Friday, November 24, 2006

We´re now volunteers!


Hey and Happy Thanksgiving!

We have had a crazy last 2 weeks. We had the last of our training in Managua and then we swore in as volunteers. At our swearing in we got to shake the Ambassadors hand, and our host families were there and it was a pretty big deal. It was also at one of the fanciest hotels in Managua. Afterwards, we went on vacation to Granada for the weekend. The first night we were all tired so we went out to dinner and chilled at the hostel. The next day we went to the Isletas and basically went on a tour of the rich and famous of Granada. There are hundreds of these little islands and you get some dude on a boat to drive your around and look at the islands. There are some islands with restarants on them. It was pretty fun. That night we went to some fancy restaurant that was awesome and afterwards a cool bar where to danced and drank rum into the early morning hours. It was a great time. Then 5 of us had a slummer party in our room, because as always, Jeff and I get hooked up with the great rooms and while everyone else was staying in bunkbeds with 15 other people, we had our own private room and bathroom with 2 queen beds. So obviously, people were showering in our bathroom and staying in our room.

Anyways, afterwards we went back to Managua for a few days for the All Volunteer Conference and then Thanksgiving. The All Volunteer Conference is once a year where all volunteers in Nicaragua come to Managua and go to trainings for 2 days basically while staying at a super nice hotel with warm water and nice beds. The first night there was trivia and Jeff and 3 other guys ended up winning. The sports category was really hard but I think Jeff actually knew all of the answers as I´m sure that he has told you in emails. He was the only person that new the bonus question in the sports category. The second night there was a talent show and then following that, a dance party, obviously....

For Thanksgiving about 15 of us went to our APCD´s(boss) house for a vegetarian Thanksgiving, which was really good and we had a great time. Don´t knock the veggie Thanksgiving! We had all of the fixings and seriously it was really good. She is married to someone at the Embassy, so there house was awesome too. We arrived at our site today and will be here now for 2 years. However, when we got here our host family was not here, so we´re roaming around Chinandega right now waiting. But that is what has been new with us for the last 2 weeks. It was really sad leaving all of our new friends when you don´t know when you will see them again. But here we are, alone in a big city, and I guess we will make new friends! Will post pictures soon!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hooray for not being sick, and hooray for packages!

So the last week or so has been filled with many exciting events for us. Earlier on last week I was blessed with the gift of a bacterial infection in my stomach, which made me feel sick like I cant remember. I didnt know that i could throw up that much and have diarrhea at the same time! Luckily I was in contact with the Peace Corps doctor throughout the night. That night I also got to experience going to a Nicaraguan laboratory where they took my blood and a stool sample, they had to open for me. My mom was great and was with me the whole time and afterward she went to the town Jenny lives in to get the antibiotics and also to bring Jenny to me. I appreciated that a lot, although Im sure Jenny would have rather been sleeping then cleaning up after me all night.:) But then next day I got picked up and brought to Managua for more blood and stool sampling and i got to spend the night in an air conditioned hotel room with hot water! Which would have been great except for the fact that i felt horrible, I think Jenny got to enjoy it a little more than I did. But, I figure what is a better way to lose 5 to 10 lbs then to have a bacterial infection and not be able to eat for a day or so..right? A couple days after my sickness we had a very important day, Counterpart day. That is the day where we go to Managua and meet our counterparts and the directors of our school, and then at the end of the day we go up to our sites to visit for the week. Ours is about a 2 to 2 and half hour ride in a microbus. Luckily i got to ride backwards the whole time and and stare at some other guy... But overall the site visit went well, both of our counterparts were really nice and excited to work with us as were the directoras of the schools. Our house that we are staying at for the first 6 weeks there is very nice, we have our own door to our room and even have cable in the room. Im sure Jenny has already written some of this but Im too lazy to look over what shes written. I think for the first time in my life I got to experience riding on a bike with another person all around Chinandega, including downtown. I got to sit on the frame of the bike with my legs to the side and Jennys counterpart pedaled. Jenny was on the bike with the other teacher, and boy could these guys manuever through tight spots with us on the bike, we didnt fall once, which is more than would be said if Jenny and I would have shared a bike! So training is just about to wrap up, we go to Managua next weds. and get swore in Friday. After thanksgiving we are off to our sites permanently! in between swearing in an leaving for our site we have an all volunteer conference which is supposed to be a lot of fun and we get to go as a group to Granada for the weekend. Not too shabby a reward for all the work we have put in in training. Tommorrow we have our final language interview and i still need to move up one sub level, so Im hopeing for the best!

PS. we got like 7 or more packages yesterday, which was amazing... So thanks to Jennys mom, my mom, kara, Mike, and Laura.. i think thats everyone.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Where did Gilmore´s hair go?

So, I saw the Halloween pictures, thanks V, and thought, where did Gilmore´s hair go? Then I thought, are BJ and Tina dating? Why doesn´t anybody let me know about the cool stuff? Maybe Jeff knows and isn´t telling me. I don´t know, but would like some answers.

Speaking of hair, Jeff is thinking about buzzing his hair because A. he needs a haircut, and B. its really hot in Chinandega. What does everyone think?

Anyways, we are here, visiting our site for 4 days. The internet is way faster and the computers are WAY newer. Here are the top 10 reasons why I love Chinandega so far

10. The internet and computers are better, obviously.
9. We have our own room in our house with its own entrance! And keys!
8. We have our own bathroom
7. We have cable IN OUR BEDROOM
6. The water in the shower in the own private bathroom that I mentioned, it´s warm!
5. We live in a big city with everything you could want. Even a Subway. (sandwiches)
4. People don´t stare at us as much or shout crazy things at us, AS MUCH, because they´re kind of used to seeing gringos...but that doesn´t mean it never happans.
3. Our counterparts are cool AND speak English
2. We are close to the beach and volcanoes
1. The other volunteers in our site are really cool, the family that we live with is nice, and we now have a cell phone.

So it doesn´t really sound like we´re in the Peace Corps, I know. That´s what Jeff and I were thinking after our first night here. However, on our second day here we walked to Jeff´s school and through a neighborhood that made us remember, oh ya, we totally are. We could only go to the outside of my school because it is the headquarters for the upcoming elections. Nobody is allowed inside, so I will have to wait to see that until a later date.

So, yesterday my counterpart and another teacher picked us up at our house to show us around town. They each brought their bikes with them and told us it was too far to walk to we have to ride on the bikes while they pedaled, which is totally normal here. So it was more or less our first time meeting these people and we hoped on that middle post on the bike, and had one of my feet on the front peg and the other hanging off the same side, so I was sitting sideways, like how ladys used to ride horses a long time ago. These guys drove us all around the city like this, which was a pretty intimate way of getting to know someone! And hard work for them! My booty really hurts today though.

We are returning to our training sites tomorrow! If you would like our cell phone number to give us a call, let us know! Jenny