Return to Innocence

>> Thursday, June 14, 2007

  1. I go to sleep at 9:30 every night.
  2. I watch a ton of cartoons and don’t really understand them.
  3. I have to ask for help reading the newspaper.
  4. If I don’t eat all of my food my mom gets mad at me.
  5. I have to ask permission to leave the house.
  6. I’m really excited to take my Flinstone’s vitamins every day.
  7. None of the older kids like talking to me, so my friends are mostly under 10.
  8. I played pin the tail on the donkey today …by myself because I have classes alone.
  9. I don’t know my numbers very well. When I went to the bank the other day I had to ask someone how to say 500 (for the curious, it’s quiniento).
  10. I feel like everyone stares at me when I walk around the high school. But this time it’s really happening.
On the other hand, I have experiences that reinforce that I am indeed an adult and even somewhat crodgety. Today, for example, I was at the high school planning my next lesson with my counterpart when kids in the next room were making a ton of noise, and suddenly they started pouring out and the teacher asked me if I wanted to go see an election. I was like, ok but I’ve seen elections and they’re pretty low-key. That is false here. Nicas take their elections very… seriously.

This election was for school queen and it was part reggaeton dance party, part beauty contest, and part riot. There were three candidates for queen and they each had their respective groupies who could be identified by their varying spray-painted hair and the headbands that said “Marilyn” or “Victoria.” Every time their candidate’s name was mentioned, the gangs exploded with cheers, drumming, firecrackers, and mosh-pitting. For intermission each of the candidates dispatched two people from their crew to perform really raunchy dance moves for the crowd and the school administrators.

I knew that I was definitely a grown-up when my counterpart and I exchanged glances that said, “kids these days.” Despite how humbled I am by my shortcomings in Spanish and Nicaraguan culture, I’m glad that teenagers will always be around to embarrass themselves. Besides, some of the things about my renewed childhood are nice. I’m going to keep taking my Flinstone vitamins because it´s like healthy candy and being friends with kids is cool because knowing how to jump rope turns you into a superhero.

2 comments:

Paul 4:57 PM, June 15, 2007  

I thought of another: when I got home at 10:00 last night my host mom was waiting up for me. Thanks real mom for not doing that anymore.

Doug Hill 4:42 PM, June 20, 2007  

I'm enjoying reading about what you two (excuse me...y'all) are doing and how much more interesting it is than my life. We miss you in Springfield!

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