On Saturday, after a little over a week in my new place, I headed back to Managua for some Access Camp planning. I live a good 4.5 hours from Managua, so I ended up going to Managua on Saturday, doing Access planning on Sunday, and going home Monday. On Saturday night, we went to a restaurant in Managua for dinner. I got a panini, and the price was in dollars (I know things are not Peace Corps-budget friendly when the prices aren’t listed in córdobas.) The food was great, but I always end up spending too much money in Managua.
After our meeting on Sunday, we decided to go to the grocery store to buy food to cook. I’ve been craving fettuccine alfredo for weeks. (I’m serious: About two months ago, I had an actual dream that I was in a kitchen cooking fettuccine alfredo.) So I dropped that suggestion, and my friends suggested some sautéed veggies, so we spent a few hours looking for ingredients (“Where is the heavy cream? Why isn’t it with the milk? How do you say ‘heavy cream’ in Spanish?”), cooking (“you should really wait until it boils to put the pasta in.” “I know, but I’m too impatient.”) and drinking wine (“I got a fifth bottle. I know us. We needed a fifth bottle.”)
And then, without any jokes about too many cooks in the kitchen, it was ready, and I tested the pasta, and no joke, had an out-of-body experience.
Several of us are having a friendsgiving on actual Thanksgiving, but we’ll probably eat at a restaurant because I don’t think our hostel will have a kitchen. (But the restaurant is farm-to-table and has cheesecake, which is literally all I’ve been talking about since I found the menu online four days ago.)
Anyway, even though Sunday night wasn’t our actual friendsgiving, it kind of felt like one. Most of us hadn’t cooked for ourselves since coming to Nicaragua, and we miss it, and we miss each other. Peace Corps is very much a community and a family, and being back together for a couple days was really nice.
We drank a little wine, ate delicious food, and immediately dove deep into scintillating, meaningful conversations about bad sex ed, gender roles, misogyny and patriarchy, adjusting to life in site, why we’re here, etc.
I feel very lucky to have ended up in this country with this amazing group of people. They share their stories with me, provide diverse perspectives, and don’t judge me when I go for a sixth serving of fettuccine alfredo. (Speaking of which, all day I’ve been kicking myself because I didn’t eat the leftovers for breakfast. We basically cleaned the pan, but it physically hurts me to think of any of that delicious homemade food going to waste.)
We stayed up late talking and telling stories and laughing until we cried, and in the morning, we went our separate ways. I’m happy to be back home, but always sad to leave my friends. Luckily, I’ll see a few of them again on Thursday for our planned Thanksgiving festivities.
Until then, look at this delicious food and my wonderful friends!