Wednesday, July 4, 2012
One Week Down
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
One week today in Boaco! I suppose it’s home now. We’ve settled. Things are nice.
The birthday party this weekend was nice. It was a lot of Kate and me sitting at a table, occasionally joined by family members who spoke a bit of English and wanted to try it out on us. There were quite a few people there who were from Miami originally. And there was indeed dancing… I think every male there must have asked either Kate or me. We got our white girl groove on out there. I just didn’t look at the onlookers very much; I know they were blown away by my moves, no doubt about it :)
We decided that we’d get Maria something. We just meant to go to the grocery store and pick up some flowers like we would at home, but apparently supermarkets here don’t do that. We ended up spending $20 at a florist, but it was a very nice arrangement. Thank god for Lupe. First, we never would have found the florist without her. Second, we wouldn’t have had any idea what Maria would have wanted. And third, we would have run straight into her on the way back in the door, carrying the arrangement, if it weren’t for her taking her by the arm and leading her onto the back patio… Too bad I didn’t get to present her with it :( I was ensnared by a person I call The Captain (he showed me his ID that said he was the captain of something). He was dancing and wouldn’t let me go. I hope she knows they were from me, too, haha.
Maintenance at work is a nice department to work in. Today a guy in the department (can’t remember his name, darn) came up and started talking to us about where he lives, and invited us to come visit with him someday! Kate and I were both so excited (first that we could understand him well enough to know what he was offering) at the prospect! We didn’t nail down a day or anything, but we told him we’d be here for a month, so we’ll probably get to that later. He said he lives in a place called “La Launa,” and I could totally be spelling that wrong; I only heard him say it. It’s about 8km away from the hospital, and there isn’t a public bus that goes out that way like there is in Boaco. I want to talk to our host about it just to make sure it’s safe and all before we go setting things in stone.
We were walking home from where the bus dropped us off today and we passed a mom with a little boy, about 4 years old. He stared us down from the moment he saw us to the moment we passed, and even then turned right around and gawked at us until we turned the corner. I had a very hard time not cracking up laughing: he’s the young, undisciplined extreme example of everyone in Boaco. Wherever we go we draw eyes. I don’t even notice it anymore; I’m too busy admiring the fine weather, or thinking about hospital things, or whatever else occupies my mind. Kate is a different story, and quite a bit more annoyed by it. She stares right back at them, challenging them. But we are the foreigners! We are the minority! Some of these people have lived here their entire lives, possibly traveled only as far as the next city over. It’s possible they can count the number of white people they’ve ever seen on one hand. I know what I’d be doing if a novel race waltzed past my house as casually as if they were part of the scenery. Stare it up! Tolerance tolerance tolerance tolerance tolerance. It’s long been my way of existence and so it takes no effort to employ here, but I’m worried for Kate. I want the two of us to be seen as friendly and open, and unfortunately that conduct is counterproductive. I commented today that the best way we can deal with it is to be as nice as possible in return. We’ll see how it goes in the days to come.
I don’t think I ever got around to explaining the housing situation. We live in the center house of a strip of three houses that all belong to the same family. There are two other bedrooms in addition to ours down a long outdoor hallway. On the street end there is a sitting room and dining area, and at the other is the patio area that’s shared with one of the other houses. I am not sure where precisely everyone lives, but I know that our host Maria (not the birthday party 77-year-old Maria, her daughter Maria. That’s not confusing or anything, lol) lives in the house to our right. The hired help Julia and her daughter Lupe cook our meals and look after getting us water and things like that. During this first week we’ve been trying to acclimate, and so we’ve been spending what I think is too much time in our room in front of the computers. I think we’re good and settled now, so I think we ought to venture out and try to hang out with the family.
But we have big weekend plans! Granada! We’re leaving Friday at noon after work and meeting up with Luke and Friz and Derek and Tracy and Bam and Tim and probably loads more that I’m forgetting at the moment but I miss ALL of you people and can’t wait to see you! As the biggest tourist city in Nicaragua I am sure we will find some exciting things to do. This past exciting weekend was spent reading Speaker for the Dead <--AMAZING (and for Kate finishing the Hunger Games trilogy). We definitely needed the down-time, first time in a month (even if it did make me a bit lazy with the blog writing ;] ), but I’m ready for more adventures! NOSOTROS SOMOS TURISTAS :D