I don't have much time to be writing right now, so let me just get one thing out of the way right off the bat: Chinandega has a library. A library. I've been living in this town for two-and-a-half years and I never knew that. Not even a good amount of the locals know it! We had our Active English conversational class there today.
|Enrique looking for a book in the terribly-lit library.|
|Do you see them?|
|Showing Jorgito how to download the videos with a not-at-all-fake smile.|
This past Friday, Zach & I went to see Jorgito, who was very excited because Sandra recently bought a Samsung tablet. The very first thing he said when we arrived was, "Sam, how can I put Caleb videos on this thing??" I cannot tell you how encouraging it was to see a six-year-old boy more concerned with that rather than with downloading more games onto his tablet. Sandra & Jorgito don't have Internet access in their house, so we weren't sure what we could do at first, but then we came up with a plan. They live just a couple of blocks away from a café with free WiFi that we frequent pretty often, so we asked Sandra if we could take Jorgito there for a little bit and download the videos directly to the tablet. She happily agreed to it, so off we went! We were able to download just about all of the videos in no time, and Jorgito was thrilled. When we got back to their place, Sandra said that she was so glad he could have the videos available to watch any time he wanted. She's been doing a great job bringing him to the meetings and keeping up with her own study. As we were leaving the house, Jorgito gave us a big thank you and immediately started watching one of the videos. I can successfully say that it was one of the most gratifying moments I've had here, one that makes all the sacrifices worth it!
|The wedding party walking to the ceremony.|
|Whatever happened to limos?|
Regarding the dance itself, I won't say a lot about it, but I will say it was difficult, especially for a white boy who grew up in a small town, population 6,000, and was not raised in the Latino culture! They had us practicing two to three times a week, with each practice lasting about two hours. I won't lie, guys. It was intense. There were laughs, there were there were tears, there were arguments, and oh yeah, there was dancing. The dance involved lots of jumping and salsa steps. Let me tell you about my frustration with dance lessons: Instructors always tell you the same thing. They always say, "Stop thinking about it so much! Just do it! Let the music flow through your booooody!" Yet, the second you make a mistake, it's, "SHOULDERS STRAIGHT NO YOUR FOOT GOES THAT WAY MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT! But don't think about it so much. Just have fun!" It was hard to learn, but when the time came for our performance, I just decided to finally take that advice: I stopped thinking about it so much and decided to enjoy it! While we did make a couple mistakes, it was a lot of fun and felt like a major accomplishment just the same.
|Yes, there is video evidence of this.|
|They also asked me to play some music at the reception.|
I did two songs in English and one in Spanish (well, with some
English lyrics). It was nerve-wracking, but fun to try!
Now that it's done, I'm realizing that although the experience was busy and stressful, it was also a lot of fun. It was cool to be a part of a wedding in another country! I've definitely got some interesting stories that I know I'll be telling for years to come.
|The wedding party with the newlyweds themselves, Rudy and Mayerling...something.|