Posted by: HelenRortvedt | 18 January 2006

Friday the 13th

So, I arrived here in Jinotepe on Saturday afternoon, but my mala suerte from Friday the 13th is still haunting me. My backpack was left at Washington Dulles by United airlines on my way back to Chicago, and I had to board my Delta flight to Atlanta and then on to Managua before my bag could arrive. For all I know, it is still at Dulles. My poor, wonderful parents have been on the phone with both airlines trying to get this sorted out, since I cannot seem to get any reliable information from Nicaragua…wrong phone numbers, etc. So, I have been wearing the same pair of pants since last Friday, which is kind of gross, and I am beginning to think that the bag may actually be lost forever and that I am going to have to (gasp) go shopping. And if you know me at all, you know how horrible that sounds… It definitely feels like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Anyway, Jinotepe is a beautiful town. It is quite clean for a Latin American city (they pride themselves on this fact), and everywhere is walking distance. My host family is HUGE, but great. It’s hard to keep everyone straight, and there are dozens of relatives that stop by all the time to add to the confusion. I am getting accustomed to bucket showering, though I have yet to nail down the most efficient process. Thank goodness for 2 in 1 shampoo-conditioner!

The school I am working at, Instituto Juan Jose Rodriguez, is recognized as one of the best secondary schools in town. The students are still on holiday, however, and will not start classes until the 30th. I will be working primarily in the English Lab, a project that was started by a previous intern, working to improve the materials, lessons and promote its sustainability after I leave. I hadn’t planned on coming down here to be an English teacher, necessarily, but it’s where I fit in the best…where I can help the most and feel productive. It seems like I won’t really have much to do here until the second week in February or so, once classes are well underway, so I am trying to find other ways to occupy my time. Boredom is not good for me, especially considering the year I’ve had so far.

On the bright side: the weather is wonderful, the fruit is fresh, and the gallo pinto is in abundance. Think good thoughts about my backpack, and feel free to email me! I will update again soon.

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