Monday, August 9, 2010

Penultima week

Washing clothes for the last time over concrete.

Noticing crazy news about the U.S.

Eating dinner.

Hanging out.

Sunset on the Island.

Flowers at the monastery.

Walking down to the lake.

Alvaro and I enjoying a mango.

Scarlet making her drawing.

Playing a game at the self-esteem workshop.

Aura, the psychologist, talking to everyone.

Carmen and Leyla.

Playing in the park.

Printmaking fun!

***** I know I am posting this a bit belated, but internet has been a big issue lately. Along with virus infested USB sticks. I wrote this last week and posting it now. Thanks for understanding.*********

Whoa! Things are wrapping up quickly here; it has been a surreal past couple of days. The knowledge of my soon departure, the last weekend at a beach for quite a while, my last hugs from the kids is a lot, but oddly I am not overwhelmed. I find it quite ironic that upon coming here I was terrified, speechless almost. Now, I am comfortable and quite embarrassed at my freak out moments of the past. Well, now is not the time to reflect on that. The past days I have been organizing and coordinating my little classroom for Marijke, writing little notes of appreciation, and preparing for a piñata party on Thursday.

Self-love workshop

Now I know when my brothers read this they will roll their eyes, but last week Carmen, Angela, Aura (the psychologist), and I organized a little self-esteem workshop for the older girls on Friday because there was no school. From the mouths of 15-18 year olds it is not uncommon to find a girl who is not so excited about the way they look, how they are often confused and emotional, and tend to build their world around pleasing other people. Here at NPH is it no anomaly to encounter such qualities. So, we had a question/answer session with the nurse and the psychologist. We played some fun get-together games, and in the end we drank some pop and took some pictures to celebrate how awesome they all are. An overall success as the girls seemed very content and most expressed thanks to have time away from the little girls and talk about some supposed taboo topics.

Printmaking with pequeños

The past couple of weeks I have been motivated to finally make some art. In my burst of artistic impulse I thought why not teach some of my students? So, little by little over the past week I have been showing off how to make a viscosity print. The kids LOVE the hand roller used to roll out the ink. I have been very excited about the results and to see a kid’s face when you pull up the print is awesome. Every time they grow a smile. I have some wonderful volcano and bird prints now and I plan to use them somehow when I get home in some way.

Adios San Juan del Sur

For our last descanso/break Ryan and I again went to San Juan del Sur. It is really the easiest place to like here in Nicaragua for me. A tranquil town, cheap prices and not much not to like is always in order. We splurged on dinner one night in the lovely restaurant, El Colibrí, complete with a glass of wine and swordfish with lemon butter and capers. We reflected on how fast and slow time has went and how thankful we were to be there and going home. I only wish we knew about it before. We went to the beach, Playa Maderas, soaked in some sun, and were able to hang out with Katerine and Marie too. We especially had fun teaching some of our European counterparts how to play beer pong!

We did experience, unfortunately, our first robbery at the beach. Ryan, has affectionately earned the nickname Mr. Security from me. He is diligent and thoughtful in taking care of all the valuables we bring. It is not that I am not; it is just he can be a little overboard. Well, at the quiet beach we let our guard down. It all started when Ryan went into the water for a bit while I read my book. He was there for quite some time. He came out exhausted from the very strong currents and washing machine waves. Later we decided to order some food from the nearby stand. All of a sudden though, when Ryan went to pay he realized that the 50$ worth of cordobas he had “securely” in his bathing suit pocket was gone! Now something about Nicaraguan money that is unique is that it is plastic. You can get it wet, fold it a thousand times and its brand new. So, Ryan went into the water with the moolah and well, in the end we got snookered by Old Man Sea as he was able to wrestle that money from his back pocket. Ryan then spent half an hour searching the beach and I held back the laughter at the irony of the situation. We have spent many traveling hours avoiding losing money and here we are just throwing it in the ocean. Luckily, I had some cash to cover us so we didn’t have to stay at the beach forever.

Anyway, we left San Juan after a wonderful weekend and I hope I have the opportunity to visit again.

Piñata preparation

On Thursday Carmen, who is leaving a couple of days after us, Ryan and I are organizing a little fiesta with piñatas and a grand game of limbo for all the kids as sort of a celebration and thanks for letting us be in their home. I have the piñatas stored in my room and every time I enter I see a red dog, a chicken, a pig and some sort of unidentified animal and it scares me before I turn the lights on. We bought the candy to stuff them and it should be quite fun. I am sure we will get some good pictures.

Moving right along

I have also been making a little manual and writing reports for the new teacher. I hope they help her transition a bit better than I did. It has been interesting and good to realize how many details and nuances I feel completed to share with her about the kids, NPH, and how to make things work. It has felt good to feel like I accomplished something and putting it on paper. I will continue to organized and attempt to get things compact as I can for the journey home. It is quite amazing what one accumulates in a short time. I plan on writing a couple of more entries once I am in the US with many pictures. Until then, amor y abrazos.

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