We are slowly settling into our Nicaraguan lives, which include a number of unique trials and tribulations, like learning to live in harmony with ants. In our first days here, I led a questionably personal genocide against the insects. All efforts are futile. No matter the cleanliness of the kitchen, no matter the use of Raid, no matter my guerrilla warfare tactics, we’re still going to find the occasional critter in our box of Corn Flakes. So what do we do? We look the other way and keep chewing.
Another cross to bear on our broad, first-world shoulders: the cold showers. I’m still in denial that I won’t take a hot shower during my year here. I’m still in denial that I won’t even take a lukewarm shower during my year here. It doesn’t help that my water pressure is equivalent to that of the watering can of a very gentle gardener.
In other news, our professional lives have officially begun. We are trained and transitioned, working Monday through Friday from 8 A.M. to 4 P.M. I am responsible for ~30 chapters of Global Brigades across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington D.C., meaning I am organizing approximately 600 student volunteers. I will only respond to Madam Chapter Advisor from now on.
In addition to settling into our home and work environments, we’ve had some time to explore a bit of Estelí and the surrounding area recently. This past weekend we trekked to a beautiful natural reserve that houses the Estenzuela waterfall, extremely close to our house here!
Monday, instead of spending the day in the office, we had the opportunity to visit some of the communities in which GB has implemented public health projects. We met with community members from El Hatillo and Rincón Largo who received concrete floors and hygiene stations (a latrine, water storage unit, and shower) thanks to the help of our student volunteers. Meeting Francesca, a single mother of three, was particularly rewarding, as her concrete floor and hygiene station were installed by my classmates and friends from SLU!
Check out some photos below!