I’m am honestly having such a great time. I have learned so much in my spanish class, it is ridiculous. Even though i have been in spanish classes for about 7 or 8 years now, being with Ana at UAM has really filled in all the missing pieces.
Fun story: The other day, the theme for our class was cooking and we watched a video and read about this famous chef, which led us to go get brownies at the cafeteria. And since then, during our break Ana and i munch on the delicious brownies from the UAM cafe! So much fun! I really lucked out with such an amazing spanish teacher!
Today, Ana and i went to Masaya to shop (of course) and explore the city a little. When our group from Johnson State came two years ago we stopped at the Masaya market, but it was a different experience now that i can speak better. We had so much fun shopping and talking to the locals. Then i encountered the Americans….. Now here is a disclaimer before i go off on my rant. I understand that its hard being in a country where you don’t speak their nature language. I get it! It’s not easy! But that still doesn’t mean all manners are lost. I encountered about 6 gringas today in the market, yelling at each other from different stores, talking AT the store owners, asking “do you understand me?” about a billion times…It was pretty bad, and they were pretty rude. I was embarrassed to be a gringa in that moment. So of course, i didn’t let it go and walked right in the middle of the chaos and made conversation with the clearly frazzled store owner until she smiled. So word to the travelers, don’t be that gringa. Respect where you are at and the people around you. Just because you may have a little bit more many than the person you are standing next to, doesn’t mean they’re not human. Respect doesn’t stop at the borders of the US.
Okay, my rant is over. I hope you all enjoyed that!
To end our trip, Ana and i walked along the Lagoon Apoyollo and went to see the baseball fields. We talked to some local children and rode around on the buso while it was raining. It really was a great day!
At dinner tonight my host father and i really bonded over agucates (avocados). For the first time i ate an agucate with lime and salt, and it was delicious. Nothing compares to a nica agucate or any fruit of that matter. Mis padres de nica and i are really getting along. It’s almost funny to think that i was frustrated with the language barrier just a week ago. So much has changed in such little time, it’s great.
Overall, i am having a great time. I made a promise to myself to immerse myself in the culture and i believe i am doing just that. It is so easy to go back to where we are comfortable. There are “gringa traps” all over Managua, they lure you in with the air conditioning and delicious cheese-cake and no doubt, i’ve been to these traps a couple of times! But i have really tried to expand my learning, buying food from a vendor on the street, taking the city bus full of people instead of a taxi, talking to the person i am sitting next to on the bus. I have made friends with the waiters at the Sushi restaurant near my house and we hang out every night when they get out of work! I can’t tell you how many times people said to me “Oh Kailie, while you’re in Nicaragua, don’t drink the water.” “Don’t take the city bus” “Don’t give your number out” “Don’t walk alone at night” “Don’t trust anybody” “Stick to what you know”………really? I didn’t come down here to live the same life i lived in CT. I came here to live a new live, the vida nica. and explore. (Disclaimer, mostly to my mom who probably has her jaw on the floor, MOM, i’m okay, i’m still being safe, i’m just being adventurous, love you!)
I’m just living the vida nica. and i absolutely love it.
(Above is a picture of me with a hercules beetle. A surprise visitor to Mary Helen’s office the other day. And yes, it’s alive.)