roam around the property during the day. Its very weird to not be able to pet a dog when they are in your house.
In a family this large there is not much down time. I rarely have a moment to myself but Ive been enjoying it. If I’m not playing with Andrita or Dianita on the patio then Im in the street with Gabriella and Austin and a slew of other neighborhood children (Luisa, Merlin, Nelly, Bernie, Enrique) or Im sitting on the porch in the rocking chairs with Maria, Marta and Rosaura just talking.
That’s the latest. I started work today but I will report on that in my next post. Once again go to facebook for pics.