Friday we finished our 2nd annual León English summer camp. This year we solicited the help of three new volunteers from our department, a Nica professor and two University students. We had twenty-one participants of which twenty had perfect attendance and improved their English significantly. By the end of camp we were tired, but very satisfied with the results.
We have a new site mate! His name is Chris Ortega (no relation to the president) and hails from Los Angeles. He is a fellow English education volunteer. We are happy to have him here (and to pass him the torch in 7 short months).
Piñatas abound! It seems we have had an influx of invites to children’s birthday parties. This incredibly dangerous (blindfolded, sugar-filled children wielding blunt objects and swinging wildly) event is just one of those cultural obligations that has taken some warming up to, but has been a great opportunity to get to know the 12 and under crowd and their mothers. We are always the only childless adults in attendance, which earns us the largest slices of cake… y gaseosa también.
Other tidbits… We were host to the worldwide Peace Corps director who was recently sworn in by Obama. He came to our site and visited Adam’s class and met some of our co-workers. It was quite an honor to have him visit our site and to show him our projects.
In September we presented at the National TESOL conference in Managua. Then Lara went out to the Atlantic Coast (really it is the Caribbean, but they call it the Atlantic) to present at the Caribbean conference with a group of Nica professors and embassy folk. The east of the country is very remote, so it was necessary to fly in a small plane of death. Fortunately it withstood the journey and Lara lived to celebrate her 28th birthday weeks later in Miraflor, a nature reserve in the chilly north. Pasa came and we learned that she does not like a)cold whether or b)to be dirty. We had a great time, Pasa however shivered constantly and licked herself nearly bald.
Thanksgiving was celebrated in Managua after a 2-day all-volunteer conference. This year we were thankful for a few days of air-conditioning, hot showers and of course for the tax payers who made this all possible. We ate turkey at our director’s house with a group of 35 other PCVs.
On to Panama! That’s right, we are heading south in 4 short days for a little R&R with our good friends Andy and Liz. Stay tuned for photos.