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THE DIVERSITY OF DAYS

06 Sep
River Tour

River Tour

I want to start this post by saying gracias (pronounced without the s in Nicaragua!) or thank you, for your outpouring of love after my last post. It truly made a huge impact on my first week of teaching to read your prayer commitments, kind words, encouragements, and financial gifts.

Cultural Tidbits:

– A not great day: I found (heard first, then SAW) a rat living in my supply closet at school. Worst. Feeling. Ever. My heart stopped for a solid 5 seconds. It ran out from the spot I had just pulled my hand from. Now I knock on the door before I open it to give him a little warning. I’m going for the mutual respect approach. That should work, right?

Monkey on Monkey Island

Monkey on Monkey Island

– A fun day: We read “The Cranky Bear” and talked about being cranky. I asked the kids if I’m ever cranky. They said no (sweet!). One student blurts, “You CAN’T be, Miss Van Kannel!” I asked, “Why not?” “Because of where you’re from!” he says. “Oh?” “Ya – People from Canada CAN’T be cranky – they’re too nice all the time.” Wow… Coming from a 6-year-old in Nicaragua. Our reputation reaches far.

– An interesting day: Had a pet monkey brought in for show and share. That was a first. I just sat and stared.

– A mistake: This week I made a local dish called gallo pinto for the first time. It was good, but tasted nothing like gallo pinto. I didn’t follow the recipe correctly and missed 2 ingredients and didn’t measure a third. Next time. I’m not quite a local yet!

-A struggle: I’ve lived in cities. I’ve never lived on a farm. I didn’t think I needed open spaces, fresh air, and wilderness. But I am feeling so stifled and closed in teaching on our fenced property with its high walls and iron gate, and coming straight home to our fenced property with its high walls and iron gate. I’m definitely aching for grass, air, wind, freshness, and openness. And the freedom to explore and wander.

– It “felt like” 48 degrees here for a good portion of the day once this week, and the other days were close behind. This is not my cup of tea. Gee, I miss tea. A look at a cup here makes me faint of heat exhaustion. I went for a run at 3:00 yesterday afternoon to burn off some stress and get rid of the feeling of being trapped. That was an awful idea – so, so, so hot. It took my body an hour and a half to cool down again.

– Update on Winston & Sophia the lizards: We watched Sophia (the bigger lizard) EAT Winston. There was twitching and all. We think it may have been murder of the third degree. She had the audacity to take his spot in the stairs already yesterday. I had gotten used to the little guy. So sad.

On the left - the equivalent of the White House, the middle is the old cathedral (empty as it isn't structurally sound after the earthquake), and the old palace (where the revolution started).

On the left – the equivalent of the White House, the middle is the old cathedral (empty as it isn’t structurally sound after the earthquake), and the old palace (where the revolution started).

I’ve split this week’s update into two, as it was getting quite lengthy, so read on for more info, leave now if you’ve had your fill!

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