Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Behans Never Quit: 14 April 2014

Hermanas Behan and Gonzalez with Roger and Patricia at Patricia's baptism.

 ¡Hola familia y amigos!

So I finally figured out what Hna. Lopez reminds me of. You know the pigs on the game Angry Birds? That's what she looks like, in a more attractive humanized Tongan-looking womanly sense. Something about her facial expressions are exactly the same. She isn't Tongan, she's Guatemalan, but she's got this androgynous Pacific Islander thing going on which is cool. Really thick, defined eyebrows..super long jet black curly hair..and she rolls her eyes a lot. Like the pigs! I wish you could see her so you could congratulate me for how right I am.

I also may or may not have lied to Ana Rosa (our food cita) and told her that I have an aversion to gluten (aka rice and tortillas), and it may or may not have been the smartest thing I've done on my entire mission.  "Thou shalt not lie unto thy fellow men, but unto the woman who makest thy food, thou mayest change the truth slightly, so that thy waist line may wax smaller in the land." 1 Caribbeans 12:14

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tsunami? 7 April 2014

¡Hola familia y amigos!

First P-Day in Corinto. A cruise ship pulled in today so we just kind of walked around and laughed at all of the tourists who were bumping into each other and taking pictures. I wish that they weren't so blatantly stereotypical, but they were. Several American men with pot bellies strutting around saying loudly in English, "We want BEER! and COLD!" and tiny little Asian men dressed in lime green pants and riding some sort of weird, modern looking bikes, covered from head to foot by clothing, including white bandanas attached to large sun hats to cover their faces (they kind of looked like futuristic Bee-keepers, haha).  I think they'll probably be sunburned, but fingers crossed they make it out of Nicaragua okay.

I also ate half of a salad that I thought was full of pepper, but turned out to be ants.  Awesome.

Starfish and Streetlights: 31 March 2014

¡Hola familia y amigos!

This email is going to be really long. So, prepare yourselves.

Actually, all of my letters are long, so, it won't really be that different for you. Anyway. Moving on.

There. Is. So. Much. Dust. Here. Right. Now.

I swept three times in our house yesterday, and when I woke up this morning, there was so much dust my flip flops left footprints on the floor.  It's disgusting. And we live on the third floor with a less than effective ceiling (yeah . . . we might as well just take the ceiling off all together. Make it easier for our pet pigeons to enter), so it's even worse.  Renewed respect for those who survived the Dust Bowl, that is for sure.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Viva la Vida: 24 March 2014

¡Hola familia y amigos!

Viva la Vida is a Coldplay song, but it also means "Live Life." I'm not trying to sound like an American Eagle commercial when I say that we really do have the ability to just go out and live our lives, but we really do. Sometimes I feel like we tether ourselves down with unnecessary boundaries.. an ever growing list of "What if's" and "if-onlys" and etc etc etc..but they're mental. Take them off, untie them, and throw them on the ground Andy Sandberg style. And then run and do the thing you've always wanted to do but have never done.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Suitcase Heart: 17 March 2014

¡Hola familia y amigos!

They fumigated all of Fundeci (the apartment complex we live in) this week, which means our house is basically just a graveyard for cockroaches.  I wonder how many times I've used the word "cockroach" in my emails.  Far too many. Someone should count and tell me.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Walking on Water: 10 March 2014

¡Hola familia y amigos!

So I thought it couldn't get any hotter here, and then it did.  If I die here, just know that I love all of you. And that you won't really have to miss me because you can just google Justo Llamas and remember me in the version of my ugly Argentinan Doppleganger self. He sings and everything.

Also, to celebrate my official 6 months in the mission (wooooo!!) we went to a French bakery called "Pan y Paz" (or "Bread and Peace") last Monday, and it was sinfully delicious. A double chocolate mousse for dessert (dessert first, naturally) followed by a goat cheese sandwich on crisp freshly baked french bread.  Worth the calories.  If anyone is coming to pick me up in Nicaragua post-mish, we're going there. We're also going to drink Papaya Milkshakes, because they too are delicious and I tried my first one today. Or maybe we drank two.

Fat for life.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Siete Oop: 3 March 2014

¡Hola familia y amigos!

Siete Oop is how my Nicaraguan friend pronounces 7Up.  (In Spanish the letter "U" is the "oo" sound.)  I believe I mentioned this in a previous email, but Pizza = Pixa and Pepsi = Pexi as well, haha.  

Other random Spanish fact: there are two forms to express the word "you"--Usted (the formal version), and Tu (informal/personal). Here, they use a different version, the "vos" form. It's pretty much just like tu but maybe even a little bit more personal. I didn't pick up on it until recently, but now I hear it all of the time. Not allowed to use it (missionaries, ya know . . gotta use the more formal form), but there ya go.

Guinea Pigs and Miracles: 24 February 2014

¡Hola familia y amigos!

