Home for the holidays
For Christmas this year, I decided to return to my training family´s house in Carazo. It´s amazing how close I´ve become with them in just 3 months. I felt like I was visiting my ¨real¨ family who I´d known for years. It´s traditional here, just like the French, to celebrate on the 24th. When I stepped into the house, I felt like it was truly Christmas. The walls were painted green, the tree beautfully decorated with actual wrapped presents beneath it, and lights strung up everywhere! Around 11 pm some of the other family came over and we all ate Christmas dinner which consisted of pretty much the normal: rice, beans, chicken, and pop (for special occasions). At midnight, everyone flooded the streets to watch the fireworks and after about 2 minutes nothing was visible with all of the smoke. It was a joyous night! We stayed up until about 2 am opening presents and chatting with visitors who stopped by.
The 25th was pretty much just another ordinary day here. My family took me to the river that is close to their house. We ended up walking down to this waterfall and hung out there for the afternoon, swimming, eating, and of course having a ¨little¨Nicaraguan Rosa de Caña rum. Needless to say, it was a great time!
Yesterday, we took a trip to Masaya, a touristy town closeby that sells all sorts of traditional handmade items. I wanted to buy a hamock for my new house and they have the most beautiful things there. Speaking of, I have officially found the house that I will ¨hopefully¨live in for the next two years. The mayor´s office near my town has a project where they build houses for families in need. The families just have to pay a sum of about $190 and they own the house. This woman that I´ve become friends with moved out of her house to be with her mother in the house next door. So, she offered to rent me her house. Of course the house is very basic; it´s sepearted into three parts/rooms and the woman is supposed to be installing electricity as well as building me a shower while I am gone. Now, in Nica terms, electricity means a light bulb strung from the ceiling connected to the house next door and the shower will be constructed of black trash bags and of course a bucket. I had to pretty much fight with the lady to give me a price because she said I should be deciding, so finally we agreed on 300 cordobas, which is about $20 per month. Not too bad! As soon as I return, I want to start painting it so that I can move in as soon as possible. I am just really eager to have more space and to be able to cook what I want and get up when I want (not that I don´t love waking up every morning at 5:30 am to country Spanish music). : )
Well, I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and an equally wonderful New Years. I will be spending New Years in Granda with some other volunteers. I´m hoping they will have the traditional burning of the old year´s doll in the streets!