Spring is in the air

From 2011-07-23 7.23.11

So here I was, thinking that living on my own would give me some more free time. WRONG! I forget, living on your own means you are independent again. That means, yes, you get to choose when you wake up when you go to sleep, what  you eat and when you eat but it also means that you’re doing your grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning (duh).

And I seem to have a lot more visitors now that I live on my own (which is great)! So all in all, I’ve been pretty busy.

The great news is that I DO get to eat what I want. Man, oh man, I lucked out on site placement. The one thing I wanted from site was a safe, friendly place with vegetables (some sites only have onions at the general store). I have an entire organic farm and veggie stands that I can bike over to, see what looks good and make food out of. I buy directly from the farmers so it’s cheap, ridiculously fresh and delicious!

Eggs. Roosters are a pain in the ass at 4:30 in the morning but fresh eggs are delicious.

Bananas. I’m so glad I’ve come to like them. We went through a rough patch for the past 18 years of my life, but now I can say that I enjoy eating bananas again. They grow everywhere here. People have so many bananas, they don’t know what to do with them! So, sometimes they are free, when people are trying to get rid of a bunch that they have in their yard before the birds get them or they go bad, and when I do have to buy them they are 6 for 1,500 Gs ( roughly, 25-50 cents for 6).

Work update: I think whatever I’m doing is working. I stepped into first grade after coming back from winter break and the kids go: “YAYYYYY NICOOOOLLLEE!” It was the best welcome back I’ve gotten to work, EVER. Teachers are catching on that I get better participation (maybe just cause I’m weird and foreign but whatev) so they are starting to make didactic materials on their own (YAY) and I am meeting up with a special ed teacher next week from another school to make didactic materials with her. I have a math didactic material workshop planned for the end of the month, and a fourth school wants to plan a workshop for their teachers with me and another volunteer sometime soon.

I also think I’m going to stop giving English classes to the middle school kids. My contact has not showed up to one class all year when she was supposed to co-teach. I just came back from a teacher meeting where I realize that the time I spend doing that could probably be better spent working with teachers and students on literacy in Spanish, their own language.

House update: I did have vampire bats bunking with me but they seem to be gone. My host mom told me to kill them with a shovel but I couldn’t bring myself to do it when I looked up at them and realized that the poor little things were huddled there for warmth because it was so cold outside. Now that it’s warmed up, they are gone to suck on chicken, pig and cow blood at night like normal vampire bats instead of shivering on my porch. I still hear them chirping away at night sometimes but I think they’ve moved on to roosting in the mango trees.

Host family update: They are still awesome! I go over every Saturday morning to hang out, talk with my host sister, wash my laundry in their fancy semi-automatic washing machine (you still have to wring out and rinse by hand) and eat lunch at their place. I try to bring over food to trade for water. Banana bread or other baked goods. Tomorrow will be carrot cake I think! My host brother has started “building” me my own house in the backyard with mud and a pile of bricks for me to move into. Adorable.

All in all, I’m happy. I feel like I’m finding my way little by little.

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About Nicole FR

Just an old soul in limbo.
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