Poco a Poco, Lorena, you will learn Spanish. Tranquilo. It will happen, poco a poco. My host mother, Doña Patrona, has had fourteen aspriantes (trainees) before me, and my extended family is full of maestras (teachers) that work in the pueblo. Pues, everyone is telling me that with practice, and by speaking Spanish sin pena (without embarrasment), I will learn it poco a poco. It is hard to picture this Future Lorena (my name is Lorena here) that has the skills to speak easily with family and neighbors, but I have to trust those that have seen the aspirantes before me succeed. And so, here I go, not yet one week in, and I am learning poco a poco how to speak the language, how to take a bucket bath, how to avoid nana from the horses in the street, and how to get my body accustomed to Nicaragua.
I live with Dona Patrona, her grandson Walter (17), her daughter Marisol, and Marisol’s husband, Ramon. Ramon is a language facilitator with the Peace Corps, and so I get to come home and practice more with a trained teacher. Que bueno. Dona Patrona has a Pulperia, or store, in the front of her casa, so people come in and out of her house frequently to buy things. Her porch is amazing–full of flores and other plants, and it has a beautiful view of one of the volcanos in Granada, Nicaragua. Dona Patrona, my fellow aspirantes, other family members, and I often pass our time out on the porch together.
La Paz has about 5000 residents, but you would never expect that so many people live here based on its physical size. There are about 4 streets here. People ride horses and use vacas (cows) to pull wagons. There is one restaurant. And in order to buy bread, for instance, you have to know where the panaderia is because it is part of someone’s home. Don’t worry–I know where the panaderia is.
I will have more to update as I get to know La Paz over the next three months, but I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m doing well and that I’m enjoying my time here so far. I hope all is well back home! Love you all mucho.
My Nica Nails:
Ashley and Emily hanging on my porch. I just took one with some family members today so I will try to get it up here later.