Site Assignments!

Today was a big day. A good big day. We have all been looking forward to and getting nervous about today for weeks now because today was the day that we found out our site placements. Our next two years were determined in a conference room in Managua. It all started with a bus ride. This morning we were picked up on the highway by our houses and whisked off to a national historical site east of Managua. We didn’t know where we were headed or when we’d be back. It was a pleasant morning spent hearing about the battle for independence against an American profiteer army in 1856. Then we got to burn off some steam by climbing a hill behind the site of the battle. It was a beautiful (though hot) day for hiking, and we had fun getting up and goofing off on top of the montañita.Area surrounding a little mountain we hiked up

Then we got to go to a mall food court for lunch, which was a treat. It was weird being in a mall again, even though it has only been a couple of months. It’s just so sterile and removed from life here. It made me feel like I was entering a space capsule in the middle of the city. Still, for a short visit it was fun. I also got the chance to buy some swimming goggles, which I have been missing since I got here. Little did I know how appropriate it was that I purchased them…

Finally, we were dropped off at the PC headquarters in Managua and ushered into the upstairs conference room. After a brief singing of happy birthday to Joe Bob and Andrea (Woohoo!) and some passing of cake, we began to reveal the sites. It started with one of us, who then took up a dart and popped a balloon containing the name and placement of the next trainee. It was a fun and exciting way to figure things out! So the good news is that I’m super excited about my site. The bad news is that because of PC safety guidelines, I’m not allowed to say exactly where it is in a public forum. This is because it would be all too easy for anyone to track us down and harm or rob us. I can, however, describe my site and tell each of who are interested in hearing the actual name via email. Here are the details:

 

I’ll be in a small community of about 2,300 people and will be working with three counterpart English teachers in two high schools. The site is fairly isolated, but it is surrounded by unsurpassed natural beauty. I will be very close to a volcano AND very close to a lake, giving me the opportunity to use those goggles that I had fortuitously purchased not hours before. There are hiking trails, natural springs, waterfalls and beautiful beaches. I’ll be in the south of Nicaragua, and not super far from Managua, which is comforting from a logistical and health safety standpoint. The next step in our training will be doing our site visit, which starts next Tuesday and lasts for a week. We’re not super clear on what it will entail, but at the very least it’ll be getting to know our towns, counterparts, schools, and host families. It’s as if training has been bicycling uphill and we’ve just reached the crest and can see the path ahead of us much more clearly. We’ve been working hard to get to the top, and I think we’re all feeling the exhilaration of the view and accomplishment of being close to the real reason we’re here.

As training begins to wind down a bit (only three weeks left) I’m realizing that I’m really going to miss my family here and my fellow trainees, who have been an essential part of the learning and support that I’ve had so far. We’re all excited for our swearing in (Nov 22, when we become full volunteers) and for each other, but we’re also feeling sad about leaving each other.

Anyways, there are more pictures in my photo album, linked to the sidebar, and there’ll be more info to come.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cindy Salo on October 29, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Wow! You got a volcano AND a lake. Sounds like a lovely site.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Shane Harvey on October 29, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    I hope the water is warm with all of that lava boiling under it!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Margaret Stangarone on October 30, 2010 at 7:19 am

    I can’t wait to see the photos to come! I’m thrilled for you, Andrew!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Lisa on October 30, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Sound wonderful! Buena suerte con tu hogar nuevo! You should come up with a fun pseudonym for your town to use here on the blog.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Debra Lawsing on October 31, 2010 at 7:22 am

    How exciting! It sounds beautiful Andrew. Now the work starts, but I know you’ll be great. I love reading your postings. Stay safe, healthy, and enjoy.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Rebekkah on November 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Andrew, how exciting! This sounds like a perfect placement for you. I’m so excited to read about what you think of your community after your site visit!!

    Reply

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