I had to walk home from the Central of Leon in jeans today because we got on the wrong bus, and it felt so weird.  I'm always, always in a skirt, and walking down the same streets I pass by every day in pants felt scandalous. I seriously felt naked. The cat calls don't help, either. "Ay! psst psst psst, Gatita! Chelita! Que bonitas ojos tienes!" commence with snapping and clapping, because logically I would respond to those things.  "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME HAVEN'T YOU EVER SEEN A WHITE PERSON BEFORE??" Geeze.

Spanish lesson of the week: Ulitos = little hair ties. Culitos..... hahaha well, you can google it. But I can assure you I don't want them anywhere near my hair.

99 Isn't 100: 17 February 2014

¡Hola Familia y amigos!

I am in a strangely flippant mood at the moment, and the curtain that is adorning the window I'm sitting in front of keeps smacking me periodically in the face, which isn't helping anything.  So, it will be interesting to me to see what I came up with at the end of this letter.  Also the whole "Relying on my journal and just copying things down" thing just isn't going to happen anytime soon, or ever, because I haven't written a single thing in the last two weeks.  It's because I'm a mom, and training is hard.  Worth it, though. I just don't think I've ever worked this hard in my life. Expect spelling errors and sentences that make no sense.

Water Bottle Showers: 10 February 2014

¡Hola familia y amigos!

Let me explain to you the logistics of a water bottle shower.  A water bottle shower is when you're in the shower (which is about as ghetto as it gets--a metal hose attached to the ceiling that spouts freezing cold water onto a concrete floor) and completely covered in soap (because you feel disgusting and you are disgusting and so you feel the need to lather every inch of yourself with an unnecessary amount of body wash), and then, whilst in the midst of your soapy haven, the water decides to cut out on you completely.  So you are then left with no other choice but to ask your companion if she has any water available, and after some searching, she comes up with two small water bottles she has been keeping in the freezer.   Thus is born the water bottle shower. A freezing, miserable experience, and at the end of it, you are pretty much just as soap-covered as before.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

It's Not Your Turn: 3 Feb 2014

!Hola Familia y Amigos!

I ate Chinese food this week! We went out to eat with Roger and his lovely girlfriend, Patricia (Whom we are teaching!!! Aaahh! Huge news because she has been agnostic for years and was super angry about Roger getting baptized . . . at first. Then she met us and now she loves us. Boom. Success.), and I can now say I have eaten the Nicaraguan version of Chinese food. It wasn't bad, but definitely not the best I've ever had.  Our waiter tried to talk us out of what we decided on ordering and was kind of rude about it, and it reminded me of the Chinese food incident my family and I had in Ireland.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mountain Climbing: 27 January 2014

¡Hola familia y amigos!

I woke up this morning thinking about how amazing the women are here with balancing things on their heads. Huge baskets laden with bread, fish, tortillas, tamales packaged in banana leaves...how do they do it? I've seen women get on the bus with their giant baskets on their heads and nothing happens. I tried walking around the apartment with my journal on my head and it fell after 30 seconds. Sad.  You should try it and let me know if you have more luck than I did.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wal-Mart: January 20, 2014

!Hola familia y amigos!

You know I honestly have no idea what I'm going to write about in this email, so bear with me if I'm all over the place.

Firstly, Hna. G really wants to learn English and I've been having so much fun teaching her. I can teach her anything I want! The power is almost too much.  So, naturally, I taught her how to say, "He's a jerk," "just kidding," and the usage of the words "random" and "awkward," because there aren't direct translations for those phrases in Spanish.  Her English is probably about as entertaining as my Spanish was at the beginning. She asked me today, "Can you borrow me?" haha "Um... no thank you, hermana."

I'm a MOM! Jan. 13, 2014

¡Hola familia ya amigos!

Note to self: don't leave two giant knives in your backpack. You'll try to get our your journal and slice your hand open.

Anyway. Did ya miss me? 

I didn't have the opportunity to even check email last week, let alone write, because my entire life was flipped upside down. So, my apologies.  I received a call at 8:30 pm Sunday night that I would be packing up and staying in Managua for the next two days to prepare to be a TRAINER.  In other words, I'm psychic.  I'm the only gringa who has been here for only 3 months who was called to be a trainer, and it might be a good thing that you didn't get an email from me....because I was so overwhelmed it was unreal. But, I'm fine now and life is good.

Sandwishes: Dec. 31, 2013.

!Hola familia y amigos!

Allow me to say a belated Feliz Navidad, Prospero año y Felicidad.

They made all of the missionaries in my zone put on stupid little elf hats and sunglasses and sing that to the entire stake of Leon, and whomever was supposed to turn off the music after "Feliz Navidad" played three times forgot.  So, we ended up singing it SEVEN times (yes. I'm being serious), and by the end of it I couldn't even sing because I was laughing so hard.   We just really, really, really wanted everyone to have a Merry Christmas from the bottom of our hearts.