How do you measure a year?

First day in Nicaragua - at our welcome party in the MCC office.

Things we love:

  • The rhythm of Nicaraguan Spanish
  • Cold showers. An absolute necesity after a long sweaty day. Also helps you to fall asleep in the heat.
  • A good thunderstorm

Things we hate:

  • The reality of children who beg at the stoplights
  • Machismo
  • Littering/Trash. There’s lots of it. Everywhere.

Things we have learned:

  • To live spontaneously
  • To chug water
  • Lots of Nica-slang – chavalo, chigüines, tuani, salvaje, chancha, chanchada, chunche, panza, chiltoma, chapas, chinelas, trompa, pinolero, “andás ___?” (sencillo, dinero, un reloj), peluche, vos form (sabés, pensás), “Que Dios te bendiga”, “No hombre!”

Things we do automatically:

  • Throw all toilet paper into the trash
  • Upon entering a room, greet everyone with a handshake and/or kiss on the cheek depending on the relationship. Also, often accompanied by “Que Dios le bendiga” (God bless you). The typical response is “Amen”. That took a while to catch on to – for a while we said “Gracias”.
  • Move the fans around.  Its always good to have air blowing on you wherever you are.

Embarrasing moments:

  • Being told by our host parents that in order for Marisa’s deep skin wound to heal we should refrain from certain activites in the bedroom. The wound was located on the back of her neck.
  • The first bucket shower at our host family. Marisa goes first, sees there’s only one 5 gallon bucket full of water so she just uses half of it, wanting to save some water for her husband. Adam uses the other half. Turns out our host dad bathes with 5 bucket fulls of water. Oops…
  • The first morning Adam stumbles over to the host parent’s side of the house without his glasses to ask them a question. What he saw was the fuzzy, topless image of our host mom. Or our host sister, he wasn’t sure.

Things we are looking forward to:

  • Visits from our families!!
  • Continuing to work and learn new things at our jobs
  • An article about the library coming out in MCC’s magazine.

During our anniversary trip in August 2011.

How do you measure a year in the life:

  • in gallo pinto: 1,349 (approximation. Eaten every morning and evening while living with host family, and since then every time we need a fast meal).
  • in bus rides around Managua: 745 (approx.)
  • in bars of chocolate received from home: at least 15. Each and every one was greatly enjoyed:)
  • in visitors we’ve had: 9…32 if you count the EMU cross-cultural group.
How do you measure a year in life? How about love!
We know, it’s cheesy – couldn’t help it.
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7 Comments on “How do you measure a year?”

  1. Karena Says:

    Awesome post! You’re making me miss Nicaragua. Congratulations on completing your first year!

  2. Katelyn Says:

    haha it took me a while to throw the toilet paper back in the toilet when i got back. miss you guys.

  3. kathrinejoy Says:

    I love your embarrassing moments.

  4. cheryl Says:

    Wow! One year already. Thanks for this post….I enjoyed reading it. Esther also talked about needing to throw toilet paper away while she was in India.

  5. Sylvia Says:

    A year already!! There are many times and places where I notice your missing presence. Grateful for the wealth of experiences you’re having; praying for continued health, safety, and satisfaction!

  6. Jeanette Bueno Says:

    Greatly entertaining post. I soooo know about the toilet paper in the trash. In the barrio where Danny grew up in South Texas, everyone was on tiny septic tanks. They all did that. The heat was terrible too. I didn’t know which cost more……to run airconditioning or pay for all the extra showering and clothes washing without it. Cheer up….winter is coming….so you’ll get one month of relief for sure. I don’t know that I took it all with as great a sense of humor as you. I did have 2 little babies though which made a difference. There were some nasty diseases they got down there. Then there were the lice. And I had to learn all the Spanish “cuss words” because once my 18 month baby let out one great big nasty word in the middle of the sermon at church. He used the same expressive intonation he heard the neighbor kids use. That’s when my husband decided it was time to move to the other side of the railroad tracks. 🙂

    • aubs Says:

      I don’t care if that last song is cheesy… it’s AWESOME! 🙂 Thanks for your reflections…you do such a great job of painting a window for us into your lives. Miss you! aubs


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