Saturday, May 30, 2009

Look how cute my hair is from behind and how wet Brad is from behind!!!

happy mothers day

Julio's Amazing Lunch! Rico!

Today is mothers day in Nicaragua. They love their mothers and so do we. Love to all you moms out there. Today Brad and Thalia worked hard on mixing the Oputunity International video, Julio worked hard at making the best lunch ever, Lynn did everything in between, and I worked hard at floating in the pool with one leg in and the cast out. Leg hurts more today and I am knocked out tired. Lots of hobbling to my next place to sleep. So happy with our new casa! I might have a new dog :) Well I guess it is time to remove my bathing suit put on pjs and convince Brad he wants to go on an adventure to find us water but more importantly eskimo ice cream bars, yummy! 9 days left with the cast, 9 days till freedom. Maybe less if I can convince the doctor and believe me I am going to try!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

on the street!

long day

Not broken but I have torn ligaments and with that comes a cast and lots of pain. Plus the pain of trying to get around. But a cane is being carved for me tonight and can be picked up tomorrow at noon. That should help! The hospital adventure was amazing, my doctor was sweet, Lynn was the best fill in mom, translator, secretary and friend ever!! More Nicarguans talked to me today then in the whole week and half before the cast. I guess I am hard to miss as a silly white girl with an even sillier white cast that has a wooden heel on it!!! Watch out ladies I have the next new fashion!

Dios mio.

Tenemos una casa nueva.  
We have a new house.
First of all, there's a pool.  

And a mango tree.

La cocina.  
My bedroom.

View of our yard from my balcony.

Speaking of life's not fair: Our dear Amanda is in the hospital right now with an injured foot.  Let's all hope and pray it isn't broken. 

At least we now have a luxurious house, and a firewire cable.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The operating hospital in Granada till 1987
Ok so that was yesterday, today was crazy… we found a new place to live, it is amazing as I now type from my new room with wireless, we have a pool! Pictures will come as soon as I can walk. See in the process of moving to this great new space that is down a long not so great dirt road but that is a different story. So it was raining and I had everything own on my back in my arms, wearing flip flops and slipped off the curb twisting the ankle I broke 5 years ago in Italy! So everyone cross your fingers because 2 Italian screws is all I need I would rather just bring back a hammock from Nicaragua!
Had breakfast at the Graden Café. Amazing ice coffee, Amazing food and wireless. I am in love with this place, saw a dead bird fall from the sky and land at my feet, worked on our search for a new casa, met are beginning class of girls which in the end is four boys and one girl ☺ but they are great! Glad the classes are starting!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Yesterday we went out to Thalia's island and lived like the Swiss Family Robinson.  We grilled chicken, attempted to pick mangoes from the trees (fail) and swam in the lake.  Finally got that sunburn I've been waiting on.  A return to the island is in the future.  

Telepizza in Granada offers surprisingly good pizza.  

We're meeting with the beginning class today for the first time.  Mucho gusto.

Tomorrow Amanda and I will move into a new place.  Adios casa de pinturas feas.  

I still don't know how to do the upside down exclamation points and question marks...  anyone know how?

365 Islands in Lake Nicargua!


Took a boat to Thallia’s island that is right she owns her own island! Julio and Brad threw me up in the air in the water. Brad and me swam to different islands. I climbed a tree for mangos with no luck but Julio got some. Grilled tasty treats on the fire. Emerged my body underwater for as long as I could. Was cool for the first time in the is country. Think I might be adjusting to the heat because my feet are no long swollen. Went to the school where our beginning class will be held. Had pizza for dinner and for a minute forgot where I was. Fell asleep hot but happy! Exited work with the kids tomorrow!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Worker in the Yucca Field
Had Sunday morning coffee at our table in our three walled house no new york times but music, lots of music, decided to go on an adventure!, rode a city bus 45 min( sweat so much my dress was soaked), saw a man with two dead chickens hooked to the handle bars of his bike, made it to Masaya, had a lunch in the park with rice, beans, plantains, tortillas, chicken, and smoothies, walked through the old market, bought earrings from the Nicaraguan version of me(young girl with shaved head, sweet!), went to see the carter lake from above(started to get burned out because I was soaking wet in sweat, looking at water not swimming in it, got yelled at by the police for sitting but cold Gatorade cured it all!), bought more soap because my five showers a day, came home to another parade coming down our street with yes you guessed it more fireworks, was asked to be a judge for a photo contest at my favorite hotel, Hotel Con Corazon- best food, cold fanta, internet, drinking my fanta now, swore I would stop drinking because I don’t want my teeth to rot out but it taste so so good!

Masaya pt 1.

Today we went to Masaya.
I don't know why I look so depressed about the fact that my bread is an crocodile.  
This is what some streets look like in Masaya.

...and this is what other streets look like.  

Yesterday we went outside of Granada to film a community trying to build an office for their school.  They had people on horse drawn carts bringing water into their town because their water pump had broken down.  There were people living in noting more than straw huts and tin shacks, but a lot of them did have televisions.  Go figure.  

Saturday, May 23, 2009

good luck from the parade!

