Monday, March 21, 2011

Computer Lab Inauguration

The last few weeks have been the busiest of my service so far. Since the computers were delivered in late February, the directiva committee members and I have been hard at work preparing for the lab’s inauguration and a fundraiser party. There were visits to the mayor’s office and the education ministry, to the hardware store, the grocery store and to Nicaragua’s technical institute.

But now I can breathe a sigh of relief. Our inauguration event went off without a hitch, notwithstanding a very inconvenient power outage on the day of the ceremony. (A loaned diesel generator took care of that problem.) The director of Peace Corps Nicaragua was in attendance at the inauguration and even came back the following evening to bust a move at the dance party. Thanks to the generosity of the owners of our town’s dance hall, El Rancho Silvestre (i.e., The Wild Ranch), the party was also a great success.

Perhaps the best news of the past few weeks is that Nicaragua’s technical institute, INATEC, is going to help us out with technical support and by certifying us as an official satellite institution. That means that we will be able to give computer courses that will include a certificate from INATEC, as though our students had taken the course through INATEC itself.

There is still a lot of work to do, and a few things we need to spend money on in order to have the computer lab fully functional – fans, curtains (for dust), CD reader/burners, paint (for a world map), plastic chairs, etc. - but this coming week we will be able to start giving classes as planned.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What Sexy Today Beauties

Ladies, if you have low self esteem, come to Nicaragua. Here, you will not be able to walk a single city block without receiving recognition of your physical beauty, desirability, and overall hotness. My good friend Ashley has been visiting me this week, and we have been keeping track of the cat calls, or piropos, that come our way.

Over the course of this week, Ashley and I have gotten a lot of the standards- "Que guapa." (How hot) "Que rica." (How delicious) "Mi amor." (My love) - though some men prefer to speak to us in our native tongue - e.g. "Bye, baby!", "Pretty ladies!"

Sometimes one word is all it takes, as in the case of the man who called out from across the street - "Wow!"

By far the best catcalls are those that rely on the caller´s skills in English and innate creativity. The best call of the week: "What sexy today, beauties!" I think that one even rivals my favorite catcall I´ve ever received - "Wow! Wow! Wonderful lady!"