- Quick Notes about Ciudad Sandino:
- My host mother’s name in Ciudad Sandino is Lesbia. I cant say her name without giggling. Apparently I’m still in middle school.
- I don’t go anywhere without Pepto-Bismol, 2 dozen antidiarrheal pills, and an empty bag in case the baño is preocupado. I’m basically a walking pharmacy.
- In Nicaragua, there are two versions of every song: the original, and a remix featuring Pitbull. You cant go anywhere without hearing “Mr. 305, Mr. Worldwide, (insert rapid Spanish rapping)” on the radio. Might I point out: PITBULL IS AMERICAN. Homeboy was born in Florida. Chill with the Mr. Worldwide…you are American. Nonetheless: Nicas love Pitbull
- Hora Nica (or Nica Time) is a phrase people use to a lot here. Basically, I should just set my clock for 2 hours behind for the remainder of my trip because when somebody says meet me there at 1:00, they really mean 3:00. There is no sense of time or rush here, (which is a breath of fresh, hot, humid Nicaraguan air).
- On our way home from orientation yesterday, our host dad insisted on picking us up from work (even though we only live a few blocks away), and we were expected home at around 6 PM for dinner…. But didn’t quite make it home until around 8:00 PM. He is so proud of his town (Ciudad Sandino) and even more proud of us (the American interns) that he said we were going to las tiendas (the stores), but we kept running into all of us friends on the streets because that is pretty much what people do all day. They sit outside in the gravel or on the sidewalk in chairs and chat, eat, and people watch. Somehow we ended up going to museum, the local boxing arena, and even partook in a photo shoot with his best friend’s family (Lord, wait until I show the pictures).
- We stopped at his best friend’s house, we met all of his friend’s family, daughters, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters, grandmas, grandma’s grandmas, grandma’s grandma’s best friend, ETC.
- Ciudad Sandino = people on people on people.
- Peter (host dad) whipped out a camera and before I knew it the whole family had their cell phones out (all shapes, colors, and sizes) and were snapping pictures of the “dos gringos” (the white girls— AKA Rachel and I). The oldest daughter ran inside for a while, as the rest of the family took turns taking pictures WITH Rachel and I. And when some of the family didn’t come out (As if there weren’t enough IN there)… the dad yells “You don’t want to take pictures with the gringas???” as if it were a crime to not want their picture taken with us. As I began to wonder where the oldest daughter went, she ran back outside with a scarf and signaled me to put it on her. I wrapped it on her as best as I could, and when she turned around to look in the mirror, she got the BIGGEST smile. Here is our picture:
I’m not longer in Ciudad Sandino (Alhamdullilah—thank God). Ciuadad Sandino is a poverty stricken city. Whenever a natural disaster happens, the government pretty much throws everyone affected by it in Ciudad Sandino (hence the poverty).
Ciudad Sandino and Masaya are much different than each other. Ciudad Sandino was so dirty, trash all over the streets, naked babies running around, boys whistling at anything with 2 legs and a butt, and more trash everywhere. Nobody has a legitimate sewage system, so there is pretty much feces on the street, and all of the shower water runs into the streets as well (now I understand why the life expectancy is so young).
Masaya is much different……it’s the art and music capital of Nicaragua. Thus, I am excited. I cant wait to learn how to play the marimba and caracas.
PS: I am 3 shades darker already. Not sure if its a tan, or just all the accumulated sweat.