Thursday, December 28, 2006

Presentación Navideña- Christmas Show

Some pictures of the first Manna Holiday Concert:

Hilary backstage getting some of the (really excited) girls ready for the show

Traditional Nica folklore dance

Me with some of the bailadoritas

The choir singing "Feliz Navidad"

Waiting to go on stage for the Nicaraguan folklore dance


Home from the Corn Islands! Originally, we were only planning on staying for five days. But after two days of lying on the white sand beaches, snorkeling, reading in hammocks, eating $4 meals of fresh lobster and shrimp, we decided to stay longer. La Islita, the smaller of the two Corn Islands, is so small it has no cars or roads. We didn't wear shoes the entire time we were there. Our thatched roof casitas (where we stayed) sat right on the ocean, and all the food on the island was either caught (FRESH seafood) or grown (pineapples, organic vegetables, etc). One of my favorite things to do on the island was knock down coconuts from the palm trees using big sticks, cut them open and eat fresh coconut. La islita is so undeveloped, with very few tourists. We made quick friends with some Little Corn locals (Dariel and Angelito), who taught us Creole phrases such as 'Ya herd, mon," and the typical Little Corn Island greeting which is "Alright?" (and in response) "Right here, mon."

Now I'm back in Managua, living with the Flores family until January. I live with two sisters (Olga y Dayana) and one brother (Macol). Emilito, Olga's 3-year-old son who also lives in the house, is absolutely hilarious. He can usually be found (1) running around the house with his new bike (2) playing with the dogs outside, or (3) swinging on doors- something he knows he's not supposed to do (he always looks so guilty when someone catches him in the act). My Nica mom's name is Lorena and father is Emilio, and we have a tiny little black lab puppy (3 weeks old!) named Clifford.

Our programs start up again in January, so until then, I'm just relaxing and hanging out in Cedro Galán- speaking lots of spanish, hand-washing all my clothes, and getting to know another beautiful Nica family.

Also, our website has officially been updated! Check it out at:

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Vacation

Today is our last day of programs in Cedro for 2006! We're putting on a huge holiday show at 4:30 that Andie has organized. The little girls will be doing four traditional Nicaraguan folklore dances, around 15 kids are putting on a play, and about 20 others will be singing "Feliz Navidad," "Los Peces en el Rio." and "Cinco Pa' Las Doce," three popular Nicaraguan Chirstmas songs.

Tomorrow (Friday) at 5 am, Andie, Hilary and I are headed off to the Caribbean (The Corn Islands). We'll be there for 5 days spending 2 days on Big Corn Island and 3 days on Little Corn. I can't wait! I'll be back in Managua on the 20th.
To read more about Corn Islands, go to

hasta pronto

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Last days of my homestay #1

Sadly, I'm done with my homestay in Cedro Galán. I moved back into the Manna house a few days ago (but I'm not feeling too nostalgic just yet because I'll be living with another family in Cedro over Christmas and New Years)...

Top 10 list of my time with the Solis family:

(10) walks with Gregoria (my sister) around the community to meet her friends and learn all the "secret paths" in Cedro
(9) hand-made tortillas cooked over the open fire
(8) speaking Spanish all day, every day
(7) washing clothes in the concrete sink with mi madre, Racquel and then hanging them out to line-dry
(6) drinking coffee with Marcos (my Nicaraguan dad) under their guava tree
(5) the smell of the soap we used in our outdoor bucket shower- like clean linens and baby powder
(4) dancing with Yuvi to "Daddy Yankee" in the living room
(3) coloring and reading Disney books in Spanish with my sisters
(2) nightly conversations with Racquel and Marcos under the bright Nica stars
(1) truly being part of a family, even though I'm thousands of miles away from my own

Gregoria teaching her 6-month old cousin (we call him "Gordito") to walk

Racquel, my Nicaraguan mom, with Gregoria ironing in the background

The Solis home, with the little red cocina (kitchen) on the right

Yuvi and I and her peluche (teddy bear)

Yuvi and I

Yuvi peeling frijoles (that we just picked from the field!)

My clothes, freshly washed and line-drying

Typical meal: beans, rice, tomatoes and plátanos (plantains, kind of like bananas)

moving out

Last day with mi familia (missing Anielka and Yuvi who were climbing a tree in the yard)