Before I write anything about Nicaragua, I have to share the highlight of all highlights. The other day I was talking to Jen and the kids. Anna got on the phone and said, "hi nette-nette!" and then Ross, in the background started saying "hi nette-nette, hi nette-nette, hi nette-nette!" We chatted it up for a while and then as we were getting off the phone Anna said, "I love you Nette-nette" and the Ross said, "love you nette-nette, love you nette-nette"...if that doesnt melt your heart I dont know what will:) For those of you who dont know, Ross has been keeping us waiting for some time to hear anything like that from him so this was such a big milestone in his life and mine:)
Anyway, seriously, I do love it here:) First of all, I am leaving tomorrow morning at 5:30 to go to the Ometepe Island...oh my! I am really excited and cant wait to share pictures/stories from the trip. Actually, I cant wait to share all my Nicaragua pictures on here...only a few more weeks...wait, that is sad to think about!
Anyway, yesterday afternoon I decided that I wanted to visit some pulperias. Pulperias are these TINY, TINY little Mom & Pop type stores that sell basic food/personal items. There are about 7-8,000 in Managua and in every neighborhood they are on every corner. I think they are absolutely adorable because they are such a sign of the culture here where everyone knows everyone (literally! This country is like Willcox!) and people are just so friendly and helpful to one another. Anyway, so yesterday I not only decided I needed to go visit them...I decided I needed to go right then...which meant by myself. I was completely confident that, given good directions, my newly acquired Espanol, Nica driving style, and my Toyota Yaris could get me safely to my destinations. However, when I talked to Carlos about it, he made a compromise with me that he would send me with someone who speaks only Spanish so I would still get good practice. Entonces, I went with another guy named Carlos who literally did not speak a word of English! It was really fun for me though and I think I probably understood about 60-70% of what he said...the only problem is whether or not I understood the right 60-70%:) I felt like I was really challenging my Espanol though, which made me feel good and it was fun going into the barrios and going to the little stores..talk about immersing myself in the culture:) And I think I am blending in more too...I mean, I'm sure they often see very pale skinned girls with light colored hair and blue eyes carrying a pen and pad of paper up to the pulperia, right? I am definitley working on that though...
Then at work today I was trying to figure out my plan for picking up Laura (friend from AZ who is coming to see me!!!) on Tuesday and I decided that I think I can drive to the airport by myself; it is about 30 minutes across town. So I sent Javier an email (in Spanish) and asked for directions...then one of the guys who doesnt work in the office but works for the company came in, and Javier told me to ask him for directions...keep in mind this guy (Paris) speaks NO English...none. Anyway, about 25 minutes and a full page map later, I had finally received directions that were clear in my mind...at least I hope...Laura, I might be a bit late....:)
Seriously, as I learn Spanish my English is going to pot...no joke. But at least I am learning Spanish! Right? I mean as long as I can communicate a little in 2 languages its alright if I am not proficient in both right?? Maybe not so much....I offer that as my disclaimer for any poor sentences or misspellings in this blog. But I am having so much fun learning Spanish, in all seriousness. It is a humbling experience to know that when you open your mouth you sound like ignorant, uneducated baffoon because your grammer stinks...but it really breaks the ice with people I think:) I think it is so fun to learn here just because people at work are sooo nice and so fun to learn from/with. I really, really love all the people at work but I told my friend Mariana today that I think she will get a lot more work done once I return to Arizona so I wont be here to bother her all the time:)
Oh, right now I am in the smelly Internet store and my favorite Spanish song is on the radio! And Coty, Beau, Kacy, Jamie, Jenn I thought of you all the other day at the grocery store because the song "Umbrella" by Rihanna was on....I could go for some Umbrella? :) I suppose that is all the excitement of the last 2 days, but I definitely plan on having more stories from Nicaragua very soon!
I am sending lots and lots of hugs to all of you and hoping that everyone is having a really, really good summer!