Wow, it is so hard to believe I am already wrapping up week #4 here in Nicaragua! Time flies when you are having fun....and when you are sweating. There are certain phrases that I have learned in Spanish just because they come up a lot in conversations. The title of this blog is a very, very important phrase for anyone in central America:)
Yesterday night I went with my friends Melisa and Ingrid to Masaya to the Festival Verbenas(sp?). The festival is held in a very well known enclosed market that has ALLL kinds of little shoppy-shop stands with tons of different handmade products that are very typical Nicaraguanese products. My purchases for the evening, for myself anyway, were a really nice handmade leather purse that was really inexpensive....and a little monkey holding a sign that says "Soy Nica", and the whole thing is made out of a coconut! I took into work today and everyone loooooved to see it sitting there on my desk:)
As we walked around and shopped, we enjoyed a bag of freshly sliced mango....I looooove this country! Then the show started and included a band that sang a few songs, and then a dance competition. All of the dances were Nicaraguan folklore dances. First of all, please know that during the whole show we were sitting in the audience looking at the stage and walking amongst us was a very, very, VERY scary dancing, Nica, clown that was jamming out and selling scary balloons and bouncing little dolls....he got a little too close to me one time and Ingrid thought I was going to leap out of my seat! Anyway, the dances were all really cool....until all of a sudden there was about 15 naked men on stage!!! Augh! It turned out that they were wearing a tiny little loin cloth...nude colored....oh my, Melisa, Ingrid, and I all three turned beet red I know! Then we went to TGI Fridays for supper and headed home....un beuno noche:)
Oh, perhaps the BEST part of the whole night was that as we were driving back to Managua I mentioned my favorite song that I have heard on the radio here...claro que si it is in Spanish. So then, we all just started belting it...from memory...in Spanish....how great is that?? Of course, they lasted many more stanzas than me, but Kacy, Coty, Beau, Jenn, and Jamie what is new about me not knowing the words? You know I kept singing:)
Today I went with Mariana who is a lady from the office, and one of the farm supervisors to visit the pollo farms. It is really interesting because they have about 25 farms altogether. About 20 of them are somewhat traditional and then the rest are what they call "tunnel" farms. The tunnel farms have controlled environment mechanisms and they control temp, water, feed, etc. They still have a problem with mortality rates though because during rainy season they can lower the temp, but they cant do anything about the humidity! Each of the galleras (barns) holds about 30,000 birds and the gallera we went into looked like an absolute sea of chicken nuggets to me:) At the more traditional farms, there is some automation but not as much and fans are their only means of controlling the temperature....it seems like technology from about 10 years ago, but apparently it is still working for them. I had a really good time with my friend Mariana today, she was an EXCELLENT translator and was really fun to hang out with.
It is REALLY interesting to see the affects of high oil prices here. Gasoline costs about $5 per gallon, which as a percentage of total income is HUGE for the average Nicaraguan, who earns $420 per month...that is AVERAGE, not minimum wage. (That might be different from what I posted before, but I am pretty sure that I trust the source on this one to be accurate.) Also, here in the pollo business they have really struggled with rising feed costs, and the embutido business has been affected as well, although the embutidos are an imported product from Guatemala and Costa Rica.
Oh, mi hermana Jennifer and the kiddos are in AZ right now and rumor has it that Ross has been quick to say Nette-Nette when he sees my room, etc....que bueno!! Also, Anna is not sure yet what she thinks about this, but her new nickname is Anna Platano...only she thinks it is Pappa-no:)
I am really excited to see what all the weekend holds, but I am sure it will be fun stuff:) I hope that everything is going well for all of you wherever you are!