May 22

Watching yucca being pulled from the ground, having Julio fix the tape of footage the dog ate, my mid day shower, all the portraits of the field workers, eating yucca chips, washing my clothing for the last time in a washer, having the saint Maria parade come down my street, mopping our one room house with the heaviest mop(abs of steal)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Riding in the back of a truck up a dusty mountain, mango- banana- orange smoothie, photographing the yucca chip factory workers, ac in the truck, seeing the island with the two volcano’s, good coffee in the morning, working on images in my bikini with my best friend- my fan, eating rice and beans for all three meals, protein(BUGS) full walk to the lake, ok we broke down for a fancy dinner with Lynn

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Trees are good.

Ice cream is sought after.

So, look, guys, Amanda really loves Fanta.  It's okay.  

This is the dinner Amanda and I made.  Beans and rice with fresh avocados and fried plantains.  We did well for gringos if I say so myself.  I swear that's not Zatarans.  

Most buildings don't need all their walls here.  3 is good.  This kitchen is half outdoors.  Awesome.

Ella Lynn, soy de Vancouver Canada.  She's a good translator and helps my dumb ass along with my tenuous grasp of spanish.  I am thankful.  

This is Julio.  Without him, we'd be crying in the fetal position every time we left the house.  He's our guardian angel.  El hablo espanol solemente.  Santo Julio.

Food is good.
Drinks are good.  

The horses all look horrible here.  

highlights- drank three gallons of fanta, bat flew into my bedroom(i put on my raincoat and ran for brad), saw a bug that has glow in the dark eyes, started a small documentary for Opportunity International(check them out!), had my videos crituqued by three teenage girls who do not even understand the narrative but was my best crit in grad school, made beens- fried plantines- rice(enough for me and brad to eat for a month), had a mango picked from a tree just for me, took four showers so far(one more to go), rode in a taxi with 6 very sweaty people, got drugs in a paper envolop to make my feet shrink, and still only one bug bite!!!

Death of a Cyclist

Today we met with members of Opportunity International, they are a company that helps organize Nicaraguans on a grassroots level through loans and connections with domestic and foreign markets.  Right now they're working with a group that makes art out of melted down aluminum cans.  There's also a group of yucca farmers that they've helped build a processing plant to coat their yucca in paraffin wax so they can export to Miami and make 5 times the money they used to.  ($1000 a year vs $200) tomorrow we're going to the farm tomorrow to shoot some footage of their harvest.  

Met with our Advanced class.  There's four of them, Marta, Jaclin, Nadiyesca y Alex.  We're going to be making an informative film about pollution in the lake.  People shit in the lake and drink from it the same day.  Nobody makes the connection, I guess that's what the film's for.  

Amanda and I fried plantains and made enough beans and rice to last us the week.  Now I'm at the hostel next door called Hotel con Corazon, it has a bar open to the public so I'm drinking a citrusy mojito and listening to a backpacker sing at open mic night.  (she's covered so far: Counting Crows, Sheryl Crow, Blind Melon....and Neil Young.)  

There was a parade down our street today.  There's a Saint's day practically every day here apparently.   They set off fireworks at all hours of the night, and the day, I've seen many an ambitious mortar shell rise only to have their fiery glory bleached out by the sun and disappear in a wisp of smoke.  Good job.  

People are really into sharing bicycles here.  One person will pedal, another on the handlebars, another on pegs on the back wheel, sometimes holding a baby.  There are lizards all over the walls here.  A bat visited our apartment for a second while we were watching a movie tonight.

This movie:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

inside- Church San Fransisco(don't ask)

outside- Church San Fransisco

"Take that door!" (yes the lock to our front door is similar to that used for a gym locker)

Arrival of the fittest

Woke up at 2:30 am to make my 5:30am flight. I made to Nicaragua! Had an amazing dinner at Thalia’s casa. Juligo cooked the best pollo! I asked for water but they realized they had none. So beer it was. When Brad arrived it was like Christmas.

Hola Nicaragua

I am in Nicaragua.  Our house is located here:
Calle Santa Lucia
del Puente de los Dardenales
80 varas al LAgo
Frente ladrialleria
la casa esta aszul y dice "Jardines"

That's the actual address if you want to mail us.  There are no street numbers in Nicaragua, you just describe how to get there from certain other places.  

Amanda and I share a house, most houses in our neighborhood are rowhouses with a single door and an iron gate.  There's no back wall, it's just a gate into the backyard:
This is our backyard.  The shower and toilet are outside in tin and bamboo shanties.  No hot water, who would need it here?  I've showered 3 times in the 24 hours I've been here.  I want to sleep in the shower.  

This is our sink.  
Amanda will post better photos shortly.  It comes as no surprise that the internet here is barely existent, so posting will be difficult, but we are both chomping at the bit to post tales of our adventures.  
It was a long first day.  Going about errands like grocery shopping is an exhausting and culture shocking experience to be sure.  Amanda and I were rescued multiple times by our new companion Julio.  
Tonight we're going to feed him muchas cervezas y ron.  He's going to teach us how to cook as well.  
I'm in a pretty solid state of culture shock right now, and I think I should opt to keep these posts short but frequent.  Look forward to Amanda's posts, she has a better camera and better photographic eye than me!

This place is loco, guys.  I'm in for it.  

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I leave for Nicaragua in one week.