Sunday, 25 September 2011

I Ate A Puto

Sun-scorched Alberta. When I flew into Newfoundland I remember the first thing I saw was trees. In Alberta the first thing I see are endless fields, the landscape rumoured to be flat. It is. For this reason I feel like I'm falling sideways as I travel from the airport to downtown Edmonton. The airport's carpeting and walls reflected the golden pieces of landscape that I see everywhere, the fields of cut wheat and grass. The sun here seems stronger than in Eastern Canada.

I am living with a Filipino family and it's interesting to learn the differences between two former Spanish colonies: Nicaragua and the Philippines. The first thing people asked was about Spanish food, but Nicaraguan food is not like Spanish food at all. And also there's a rice cake called Puto in Filipino that I ate but the same word in Nicaragua is an offensive term meaning male prostitute. Culture wars!

Hugs All Around

On my way to Edmonton I stopped in Toronto and met my parents at the hotel we were staying at. They brought along my grandmother. When I saw them I immediately hugged all three of them. When I said goodbye I hugged them again and it was weird and surprising because Chinese culture doesn't do hugging at all. But since I've been in Nicaragua for 3 months for me it was automatic. It was really awkward after I realized what I did...

Some more change-of-culture firsts:\
First breath of fresh air I've had in months: in Miami International Airport
First North American food I ate: muffins

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Flights of Fantasy

It's 1:30 in the morning but I'm still going to post because I am just that excited.
I've been up since 4:30 yesterday morning but I'm still wide awake because IT IS CANADA! And I am quite confused.

We started off in Managua and waited for about 9 hours at the airport for hour flight to Miami. Then we had to check out and check in our luggage at Miami again. By that time it was around dinner and I was really tired and confused and I felt like I was walking through a fantasyland. I was craving Wendy's baked potatoes but it happened to be on the other side of the airport from where our gate is.

And now I magically happen to be in Toronto (Mississauga, to be exact). Tomorrow we will fly to Edmonton.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

How It Goes Down

Warning: Please be aware that this post is about natural bodily functions that some people my find unpleasant reading in a blog.

At my orientation before coming to Nicaragua I was warned that I may have trouble adjusting to the rice-and-beans diet here. The staple foods are mainly rice, beans, cheese and tortillas. For the first couple of weeks I had diarrhea every day and it was pretty hard to get through. Then it got better and now my stomach is happy again with droppings that are normal. I've eaten yogurt and dense bread a couple of times and I certainly noticed a change in my stool the day after. I wonder what will happen when I get back to Canada and my diet changes again...constipation? Upset and heavy stomach? I'll just have to wait and pee.

No camera? No problem

It is the 32nd anniversary of Esteli's liberation in the war and there's a festival today. I didn't know about it and in the morning my counterpart asked in Spanish if I wanted to go to the Ejercito for lunch. I thought it was the name of a restaurant so I said yes and of course didn't bring my camera. When I arrived it was this huge carnival thing at the military base with real war machinery and lots and lots of traditional food. If only I had understood Spanish better I thought what a great photo-op this would be, especially since I'm coming to my last days in this country and I want to soak in as much as I can (then tell me why I'm spending these moments in a cyber?)

Well after this I'm going back to the house to get my camera and back to the festival to take pictures. But what if the festival was really far away? Not everything has to be recorded. That's what I tell myself.

Mr. Clooney in Up in the Air said that pictures are for people who can't remember!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

La Goleadora (Comando Tiburón)

I am really getting in the the Reggae music that they broadcast here but unfortunately none of it is native to Nicaragua :(

This DJ is from Panama. The song samples the Day-Oh song that my dad loves!

Things I Won't Miss & Poutine of Nicaragua

I have only one more week here. These three months have been difficult but now I realize it's gone by so quickly. Now I recognize how hard it is to get into Canada and how lucky and how much accessibility I have as a Canadian citizen. The Nicaraguans in the program will not be able to come with us to Edmonton right away because their process of obtaining a visa was messed up so now they'll have to wait and come after us.

Part of travelling means observing differences and nostalgia for your home country. These are the things I will be looking forward to when I get back to Canada:
1. People driving on the highway at a constant speed. Here you have to cross the Panamerican highway and it's annoying (and dangerous) when some cars are going so slowly and others too quickly.
2. Fresh, cleaner air
3. The lack of bugs
4. Internet!
5. Noodles. Chinese noodles

In another note, today there was a huge parade because it's a national celebration day. All the high schools participated with drumlines and it was really cool. I got fries there topped with ketchup (salsa) and mayo and cheese and a girl from Quebec was there and noted that it was like poutine.

Thursday, 8 September 2011


In Iceland, after about 3 months living there I recall writing a post about beginning to like licorice. The same is happening here with a fruit called nancita. It's a small yellow fruit with a pit. When I first smelled it on the street it was disgusting and when I was given nancite juice it tasted like feet yet I faked it and said to my host that it was very good.
Now the taste has grown on me and I go out and purposely buy nancites to eat. Yum! I love how every culture has its own foods that seem disgusting to others.

Since Nicaragua imports a lot of its music and television, I will end this post with a song from a Columbian soap opera: