Monday, May 17, 2010


Whenever I come home after having spent time out of my site, my host family tells me I am being "vaga", which means something like "vagabond". This month I have been extra-vaga. Between my mid-service medical and dental exams (no cavities this year), a workshop on program design, and the fact that I'm participating in the new Ag group's training activities, I have not been in my site for a full week since mid-April.

I mention all of this in part to explain why I haven't been keeping up with this blog. But it's also an interesting reflection of Nicaraguan rural culture that people are not used to the kind of constant motion that North Americans are. There are many people in my town who have never traveled farther from home than the two major cities that are two hours in either direction from where we live. Many have never seen the ocean or any of Nicaragua's natural and cultural wonders. To me, it's mind-boggling to think that there are people who leave our tiny community of 700 people no more than a couple of times a year.

In two weeks I'll be heading back to the US for my first visit since I started this adventure. I wonder how it will feel to be back in what Thomas Friedman calls "the fast world" after having spent a full year here where things move at a much slower pace.

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