Monday, July 14, 2008

things i miss about the US

I leave in a few days for the US! My first trip home in a year! In honor of my trip, I'm posting about things I miss from the US.

-Family and Friends (of course) I really miss people and I miss being among people who really know me and who have known me my whole life. I miss certain conversations and jokes and memories.

-DC I love Washington, DC. I really enjoyed living there. I like that you can walk around and that there's a good public transportation system. It's pretty, it's international, there's always a lot going on, there's free museums and monuments and lots of history. I miss living in DC.

-Food The food here isn't bad, I enjoy it, but I just really miss food from the US.
I miss good ice cream and good bread. There isn't really any good bread here. Like sourdough and wheat bread, etc. Also, I never liked hamburgers, but now I get cravings for a good hamburger, mainly just because there are no good hamburgers here. I miss barbeque. I miss skim milk and cereal. There's skim milk here, but it's not the same. And there's not as wide a variety of cereals, and the good cereals I can't afford. I really like cereal. Also, I miss salads, especially spinach salads. Big salads with lots of vegetables. There's a lot of food I miss, I can't really list it all. I plan on eating non stop while I'm home.

-Hot showers I've always really liked showers. Here, I have no hot water, and sometimes my water pressure is really bad, so the shower doesn't even really work. So if I want a warm shower, I have to heat water on the stove, dump it in a bucket, and take a bucket bath. It's just not the same as a real shower. I never feel really clean.

-Cleanliness- In general, I miss things being clean. Streets without garbage in them, houses that aren't bug infested, dishes washed with hot water in a dish washer, clothes washed with hot water in a washing machine, etc. Just the idea of cleanliness.

-Bathrooms- not that there aren't bathrooms here, but adding on the cleanliness theme, I miss clean bathrooms that are complete with toilet paper, water, soap, and towels. Also, there aren't really public bathrooms, and people are awkward about letting you use the bathroom in thier house. So finding a bathroom is always an issue. I miss being able to go into any fast food restaurant or Starbucks to use the bathroom, or being able to ask to use the bathroom in someone's house without it being weird.

-Internet- I miss having internet in my house. Having wireless internet and a working laptop seems so amazing right now. The idea of looking up any information at anytime, or of talking to someone online at any hour, is just incredible.

There's a lot more I miss, like museums, and safe clean cities, and good stores, and malls, and good places to run, and more, but I have to go now because my time is up on the computer and this little girl is standing next to me staring over my shoulder, because she wants to use the computer to play some game.

I can't wait to see everyone!!!!!!

more birthday parties!

Yesterday my host cousin, Danielle, had a party for her 5th birthday. It was at thier house, in the aldea on the mountain. It was really fun. There were probably around 50 people, my host family, my host mom's siblings and their families. And some of the families of the inlaws of her siblings. There were tons of little kids. We had baked chicken, fresh from thier farm, vegetables, mashed potatoes, and rice. Then the kids beat up the piƱata, which was fun, and then we had cake. The cake was really big, and it was a mix of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. My host mom's sister, who made the cake, knows I like chocolate, so she found me a piece that was all chocolate. I took lots of pictures for them, since they don't have a camera. Danielle had a pink party dress, it was really poofy. She mostly got clothes for presents, but I got her a mini magna doodle, which she loved. She didn't put it down for the rest of the day! In the evening, after most people left, we had some dancing. All my host mom's brothers wanted to dance with me, they wouldn't let me sit out at all. I was rotating between 5 different men. I thought it was really funny. At about 9, we finally left, one of my host mom's brothers drove me home. I left my house at 11am and got home at 9:30! It was a really fun day, thier family is so nice to me!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Well, the feria's over, it was fun. I have a few new small projects going. I'm doing weekly trips to the public library with the school kids. Last week me and one teacher brought 60 1st graders to the library and I read them a few books whith children's rights themes, like right to education, to equality, to family and care, etc, and we talked about what rights are. It was fun and the kids really liked the books. On Wednesday, I´m going to bring the 3rd graders.
Also, a program called Educatodos, which does continuing education for communities that don't have middle schools or high schools, asked me to help them with English classes. So on Saturday I went up to one community in the mountains to answer thier English questions and practice pronouncing vocabulary with them. On Friday I'll be going to another community to help them. Sorry this entry's short, but I've got to go.