Monthly Archives: August 2015

Day 154- 159

Sunday, I rested. 
Tuesday, I went to Managua for health check up and despite my cries they did not process my blood until late Wednesday morning, causing me to miss my Wednesday class. Thankfully, I received a beautiful health report. My anemia seems to be gone and my parasite seems to be dead.. I still don’t feel 100%. I crashed Nica 62 COS (close of service) party and it was great to see people celebrating two years of truly worthwhile service! They were getting down! I could see the difference between our party as newbies and theirs as old heads happy to have made it. I also saw a robbery while we were sitting at a light. A woman was sitting in her car, with the window down and I presume talking on the phone. A man reached into her window, fought her phone out of her hands, ran to the opposite lane of traffic, hopped on the bike of his friend and they zoomed away. It happened in less than 2 minutes and I was not as shocked as I thought. #typicalManagua 
Wednesday, exhaustion. I hate traveling. Three and a half hours of hotness and trying to sleep without falling out your aisle chair.
Thursday, my first day teaching in this new city. I got their two hours early because that was the only bus out there. I The class started late. The students decided they would also show up late. The teacher ended up not teaching at all, their was a college representative asking questions about the students future. I observed nothing except their was no bus to take me back home, unless I wanted to take a thirty minute walk by myself on a dirt road to another bus stop.. Thankfully, my boss had a meeting and afterwards invited me to ride in the back of a truck with 6 other Nicaraguans. My transportation to this city is a serious safety concern. 
Friday, another first of class in another city. I was quite incensed that there was no bus to take me there. I definitely was not going to walk and all the taxis wanted to charge me more than it takes me to travel to Managua! Perpostours. I talked to a friend and got there for 20 cords cheaper, but transportation will definitely be an issue to this city as well.  I didn’t have this class last week because of TEPCE. It went how I thought it would because this teacher is very confident and out spoken. Despite my continual efforts to ensure her I am here to observe, she continued to include me in the discussion. With her insistence, I’ll be fluent in Spanish before I know it. -_- Also, I had to wait an hour for a bus to come and take me back home. All in all, I’m still hopeful for the future 

Cultural Lesson: Pitaya 

And now it’s time for cultural lesson with Nae. The part of the blog, where Nae points out a cultural lesson… 
According to here are the Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit:
Dragon Fruit Cholesterol
Keeping a heart healthy low cholesterol diet? Don’t worry about your cholesterol Dragon fruit cholesterol is not an issue. Dragon fruit is both low in cholesterol and has little to no unhealthy cholesterol producing fats (certain fats which are metabolized to cholesterol contribute to increased cholesterol levels more than even cholesterol itself in food sources of cholesterol). 

Dragon Fruit Vitamin C
The amount of vitamin C in dragon fruit is high, and because the dragon fruit is a natural fruit providing you with a rich balance of nutrients coming along with the vitamin C, you absorb the Vitamin C in dragon fruit efficiently when you eat dragon fruit as part of your fruit healthy diet. 

Dragon Fruit Antioxidants
Eat dragon fruit as a good natural source of anti-oxidants which help to prevent the dangers of free radicals which can cause cancer and other undesirable health detriments.The number, quantity, and variety of antioxidants in real foods like dragon fruit is completely unmatched by any food supplement or pills – even those claiming to have ‘antioxidant’ health benefits. Nothing compares to the rich array of nutrients and antioxidants in a real natural food like the dragon fruit. Forget about junk foods and processed foods, as they are poison not foods! Even though a supplement claiming to offer a high amount of antioxidant benefits may sound good, the fact is that foods like dragon fruit have literally thousands of varieties of antioxidant substances and the supplement likely will contain only one (e.g. vitamin E supplements). Taking a single megadose of a single antioxidant compound may in fact cause harm or be toxic! Stick with dragon fruit antioxidant sources and other fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid trying to take a shortcut through a pill. 

Dragon Fruit Fats
Dragon fruit does have a small amount of fats because there are so many seeds in the edible part of the fruit. There can be literally thousands of the small black seeds in any given dragon fruit, and like most seeds and nuts they have both fats and protein in them while the flesh of the fruit itself has virtually none. Many fruits we eat have the seeds removed, like apricots, peaches, apples and the like, so we tend to think of fruits as being completely fat and protein free. It would be literally impossible to remove the seeds from dragon fruit unless you pressed it through a strainer, as the seeds are very small and mixed evenly in the flesh. Fortunately these are mostly the healthy mono-unsaturated fats as, of course, they are not processed in any way and therefore are none of the dangerously unhealthy trans-fats seen in most junk food and processed foods. 

