Hello from Nicaragua! The last few days have been a whirlwind. So much information in so few days. On Wednesday, I called my parents and I almost felt bad for not having called them earlier, and then I realized that I’d only been gone for about 24 hours. Travel warps my sense of time.
I should have written before this, because staging in Houston and orientation in Managua were actually pretty eventful. Nica 68 is an incredible group of people. I never thought I could instantly connect with so many people in such a short time, but honestly I think I fell in love with half of them by the end of day 2.I’m rambling. Anyway, today we met our host families, and let me tell you, it’s a terrifying but wonderful experience. My Spanish is (in my opinion) nowhere near where it should be, and neither our language facilitators nor our host families are allowed to speak any English with us. This is all light years outside of my comfort zone, y’all. I feel in over my head quite a bit, but that’s probably pretty typical for day 4 in a brand new environment.
(I’d like to interject and say I’m a terrible blogger. I wrote the headline first but have yet to get to my point.) I met my host mom and sisters and talked to my host mom quite a bit. (She’s great, but I constantly found myself saying “Qué? Qué?” Then her husband walked in, sat down, and struck up a conversation. He’s a pro at asking a question and then rephrasing it when I don’t understand (not if. When.)
The exception to this was when he asked a question that even I could manage to understand: “Clinton o Trump?” Now, I knew this would come up, because a large portion of the world doesn’t understand what the hell we’re doing, but I didn’t expect it to come up within half an hour of introducing myself.
I won’t go into any detailed explanations of my political beliefs (mostly because my Spanish wasn’t proficient enough to go into it with him) but I will translate what I said to him:
“I don’t like Trump.”
“Clinton is better than Trump.”
He later compared the political situation in the US to the situation in Nicaragua (and said that one particular person “es como Trump” but I kept my mouth shut because I am too ignorant on Nicaraguan politics to have a valid opinion, and even if I did have an opinion, it’s not really my place to share it.
(Ok guys I just saw and killed my first Nica mosquito. Not to scare you, mom, but it was inside my mosquito net.)
Here’s an overview of some other conversations I’ve had in Spanish today:
- Host mom asked if I have a husband (because I was wearing what looks like a wedding band.)
- Host sister told me I have beautiful eyes. (Host mom and dad later mentioned my eyes too, and asked if I got them from my parents.)
- Host cousin told me I have beautiful hair.
- (Basically I’m beautiful guys, in case you weren’t aware.)
- Host cousin and I talked about Disney movies (at the moment the only titles I remember are “Valiente” and “Nieve Blanca”)
- Host dad asked about my parents and for some stupid reason I tried to explain that my biological dad died in January but I have also had a second dad since I was 6 and by some magic they understood even though my Spanish is muy mal.
- My abuelita told me that I am her family now and that she is my abuelita. For some reason I struggle to understand her Spanish, but I caught that much.
Overall, everyone is being really patient and awesome even when I (constantly) stare at them with a stupid look on my face because my ears aren’t accustomed to Spanish and I am trying to puzzle through it.
By the way, my host sister walked me to the park earlier and I walked back by myself so basically I can do anything I set my mind to (never mind that everyone in the park was staring at me because it’s a tiny town and I’m obviously an outsider.)
Okay I’m exhausted and I’m going to bed. Byeeeeeee.