>> Wednesday, January 16, 2008

When we were home it let us know that we failed to answer some important questions, so here's a frequently asked questions list that we compiled to address our deficiencies:

What do you eat? Mostly carbohydrates at home--rice and beans, pasta, fried rice, chow mein, etc. Gallopinto is the main nicaraguan staple that I we eat a lot with tortillas for dinner. It's basically rice and beans with a little extra flair.

That sounds delicious. Where do you get your food? I think most people buy their food at the open-air market in Masaya. We do this some, but the supermarket is a lot closer so we usually just go there. It's not a great supermarket, nor even a good one, but it keeps us from starving. If we want anything special like Ragu pasta sauce we have to go to Managua.

How's your Spanish? It's a lot better than when we got here and we can do day-to-day stuff but we both have trouble when we have to do stuff outside our normal comfort zone. For example, I always feel pretty dumb when I go into a health clinic because I don't know all of the medical vocab and some of that is pretty technical. Basically, it's ok but there's room for improvement.

Do you still live separately? Thankfully that was only during training and we've been together since July.

Do you teach at the same school? Nope--different schools. Our city has at least 3 public high schools (that seems like something I should know for certain) so we are in different places. My school is small--300 secondary students--and Holly's is way bigger with more like 3000 students.

Do you teach alone? In the high schools we teach with a Nicaraguan counterpart. I have one counterpart and Holly works with 2. Mine is male and Holly's are both female, but that's purely coincidence. Besides working at the high schools, we both have community classes that we teach alone.

How do you get news? We are kind of lucky because we have a TV and get pretty good cable. We get CNN and Fox News channel and most of the major networks. Otherwise, we read La Prensa and El Nuevo Diaro a few times a week if one of us is up early enough to catch the paper man. There's a guy that walks by every morning selling papers and we just have to be around when he walks by t pay the 5 cords for a paper.

What are your neighbors like?
Well, most of them are really nice. There´s one old lady that lives across the street who has recently become really bossy about our security. If she sees someone talking to us that she doesn't like she will come over and scare them away and then tell us to close our door and turn on the outside light. She's not exactly the kind of lady we'd want to be friends with, but it's nice that she's looking out for us. One of our other neighbors, Juan Carlos, is normally a pretty responsible guy, but as soon as Friday rolls around and he's had his fill of Caballito he turns into a totally different guy. Then he's a little too friendly. The only other neighbors that we talk to are little kids who deserve their own post.

What do you do in your free time? This and that. Mostly we sit in our hammocks and read or watch TV. If we're really ambitious we go to the beach or visit friends on the weekends.


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