Dragon Fruit Fiber
Dietary fiber is an important nutrition factor for everyone from young to old, and the best way to get dietary fiber is to eat fruits and vegetables including fruits like the dragon fruit. As you might expect, like many fruits, dragon fruit has lots of dietary fiber with almost 1g of fiber per 100g of the fresh dragon fruit. Of course, the amount of dietary fiber in dragon fruit which is dried on a gram for gram basis is much higher than the amount of dietary fiber in dragon fruit as the fresh fruit. Depending upon the degree of moisture retention in the dried dragon fruit fruit, expect to see 10g or more grams of dietary dragon fruit fiber per 100g of the dried pitahaya fruit. The amount of dietary dragon fruit fiber in the fresh dragon fruit will be more on the order of 1g of fiber per 100g of the fresh dragon fruit because the fresh fruit has so much water in it. If you want to increase how much fiber is in dragon fruit, you can eat more of the dragon fruit skin if it is in good condition (free of any spoilage or molds). Many sources of dried dragon fruit fiber may include some or all of the dragon fruit skin already, so depending upon this fact, you may find that the dried dragon fruit has even more fiber than the fresh fruit even after taking into account the drying process and the resulting concentration of fiber on a gram for gram basis. The health benefits of dragon fruit fiber are just one other example of the reason that eating natural sources of nutrients is superior to getting them from pills and supplements Dragon fruit nutritional benefits also include the levels of dragon fruit antioxidants – the antioxidants in dragon fruit are numerous and varied.

Day 152

I am tired.. but surprisingly, not as sore as I thought. I know that tomorrow I will be. Without a shadow of a doubt, I will be. I am traveling to Matagalpa, Matagalpa to meet two of my lovely friends to celebrate their birthdays. One was the week before and the other will be next week. This cross is relatively new, within the last I think ten years. It’s solar powered and shines at night as well. The hike takes you up the mountain, leading only by a trail of rocks. You also pass several Nicaraguan hut houses. It can be dangerous if you don’t speak the language or look like you have things of value. There has been stories or robbery but ultimately, I had a great time with my friends! After the hike, we toured the city. I had the best burger ever.. and that’s saying something because no offense Nicaraguans don’t know how to make an American burger, at the Restaurant called Happy California. The owner was born in Nicaragua, left because of the war, lived about forty years in California and then returned to start this restaurant. They just celebrated their own year anniversary for opening on July 4th. I WILL be eating there again. For dinner, we baked homemade pizza. We had movie night and frankly, felt less alone in this Nica world. A two day trip worth having. 

Day 151

Day 151

TEPCE is a grand affair. All the teachers of all the surrounding schools come together every last Friday of the month and plan their teachings and programs for the following month. They separate by preschool, primary, and secondary school then by subjects to plan. It’s usual from 8am to 1 pm. I’ve never seen anything like this. I wonder do teachers in the states plan this way. Every month? With specific guidelines to teach and goals to meet? I have questions. Also, it was a  lot like an after school meet up in high school. Teachers were sitting in cliques, cracking jokes in the back; the camaraderie of working every last Friday for many hours has brought them together. After all this and my brain hurt I was semi-kidnapped. I thought my family was taking me on a tour of my town. Nope. They took me on a hike, through a steep jungle to see a cave/black stone. I was completely unprepared for this and I’m sad I didn’t understand. My work clothes got dirt. BUT THERE WAS SOME EPIC FAMILY BONDING THAT COMMENCED! 

Day 150

My teacher texts me at four in the morning to cancel class. Which was just fine by me. This parasite makes me a little to bubbly for long bus rides anyway. I slept in, which really means I got up at 7 instead of 6 am. I practiced for the GRE. I told my mom how I cook broccoli – pause in the story for quick back story. Broccoli is not sold in the little stores in my town and considered a little luxury. So I bought a huge stalk for my family. Every month, when I pay rent, I also give something to my family. Consorting I don’t cook and they ate very accommodating, it’s the least I can do. This month I brought broccoli, white onions, zucchini (also luxury) and a huge pack of matches. We use matches every time we want to cook on the gas stove. Needless to say, she was very grateful. – unpause- so lunch was great! I had to take a picture to savor the moment

Later, I baked cookies!! (While Megan baked banana bread!) I’ve been craving some and know that a volunteer built her family an oven to use. Making it was an experience, because the volunteers family didn’t know what chocolate chip cookies were. They were intrigued by how I was preparing it. Once backed, I shared the magic of fresh and warm cookies. They loved them. Considering I plan to bake a lot, they told me to pay in small tries of my goods. I also let my family try it. It warned my heart to see they not only enjoyed it but did the math and told my host sister she should make the cookies and sell them. She wants me to teach her the next time I bake them. I told them as soon as I learn how, I’m going to build them an outside oven. There is something magical about sharing a piece of my culture. There are no words to explain the first time you eat a chocolate chip cookie.