Skip to content

we’re still here

July 9, 2011

we only have a week and four days left! i’m definitely counting. the time is really flying by now, and i will be soooo sad to leave although of course excited to see friends, family, and good beer again. in no particular order. 🙂 but really, other than missing people tons and a few of the simple pleasures from home, being here has been wonderful and it will be hard to leave.
a few highlights from the last week…ruby alice and i went to the beach last sunday with other students from la mariposa and it was super fun. i played soccer on the beach, with a danish schoolteacher, two high school kids from d.c, and a gaggle of boys on the beach. it was awesome, and even though i sprained my big toe (barefoot, you know…) it was not only worth it but probably the most fun i had all week!
our homestay dad, danilo, is really interesting, and politically active, and has been telling alice and me stories of nicaraguan history in his lifetime. how there was no public school when he was a kid, so his parents had to choose which of his brothers and sisters they could afford to send to school…how he had to run to and from high school to evade the national guard because his father was known to be opposed to the somoza dictatorship…how the first time he got a pair of shoes was when he was 18…how after graduating and getting his teachers license in 1978 he couldn’t find a job in any school because he was a sandinista…the unforgettable joy of the 19th of july in 1979, “el dia de alegria,” when the somoza dictatorship finally fell to the sandinistas, who established for the first time a free public health system and free public schools, and the literacy rate rose from 50% to 87% in those first following years…and about the u.s. invasion, and how awful it was, but also about the volunteers coming from all around the world to help…the hurricane in 1998, and how it rained for 15 days straight and they only ate fruit from their fruit trees because the highways were shut down for 8 days…and his current hopes for sandinista daniel ortega’s reelection this fall.
and finally, it was my last day at the clinic yesterday! i’m so excited and was sad to say goodbye to everyone there at the same time. i know i got a ton more out of the experience than i gave…which is to say that, somehow, i think on monday they’ll find a way to go on without me. of course for me, selfishly speaking–for spanish, nicaraguan culture, public health, and basic technical nursing skills–it was an awesome crash course. i mean, i know i did my best, and i’d like to think that i contributed in some small yet meaningful ways in these past 6 or 7 weeks. i had a lot of really nice interactions with patients, and i know there were some times where my being there helped things move along at least a little more quickly for patients and staff alike. of course, there were at least as many times that the nurses took extra time for me, going out of their way to teach me things, when they didn’t have to. but it felt really nice saying goodbyes yesterday to everyone; even if for them it was a wash having me as a volunteer, it was pretty clear to me yesterday–if it hadn’t been before–that most of the staff liked me pretty well and had enjoyed having me around. it was almost lunch time, and one of the administrators, who was way up in an orange tree as i was walking out (while one of the doctors was picking goiabas out of a nearby tree–i’m serious–i love it here!!!), started throwing oranges down to me for my “despedida.” even the sometimes-brusque director of nursing, after we had said goodbye, ran out again to the clinic doorway to whistle and wave goodbye emphatically one more time as i was walking down the road.
but i’m excited too…because for the last week i’m going to be doing some different volunteering, working with some people in the community who really want to practice their english. including a doctor, a woman around my age who lives in town, a good friend of one of my favorite teachers here. also, some of the teachers here at la mariposa speak some english, but are desperate for more structured, focused practice. because my spanish instructors have been amazing here, and a lot of them even after only these few weeks already feel like friends, and i’m really looking forward to having the chance to give a little back to them! then the next week, we’ve got monday, then tuesday july 19 is a national holiday, and wednesday morning we take off. in many ways, too soon!

From → Uncategorized

  1. The history lesson about Nicaragua from a man who has lived it was so very interesting and inspiring. You have been so blessed to have had this experience. I had lunch with Regina yesterday. She is looking forward to being there with you and the girls. It certainly sounds like all is well. I will be going to Terra’s photography open house at Common Roots tonight.

  2. thanks ma! tell terra and everyone i say hi! love you

  3. Brenda Rathai permalink

    Hi There:

    Have enjoyed the trip and looking forward to seeing you when you return. Be safe and see you soon, Brenda

  4. Katrina Croft permalink

    Thanks for posting again! I love reading your blog. Glad to hear everything is going great!

  5. Your first beer and as many more as you’d like are on me!! Surly, Lift Bridge, Furthermore, whatever you want!

  6. anya permalink

    Hope you enjoy your last days there! It sounds like they should be pretty exciting and you will have quite the send off. Miss you and can’t wait to see you soon! Hugs & kisses from me & Owen

    • thanks lady. can’t wait to see you too! and owen. who i assume is a grown man by now. xo!

Leave a Reply to betsy Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: