Friends and fans:

Good news to all at home: I am still alive. Most of you already know this because, despite warning my adoring fans that I would be without internet for the next three months, we arrived and it turned out we have constant WiFi in the hotel we are staying in. This week we have been training together before we arrive in our communities. It has involved untold luxuries. I’m talking: flushing toilets. Fruit juices at lunch. Showers. Air con. One day we even got a fruit bun at break time. This ALL ENDS TOMORROW!!!


Tomorrow we head to our communities. This is where we will be living and working for the next three months. There will also be a group of Nicaraguan volunteers from that community who we work with, and they have been training with us this week. Everyone keeps reminding us that these communities are “really rural”. From our probing questions this seems to mean, there’s no supermarket, there’s very little plumbing and the showers are buckets with cups to pour the water over your head. (Disappointing as I thought a bucket shower was a bucket with holes in the bottom like a shower head). Mainly we are concerned with the “latrines” (aka long drop toilets) and the fact that you can feel the flies hitting your bum while you wee…???! Don’t worry I will update you on these issues ASAP.

I’m nervous about the communities not only because of the latrines. When I studied in Cuba we stayed in a home stay, like we will be here, but our home stay family weren’t very friendly and our home stay cook wasn’t very good at cooking …. She also scared the hell out of me. However, it turns out the leader of the Nicaraguan volunteer group is my home stay mum’s granddaughter AND she brought us some cookies that her grandma had made AND they tasted like a cross between a digestive biscuit and a dorito. For some reason, this combination is delicious. Hopefully it is a good omen.

Nobody else in my group speaks Spanish so I am now head translator, which I’m hoping means by March I will be much better at Spanish. Its dinner time now, so I will leave you with this one note… When they told us we would eat rice and beans for every meal, they weren’t joking. Rice for breakfast. Rice for lunch. Rice for tea. I’m not complaining about this yet (too soon to complain now!) But I am genuinely taken aback that people have rice for breakfast!!!!

Rice for breakfast
Rice for tea

Besos to my muchach@s,



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