Thursday, May 28, 2009

Round Two

My second visitor of the month is in Nicaragua right now, although my brother was the first to actually come visit me, my DC housemate Laura was the first person to buy tickets to come visit which we agree is equally special. She flew in Saturday and in her short time here so far we’ve enjoyed kayaking on the Lake of Nicaragua in Granada, judging an English song competition in Diriamba, and all the fun you can handle right here in my site. Despite the rains starting up again this week, not having water, and having the power go out she’s been a real trooper! In addition to Laura, my high school friend Roseanne and her husband Nic are enjoying an anniversary trip to Nicaragua this week so I’ve gotten to spend some time with them too.

Here’s Laura and me all ready to get our kayak on:

Our kayaking buddies, volunteer Liz and her friend Martha:

The Isletas, tiny islands left over from the last time Volcan Mombacho erupted:

Volunteer Sonia and Laura considering all the facts in judging the performers in the song competition:

Rosie & Nic, also at the song competition:

This kid sang Nirvana and got second place:

This girl won, but I can’t remember what song she sang:

Also, my foot is healing nicely. It was all swelled up for a while but it’s pretty much back to its normal size, the pain has gone down a lot, and I took out the one stitch so I’m feelin pretty good! But I’m still trying not to strain it too bad, hence the kayaking this weekend instead of hiking the volcano again.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Warning: Details about how I hurt myself to follow

In what can only be described as an epic display of awesomeness (and an event that rivals when I broke my baby toe), I impaled my right foot on a piece of rebar in the street Saturday night.

I was walking home late Saturday with my friend Bernd, a non-PC volunteer in my site, and in the dimly lit streets I managed to miss seeing a piece of concrete lying horizontally with rebar sticking out of it (rebar are the metal rods they use to reinforce concrete). Me, being the fast walker I am, took a step and as I swung my foot forward it contacted perfectly with the end of the rebar and it went straight into the top of my right foot! More shocking than the sudden pain was my realization that my foot was stuck in the rebar! I wasn’t really sure if Bernd had figured out what happened, but I thought to myself “ok, you have to pull your foot off. One… two… three…” Bernd says he still has a perfect image in his mind of me pulling my foot off the rebar.

Then it started bleeding so we started walking up to the centro de salud (health center) but thankfully a taxi drove past and we rode the rest of the way up. The nice ladies at the centro de salud cleaned up my foot, gave me one little stitch and a tetanus shot, and sent me on my way. As he helped me home, Bernd just kept saying “Jenny, that was completely unnecessary.”

I spent all day Sunday lying around in bed because I couldn’t even put weight on my right foot and Monday I headed up to Managua and got checked out and got x-rays. Nothing is broken but I think I was the most interesting thing in the medical office. The doc I was talking to left to get some stuff for me & another one wandered in to take a look and when the first one came back she was like ‘sorry about that, he just wanted to see your foot.’

But not to worry, the pain is lessening, I can move it more, and as long as it doesn’t get infected (I’m taking lots of antibiotics to prevent that) then I should be just fine!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Photo Highlights from Jonathan's Visit

My brother got to see a good chunk of Nicaragua - from my local schools to some nice spots around Managua to Volcan Mombacho and power outages in Granada - and I'm proud to say he never got sick and is safely back in the States.

First tastes of lobster at the local beach:

On the streets in Jinotepe - Gallo Mas Gallo sells electronics & furniture & such things, the name basically means "cock of the walk" but it translates directly as "the rooster more rooster":

Personally, Volcan Mombacho was my favorite part. I hadn't been there before, it was actually chilly up on the volcano and it was nice to be out in nature hiking around.

At the entrance:

Dianne on the trail:


Jonathan enjoying the cloud forest:

Me with the Lago de Nicaragua and Granada in the background:

Jonathan, back in Granada, in front of the cathedral & pointing out Volcan Mombacho:

And, here's a colorful stickshift in one of the buses that Jonathan took a liking to:

In conclusion, what's the deal with the weird monkey comments?? I will disallow anonymous comments if I must.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The rains came on Sunday....

and so did my brother!! He's my first official visitor and so far he hasn't died, gotten sick, or gotten into a machete fight so I think it's going pretty well. We haven't done much though either, this weekend we'll run around but for now I'm still working so we're just hanging around my site and I'm practicing my translator skills.

Here we are at the Plaza de la Revolucion in Managua:

And here's a photo he took yesterday of my laundry, you can see the dark, threatening skies in the background:

So the other news is that summer is now officially over and we have entered into winter since it's now started raining. And I'm happy to say that my roof is standing up to the test, it poured last night and no leaks!!! The start of winter is good because the rains provide a much-needed break from the incredible heat however it is badly timed with this whole Swine Flue Craziness that's going on because when it rains, the flies come out and the flies spread germs which means that we are also entering into flu season here. Nicaragua still hasn't had any confirmed cases and Peace Corps is taking necessary precautions such as restricting travel to Mexico and passing out masks and medication to use in case things take a turn for the worse, and emailing us like 10 times with the same information (wash your hands, etc etc).

This week marks my one year anniversary leaving home, joining the Peace Corps, and moving to Nicaragua. Today is the day I flew out of Minnesota last year and Thursday is my one year anniversary in-country. When I was struggling to get through training last year and staring down 26 months of service, I told myself that one day I would wake up and realize that I've been here for a year and wonder where the time went and that is exactly what's happening right now. Suddenly it's been a year, but it doesn't feel like a year's gone by, and my countdown is now at a more manageable 15 months which I don't doubt will go by very quickly.

So I guess I should thank all my family and friends for your support, love, packages, letters, emails, and everything over the past year. I've been overwhelmed and amazed at the amount of support I've received and am extremely grateful for it. I hope to see as many of you as possible when I finally come home for a visit in June to Minnesota and DC.