After a long 15 hours of traveling I arrived at La Mariposa Sunday afternoon. La Mariposa is a spanish school located near San Juan de La Concepcion, Nicaragua. While I am here I am staying with a host family, volunteering at a primary school in the morning, and taking spanish classes in the afternoons. While I am only three days in, my days have been long and full of spanish, great people, and many smiles. My host family, the teacher I am working with, and my spanish teachers have been very welcoming and are helping me improve my spanish and begin to know the people of Nicaragua. What to tell you all about…I will start with my home stay. I am staying with Nila and Chico Alama Lopez, two of their four children, a son in law, two grandchildren, six chickens, three dogs, one cat, and back yard full of fruit trees. Dona Nila and Don Chico have a very large family and have welcomed me into their house with open arms. They have a very interesting story and I am just now beginning to understand the complexities behind it. Things in the house are very different than the US, the most noticeable is how most of my house, minus the actual bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen, are outside. The weather here permits much of life to be lived outdoors. There are only two seasons in Nicaragua, Inverano and Verano, the wet season and the dry season. It is currently the dry season and the average temperature where I am at does not exceed 70 degree but with the strong wind feels like a nice 60. However, El Limon where I am going is suppose to be much hotter because it is further south.
A day in the life!
Each morning I have been waking up at 6 and doing a short yoga practice. At 7 I have breakfast which consists of fruit, eggs, gallopintos (rice and beans), platanoes (fried or baked plantains), and coffee. During breakfast I get to talk to my host mom Dona Nila. At 7:30-7:45 I leave the house and walk or catch a microbus (a van packed with people) to Rube Dario (the school I am volunteering at). At 11 or 11:30 I walk from the school to my spanish school (La Mariposa) which is about a 30 min walk through the town of san juan. Lunch at La Mariposa lasts from noon to 1 and consists of more rice and beans, salad, vegetables, and fresh juice. After lunch I have two hours of conversation with Miguel. During our time together we usual go on walks (caminattas) to La concepcion (the town up the hill) or around san juan (the town below the school). After my two hours with Miguel I have two hours of grammar lessons with Marvin. After spanish lessons the other interns for Casa Verde and I gather around one of the tables and catch up on the day. These gatherings started accidentally and have now become habit. Around 6 I walk back to my host family house and eat dinner with my host family. After dinner I spend time playing with Nila’s grandkids, playing pool, or talking to Nila about Nicaragua and the community. I usually head to bed around 8:30 or 9 and read for a half hour or so. I wake up a few times during the night because of all the new noises that surround my casaita. These moments have been the highlights and staples of my day and life so far in Nicaragua.
My first meal in Nicaragua
Patio at La Mariposa
A new friend
Outside of the school I am working at
Some of my students
The view of the valley where San Juan (Where I am living)