At the end of August we officially completed one year of being in Nicaragua! My, how the time flies!! This has been a particularly busy time for me, gracias a Dios. On September 15th, Central America celebrated their independence from Spain. Below is a picture of a parade my local school participated in. They had their dance routine memorized and practiced and the students were ready to march, but at the last minute they weren´t able to contract the band from Cuapa because of lack of funding. So, next year´s goal is to work on fundraising toget together some type of music for them to march to.
Another reason the winter here is so alegre (happy) is that when the rains come they fill up the river, which means unlimited water for washing, bathing and swimming! Here are my neighbors making their way to the river with their laundry. As you can see, they are experts at carrying just about anything on their heads...and without dropping it.
Here you can see that there are unlimited wash rocks to choose from.
Here is a picture of my dog, Rocky, who by the way is getting over his sick period and is now in the process of being trained to chase chickens, especially that one that comes in my house about every 2 minutes (no exageration!), you know who you are! He could be a dog model...man, he´s cute!
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of riding on the most crowded bus I´ve seen here so far. This is our local bus and on Saturdays it is especially crowded because of the students who study in Juigalpa just on Saturdays. Thankfully, I got to ride on the last step hanging out of the bus. You may ask, ¨Isn´t that dangerous?¨ Well, maybe, but it´s better than becoming a human sardine in an air-tight can. It´s funny because you play this game with yourself. When they stop to pick someone up and they squeeeeeze onto the bus, you think, ¨They can´t possibly fit another person on.¨ But, lo and behold, 5 more people were waiting at the next stop and somehow by the driver yelling, ¨¡Hacemos mas para en el medio! No hay nadie!¨(Move towards the middle! There isn´t anyone!), we were able to fit everyone and anyone on the bus.
Finally, I think my proudest moment so far in Nicaragua is the fact that I helped a small group of 9 community members organize themselves and form the first bank of Llano Grande, Banco de Desarrollo Comunitario (Community Development Bank). This is a great feat for them as saving is not a habit for the majority of people here. And, eventually when there is enough funds in the bank they can begin allowing others to borrow in order to gain money for the bank through interest charged. They started off with a monthly deposit of about 50 córdobas ($2.50) which is a good amount of money for most of the people. We´ve only had 1 meeting so far, so I will keep you posted.
Yes, I am a bank member as well, and here I am receiving my first bank slip from the secretary and auditor of the bank.