Week one has been a good introduction to my summer. After my arrival, I hung out with the peace corps group for a training...Michele and other volunteers spent the day training new trainees (aspirantes) on food security. It was fun to meet people and spend a day seeing what Michele has been working on.
On Saturday night after the training, we went to Michele´s training town in Fatima and met his host family from his first three months here. They were quite hospitable, and his host sister was excited to take us dancing at a festival in the town nearby. It was just like a carnival in the states...cheesy rides, and fried food, and a concert with a boy band...a bunch of teenagers dancing. Good times.
We returned to Managua the next day, and arrived in Matagalpa, where I am studying Spanish for the month of June on Monday evening...just in time for the foreign bacteria in my stomach to settle in. Within a few hours I was violently ill, the onset of which conveniently happened on my way to the bathroom at a cafe...luckily it was out the top end! And, lucky for me, Michele stayed and took care of me, got me cipro, and made sure I got better before he left for his site. No pasa nada.
I´m doing great now, no health problems (knock on wood) and I´m settled in quite nicely with my host family. I´m learning Spanish quickly, though its tricky with native speakers, because they talk soooo fast! My host family is quite hospitable, and fairly wealthy I imagine...I have a toilet and shower, and they have nice tile floors. Its normal in the city, but outside of the city it is much more poor. So, this is good for me now to get aquainted with the culture and the language, and then in July, I will probably have to adjust to poorer conditions.
Today´s cultural observation...in Nicaragua, the taxis pick up as many people as can fit in the cabs, even on different trips, as long as they are all going the same direction. Logical for them, better money for them, but a strange adjustment for me. They also charge more to give you a ride home at night than during the day...perhaps its more of a risk for them to be driving at night?
More to come later...for now, I must go to the park and see the girls from my family dance in a festival!