AND THATS WHERE THE BOOK ENDS!!! WHEN I TELL YOU I BROUGHT THE NEXT BOOK FASTER THAN I COULD ORDER MY BOWL FROM CHIPOTLE! Whew! This book was sooooooooo good! Right about now, Portia can have all my coins! Like whhhhhaaattt? Who thinks of this? This book has a twist so good your toes will crawl! It's neurotic, addictive, great writing with a great plot that's not completely centered on sex! MAN it is my strong recommendation that you read this! 5/5 stars. I haven't even finished the second book and I KNOW FOR A FACT I will be rereading this series. Don't procrastinate. Get to reading!
IST (in service training) is to encourage us, give us new information and clue us in for better curriculum for what we teach. Today, I think, was really productive. We got a board game and several other tools for financial education. I think I’ll be using them for a future workshop. We started later in the day, so I lead morning yoga to the group. It was so relaxing. Afterwards, I took a lovely walk on the beach with my friend. It was a reminder to find peace wherever I am.
The ocean is a great metaphor for life. Why? Because as easily as the tides comes in and goes out, so does life events. Things happening but nothing ever stops. All of it is dictated by God. He told the ocean you can only go this far and He knows the plans for me. Jeremiah 29:11 Standing there, while the sun set, reminding me to find balance and be centered. If I’m centered in who I am, the pressure inside will balance the pressure outside of me and I will not break.
I think it’s finally hitting me. They gave us a calendar of sorts showing the typical feelings volunteers have at different times of their service. For example: elation, excitement, nervous at the first month and tired or more emotional at the one year mark. I recall the graph showed the drastic decline of emotions at month four. Because training is over and you go to your site alone. My language level was low when training ended, so I went back to my training site. I also left to go to my site with other volunteers who had low levels. But I’m also quite self sufficient. Even in a group of volunteers, I tend to stick more to myself. I genuinely am ecstatic to be here and can’t imagine leaving. Still, I just spend a week in the hospital and honestly don’t feel 100% yet. I don’t realize how hard I was fighting. I was fighting to get well, to get out of the hospitals, o finally start working, to prove I’m not weak in the face of so many volunteers going home. I’m plain ole tired and I am also noticing I don’t do well outside of my site. I prefer being with my host family, working through the problems here and trying to work on my Spanish. I can see how “behind” I am and I hate the comparisons. This is my service, in my own unique site. There isn’t room for comparisons and comparisons breeds discontentment. I’m trying hard to encourage myself, despite all the emotional whiplash I’m feeling internally.
Today is the start of IST (in-service training). I’m at a beautiful hotel on the beach. God knew I needed a break. Although I’ll be in classes all day I am grateful for the opportunity to have a reprieve from work. I’m still recovering from the hospital spiel and I’m honestly tired. I want to rest but I feel like I’ve wasted so much time already. I want to work. I want to prove I’m working hard for the peace corps, not being sick in the hospital.
Nica 65 is dropping like flies. They told us the average is 5-6 people that leave. I didn’t want to believe it would be us. But statistics don’t lie. Two left during training. Two left the last two weeks for medical reasons and today another said this service isn’t for her. Jason (had other dreams), Aubrey (medically separated/didn’t make a good impression), Kate (medically separated), Tori (not a good fit) and Courtney was medically evacuated. She can (medically evacuated) still come back if she wants. Fingers crossed for that because including her were at our statistical minimum.
I am finally back in site! I cut it close but I managed to go get blood, talk about the results with my doctors, eat lunch with a friend, get hotel paperwork from peace corps and get to my house before dark. Three and a half hours worth of travel and today was a good day. My room was filthy, as I expected. My host mom was kind enough to sweep and change the linen for me. The way the ceilings are built, dirt continuously falls. Nicaraguan tradition is to sweep every day. It’s not for naught. Everyone was very excited to see me and glad I am now healthy. A week in English and I am blubbering like a fool. Reintegration needs to happen soon. Seriously, don’t use it, you lose it. Sigh… Makes it hard to be positive in my continuing it when I return to the states.
I am in love with the music of Nicaragua.
I don’t mean the murmurs of Enrique Iglesias or Marc Anthony.
I mean the sounds of rain on tin roofs, taxi horns that sound like police sirens and hundreds of vendors selling fruit, nuts, cookies, and hot chicken,
The random selling of DVDs and watches, the tire sounds on strange paved streets, the constant background static of Latina music and Spanish conversations,
Construction and actual birds chirping, mangoes falling from the trees,
Peace Corps stories and working dreams,
Boombahs and parades honoring catholic holidays,
The acidic smell of trash burning and sulfuric volcano smoke clouds.
Kisses blown by men on the street and the wind through palm trees,
The bright colors of buildings and graffiti on every wall,
The loud, monotone announcements coming from regular cars with gigantic speakers, driving around and the sign language of Nica gestures all their own,
The roar of motorcycles, the color pops of women in heels and men with shined shoes,
The architecture and the paintings,
The history dripping from every street,
The reverence for relationships and the way they treat me.
I am in love with the people.
The way they give you their undivided attention in everything they do and have no shame in anything,
The buses filled to absolutely zero standing or sitting room,
The public displays of affection,
The spoken English in clipped native tongues,
The American sing-offs,
The cultural dances and costumes,
The chisme (gossip), the community,
The hordes of blue and white uniforms at 5 pm,
The country that is Nicaragua and has welcomed me.
I fell in love.
Nights in hotels in Nicaragua are when I get homesick the most. It’s dark and I can close my eyes and just almost believe I’m home. My brain almost believes my mom is just on the other side of the door. Or that there will be a fully stocked kitchen down the hall. I just almost. It’s harder here. There’s A/C and hot water. There’s this amazingly soft bed with no mosquitera and wifi. There’s homesickness here. I hope I get back to site soon. My heart can’t take how much I miss my family here. In site, it’s easy to remember and focus on my work. There are always foreign sounds and gallo pinto. There is my mosquito net. But here, there’s nothing but silence at night. Silence snd the memories of the people I love. If I didn’t know without a shadow of doubt that this was my purpose, I’d leave. I love it here. I thank God I’m here and God willing, I’ll be back focus on work soon!
Finally showered! I almost did it with no help. Almost. I’ve tried moving around when I can, which isn’t often as I am chained to this IV bag. I can go the bathroom on my own and I’ve started eating real food. I think my stomach shrank. I can only do about two meals a day but it’s progress. I noticed my left arm was swollen with fluids and demanded the doctor come and approve them taking out the IV. Small battles with the war. He did and now I only IV in my other arm for antibiotics. Which frees me up to go to the bathroom and walk around without calling a nurse to unhook me first! They say I can leave as soon as I’m fever free for 24 hours. Let the games begin. I want out of here.