I wanted to drop you a few lines about last weekend, last Saturday actually. The day’s events were completely unexpected but really reinforced what it takes to be a PCV. I spent almost all of the night on Friday night preparing emails, a blog, and for research that I needed to do on a couple class projects. I had planned to wake up early the next day and get a quick yoga practice in before going out to Santa Ana to use the internet for a few hours. Basically, I had plans to be super productive on Saturday. Well, things don’t always turn out as expected. (Life much?) I woke up early on Saturday to find out that both Ojojona and Santa Ana had been without power since about 2am that morning. Apparently a car had run into an electric pole in one of the outlying aldeas, and all surrounding areas were affected. Now, me being the optimist that I am, I proceeded to engage in my yoga sesh in my room while patiently waiting for the power to be restored. After I finished up and talked to my family over breakfast, I learned that my dream for the day would never become a reality as the towns were expected to be without power until the following Monday. (In a town like Ojojona, the loss of power is not normal but is not normally a problem either as most families have outdoor wood burning stoves to take care of the necessities.) What did become a reality was the awareness there are indeed 3,600 seconds in one hour…and most of my activities on Saturday can be quantified as such. Allow me to elaborate. I worked on translating my resume from English to Spanish in my room until my computer died (lasted about 900 seconds), took a bucket shower (lasted about 600 seconds), stared at second-hand clothes in the Ropa Americana store that I don’t have the cash or space in my luggage to buy (lasted about 300 seconds), sent meaningless text messages to my friends asking what they were doing with themselves on a day like this (lasted about180 seconds ), and then finally ended up on my bed wondering if this was a premonition of things to come (lasted about 60 seconds). The rest of the day was spent working in my Spanish Grammar Manual until my eyes were blurry. What did I learn? Things change quickly, so I better be able to do the same. Adaptation equals survival.
Fortunately, Saturday night’s events definitely trumped any ill sentiments of the day that any of us PCT-ers had. When the sun went down, we reunited at the house of Richard, the gentleman that I mentioned previously, to thoroughly enjoy a true American summer night. (I should preface this by informing you that in addition to much else Richard owns an upscale Italian restaurant in Teguc and had offered to throw us a pizza party during our time spent together the weekend before.) Right after the sun went down and darkness set in Ojo, we arrived at the house to find a patio aglow with candles, an enormous wood burning oven ablaze, ten pizza dough crusts accompanied by all of the fixings waiting for our creativity, and glasses of red Italian wine ready to be enjoyed. (I felt like I was back in SF for my last night of revelries!! Miss you, roomies!) For the next couple hours, every single one of us stuffed as much pizza as we could into our bellies in fear/realization that an event like this would not happen again for at least another two years. We relished the smoothness of the wine, the sweetness of the coffee ice cream and Rum Raisin cake desserts, and the company of one another. What did I learn? Things change quickly (we leave Ojojona in two weeks), so I better be able to do the same (I gotta find a pizza joint that delivers long distance). Adaptation (eating dessert regardless of how full I already am from five pieces of pizza) equals survival (no regrets!).
The solid and saving stone oven
So happy and
The man that made it happen: Richard
My fav pic of the Cali couple: Bryan and Liz
A couple of Richard’s favorites: Erika and Rebecca
Solid gents: Kyle and David
Strong exterior, soft interior: Harrison
Thankful to have a friend from home
Thankful to have a fellow lover of jumping rope
This week has been trucking along nicely but with a lot of work. In between the classes and workout sessions throughout the week, I translated my resume from English to Spanish (to the best of my ability), thoughtfully completed a site assignment questionnaire to be used in our third and final technical interview next week, gave a presentation on “The Soccer War” (total misnomer) between El Salvador and Honduras, and wrote a paper on the city of Gracias. Tomorrow I will finish out the week giving a charla about HIV/AIDS prevention to a class of students in the local high school. Solid.
I hope that all of you are doing well and have had wonderful weeks. I appreciate all of the feedback that I get on these postings, the short but sweet emails, the lovingly long letters, the texts from friends, and the calls from family. All of your love and support have brought me to this point, three weeks until becoming a PCV. I hope that we can continue on this journey together and make our experiences as successful as possible together…because when it comes down to it, we’re all on the same team.