Dust Bowl & The Invasion.

Life in site is a little gross right now.

Example 1: The Dust.

Welcome to a typical soccer game in-site.

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These guys play each Sunday on the ‘field’ near my house.

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Grass stands no chance of surviving here, so dirt is the name of the game for the field.

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Don’t forget your handkerchief!

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On a fun side note, I heard about a women’s soccer league forming in town! And may have sweet-talked my way into getting an invitation to join them!

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I’m expecting to spend a lot of time like this:

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Sun spots over the field. Dusty can be beautiful.

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Example 2: The Bugs.

The rain came the other night and before I had a chance to run out and dance/celebrate/run naked through the streets, this happened…

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Yes, those are dead bug wings, aka the new carpeting in my apartment.

These little buggers hate the rain, are attracted to light, but promptly shed their wings and die when too close to the light.

Then the bodies of the bugs and the wings are separated and small enough to fit through the holes of your mosquito net, so the carpet then turns into bed coverings of dead insects.

It was a lovely night…

Glimpses.

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“Now and then in life, love catches you unawares, illuminating the dark corners of your mind, and filling them with radiance. Once in awhile, you are faced with a beauty and a joy that takes your soul, all unprepared, by assault.”

~ Jennifer Worth ~

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Mi Madre.

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To say my mom is ‘amazing’ would be an incredible understatement.

This is the woman who has not only taken care of me all my life, traveled halfway across the globe to come visit me, nursed my wounds through many surgeries and dislocations, shed tears at the hard things in my life, but given me unconditional love and support through so many ups and downs and crazy changes.

Her sense of adventure (maybe not backpacking for 5 days, but in other ways!), her love of people, the way she cares for those around her and her incredible sense of style when it come to decorating houses. She may even be more fashionable in her clothing choices than me, but shhh…that’s one of those things a 20-something doesn’t really want to admit…

My mom rocks.

And Mom, since the Nicaraguan postal system will probably not deliver your card for at least two more months, I’m sending you my virtual love today.

I love you love you love you and am so thankful for you. Thank you for being my mom, and the best one possible.

That One Time I Got Lots of Gas.

No, not that kind…

This kind:

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And oh, what a difference it made!

I still don’t know how I lived a month without gas when I first came to site. Being unable to cook for the three days it took me to change my gas tank this time around caused enough stress. Cooking my meals in the evening is a huge stress relief for me and to not be able to do that for a few days? Disaster!

Getting gas in my town is a little adventure. Here’s what it takes:

1. Wait for your gas to go out – your clue will be your stove doesn’t light and that quinoa that you have waiting to cook will sit uncooked for days.

2. Unhook the hose and nozzle from the gas tank – stand back from irrational fear that something will shoot out when you do so.

3. Lug the empty tank out to your front step – try not to bump the walls and take the paint of your host family’s newly painted hall.

4. Hail a ‘caponera’ (three-wheeled bicycle taxi) – this may take a few minutes of yelling trying to get the attention of man taking a siesta on top of his bike and require you to recruit the help of some of your students who are heading down the street to wake him up.

5. Hold on to your gas tank as you drive over the cobblestone streets – these are tricky little things, quite the movers and shakers, be cautious! Also, hold onto your hat as your caponera takes a turn – que peligroso!

6. Attempt to help the caponera driver unload the tank into the corner store – but really just stand back and watch as he does it for you.

7. Buy caponera driver a Pepsi as an extra “thanks” – he really did not have to lift that tank for you…

8. Answer, otra vez, questions about who you are and why you are in that store buying gas – “You are not German?!” “What do you mean you live and work here?” “By yourself?!”

9. Hop back on the caponera and brace yourself for the trip home – this time with a fully loaded gas tank to balance on the cobblestone  ride!

10. Get dropped off and wrestle the tank back into your casita – those things are heavy! They even leave imprints on your hands…whew, battle scars.

11. Reconnect the hose and nozzle to the tank – once again, stand back for irrational fear that the thing will explode on you.

12. Thank God for not having stomach hair – because when you light the stove again that first time, a mushroom cloud of fire explore out.

Yes, that happened.

Happy Gassing!