My worst day here

>> Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Normally we try to keep our blog relatively positive and censor ourselves from saying a lot of the things we really want to say, not posting on the blog when we're too angry, etc. In the (distant) future I'm sure I'll look back fondly on Nicaragua and might even miss being here, but this is not one of those times.

I may regret writing this post and delete it when I feel better in the morning, but until then I need to vent and get my frustrations off my chest.

I've been working really hard for the last few months on a manual of lesson plans, games, and classroom strategies to accompany the new national English curriculum. We've been working on it in a small committee and asking for the input of all the English volunteers here. The committee members have been working, but I've been especially stressed that very few of the other volunteers agreed to help us, and most of those that did agree backed out because they're "too busy" or it's too hard, leaving the few of us with even more work to do. I spent the day today in the Peace Corps office working on the manual, and that always leaves me exceptionally stressed as I realize how much work there is to do and how little time there is to do it. Peace Corps (Cuerpo de Paz) is often jokingly called the "Cuerpo de Paseo" (hanging out corps) because people don't actually work, and that seems to be the case with many in my group--they no longer even go to school, let alone help with any extra projects.

After traveling home I took Dora outside since she had been cooped up in the house all day by herself. She went about her business like she normally does, and happened to stop to poop in the street in front of a house where people were sitting outside in their patio. As she started going to the bathroom, they started yelling at us and picking up rocks to throw at Dora even though I had my plastic sack in hand to pick up the poop. Though I told the people to stop yelling and not to throw anything since I was going to pick it up, they continued so I ran Dora home to get her safely inside before they could hurt her. I went back with the bag to pick up the poop and calmly tell the people that it really wasn't necessary, that we're responsible dog owners, and that Dora's poop being on the ground for 15 seconds is nothing compared to all the street dogs that roam around freely.

I had hoped for an apology, but didn't get that at all. They told me they were going to call the mayor's office and report me because a dog pooping is prohibited (?), they started laughing at me for being upset, and told that they'll throw rocks at Dora to kill her if they see her again.

I don't really know what we're going to do for our last 22 days here, but I do know that I hate being here and just want to go home.


Showtime: The Big Screen

One of the best escapes from the heat and the stresses of everyday life is a trip to the movie theater.  In Managua there are several movie theaters that are pretty darn similar to theaters in the US: air conditioning, popcorn, comfy seats, (relatively) overpriced sodas, the whole works.  Managua has two theaters that we've visited, Metrocentro (which is near the Peace Corps office) and Galerias (which is on the highway to Masaya).  Here's Galerias' movie theater:

And Galerias at night:
We saw our first theater movie in Nicaragua about a month and a half into training.  For those two hours during Pirates of the Caribbean 3, the four of us (Paul, me, Kelly, and Nicole) completely forgot we were in Nicaragua; I won't lie, we were all a little sad to walk out of the theater and realize we were still here.  Paul's host mom threatened to spank us for getting home so late (about 7:00), but it was completely worth it, though at that moment I wasn't quite sure we'd last the full two years.

Since then, we've gone to see a few movies that we legitimately wanted to see, but we often just need a break from reality and see the best thing that's playing and that's subtitled (some movies are subtitled and others are dubbed).  I think this is a complete list of the movies we saw in the theater while we were here:
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Ocean's 13
  • Gone Baby Gone
  • Beowulf 
  • Sex & The City Movie
  • Gran Torino
  • Changeling
  • Fast and Furious
Tickets cost about $2.50 a person and refreshments actually aren't that expensive; we usually go for a popcorn and soda (though no free refills here), but recently have tried nachos and hot dogs to make the experience that much more authentic.  Finally, most trips end with a visit to the (also air-conditioned) La Colonia Hyper supermarket that's next door to the mall to buy other fachento goods like supplies for mini pizzas, cans of Dr. Pepper, cookie mixes, and pickles.


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