This week started off as quite boring but I ended up having a little adventure by the end of it.
Went to La Rica on Monday (2 hr bus ride each way) to find there was no class. I proceeded to get lunch at a little restaurant and enjoy the company of the bus drivers sitting at the other table. I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure they were talking about me and trying to figure out if I knew Spanish. Throughout my lunch I was waited for an opportunity to say something clever and funny to show I understood. That moment never came.
Had my regular planning lessons with the teachers which have been going well. I'm making a point to try to talk to them more about things outside of school to practice my Spanish and get to know them. One of them has taken very keenly to it and she seems to enjoy our little conversation each week outside of class, while the other not so much. Her name is Damaris and I get the feeling she really doesn't like me. It could just be who she is but she always seems to be a bit aggressive with me. She speaks very rapidly and sometimes I'll try to say something and I'll get cutoff. She also loves comparing me to the older Peace Corp member, Owen. But we taught together this week passed and she seemed to be very pleased. I'm making a point to teach a little in this class each week to improve my Spanish, our relationship, as well as the class. When I got up to teach last week I was horrified as usual but when I actually started teaching I relaxed and just went through it. Damaris answered the questions a few times I helped but all and all it went well. They told me I did a good job today, whether that was just what they felt they should say or the truth I'll never know but I'm excited for tomorrow.
A hurricane came over this way for the weekend. I got a call from PC saying it was going to miss us but there might be some rain. I decided to not go to Esteli as planned on Saturday but give it a day to pass. Here is the first of my horrible decisions that led to my adventure. Saturday was a nice day with some clouds and a little bit of rain.
Sunday I woke to some rain on my roof but decided I should go. The first 2 hours of the ride the rain didn't stop. I wasn't to worried as long as I got to Esteli, then we hit the bridge. There is a nice cement bridge about an hour outside of Esteli in the town of ?Chinondega? My bus was the first to arrive to about 100 people just standing and staring at the overflowing bridge. There was a pedestrian bridge to cross and search for a bus on the other side but I wasn't sure if I had enough money to take it (hence me going to Esteli, the banks there) A man decided it was about time for someone to walk across the bridge so he stripped down to his short and put on a little show on the bridge. It showed that it was about 2 feet of water on the bridge but raging. He came to the other side to coax the buses across. At this point there was 4 buses in line behind mine. The bus behind mine eventually started honking to sign hes going to cross it. A lot of people piled onto the bus, a few on the roof, to get across. I thought, crap, if this thing tips were all going on a rescue mission to get this bus. Thankfully it crossed with no apparent problems. I then gave a look to my bus driver as others are trying to coax him across, he was shaking his head with a pretty adamant no. A bus on the other side tempted it at this point and crossed with out a problem. Still the water very high and this bridge only has about a foot of room on either side to make it across. No rail to stop it and the edges are buried under the water. I could understand the dilemma but I wanted to go to Esteli. Finally he decided to go. I thought no way in hell I'm getting on that but I'll wait on the other side. He went slower than the other 2 buses and had a passenger lead him across but he we made it. I got back on the bus and as we drove the rest of the way the rain picked up and I realized I'm not going to make it back to Yali today, At this point I also realized I left the keys to the office in my room.
I stepped off the bus in Estali to harder rain than at any point during the journey. The roads were flooded and one that I crossed was about 6 inches deep walking at the shallow point. Got to the office to find some other people where consolidated there. (Whens there is problems we all get put somewhere together that's safe. Hung out for a while and talked to some other PCV that were staying the night and managed to get my name on the roster for a room. We stayed in a really nice hotel that had little cottages for rooms. I got to watch some TV catch up on the news and got a Seinfeld in and was pleased. That night I took what felt like an hour long HOT shower and felt really clean for the first time in months. I also had a good buffalo Chicken sandwich at a place called called Hamburgesa Americana. The next day the rain continued and 2 of the 3 people I stayed with at the hotel made it home so that left myself and my site mate Danielle. The whole day it rained nonstop and most of my day was spent at the office on the computer and reading. I had some pretty good food this day including a giant delicious burger for about $1.50. That night I slept in the Peace Corps Office. It wasn't that bad, with a blow up mattress and plenty of blankets. After a day of sleep in the office I was determined to get back to Yali. Danielle and I were planning to try to go to Yali the next day. ( I forgot to mention that the buses stopped running directly to Yali because of the rain.) Danielle was called into Managua for an appointment so I was on my own. I had to head a different route but I ended in Yali after about 5 hours of bus rides and waiting for buses. But luckily I'm back home safe and had a story to tell.
I made a friend. But hes been coming over every night for about 3 hours. We can't really talk so we just sit and listen to music. It's kinda awkward and I wish it wasn't every night but it's nice to have someone around. Last night he texted me asking where I was I told him I was back in Yali. Within 5 mintues I heard screeching bike tires outside my door and a knock we said hello and I explained I was going to bed. He said he'll be over tonight
I changed rooms. So all my space is gone and a pharmacy went in my old room. They told me though the day he was moving in. So I spend a considerable amount of time on Saturday moving all my stuff. Once again the whole family came out to watch the situation and made comments and jokes.
I was getting on the bus to go to Yali and a person says hey chelli (another word for gringo) I'm a bit skeptical with sitting near people when they do that but I wanted to practice Spanish. We talked for about 30 minutes about different things. Then he goes, 'I'm sorry chelli but I got a question' and I replied with 'sure what' 'Give me 10 dollars.' Just when you think someone wants to talk and get to know you they ask for money. I'm kinda use to it but it was funny.
A few times when I was teaching class I just said English words while I was speaking Spanish. I assumed they understood. I knew I should have substituted other words but it just kinda happened.
In this new room I'm in there’s a window opening into the living room. Once in a while a person will just walk up push the blinds aside and look at me. The other day one person did it and says this is where the gringo lives while showing his friend. Last night I was watching a movie and I saw a figure sneak up and spy on me. I was just sitting in my hammock and they stayed for about 2 minutes and left. They had no idea I could see them.
The little girl who lives in the house, who torments me, had a question for me the other morning. She knocked and I open the door. Give me 100 cordobas. I laughed and told her no. She said her mom refused to buy her a ring and she needed 100 cords for a ring. She asked me all morning. At one point she told me the mother told her to tell me to buy her a ring. Shes about 10 years old I assume.
While I was taking a taxi in Estali to the nice hotel I found myself being driven through the slums and was wondering where this guy is taking me. Eventually I'm dropped off at what I think is the right place and walked in to the court yard. There were rooms but no one was around. I also thought I was meeting the other PCV theres. I walked around for a while and found someone and simply asked 'are there gringas here.' They were there but I was still a bit scared.
The entire morning sleeping at the Esteli Office I was worried someone was going to come in early and see me sleeping in my boxers. So much of the morning was spent tossing and turning and listening. At one point someone must have hit the door and I freak out and got dressed and tried to act casual. It was just someone messing around.