Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dear America

It's not you, it's me.  You've been great.  Fantastic really.  I can't thank you enough.  The good times.  The bad times worked through and the close calls made into hilarious stories.  You have provided me with the best of friends, a loving and extended family, and so many more people that have meant so much.  You are full of so much blessed life!  Treasured memories every bit.

Alas, you know me: I take and take and take.  I can never have enough.  And that's just it: I want more.  I need more! Adventure calls out to my very soul!  Fret not, I will return.  So don't forget me.  Know my dreams will always be of your warm embrace.

Tell me this, can I know you are truly the one if I have experienced nothing else?  They say if you love something set it free.

And so I must go, my love.  See the world.  Experience all it has to offer!  Yes, I will be unfaithful for a time, but know that I still love you.  My sweet America.  My dear home.

I'm off now.  Remember that you, dearest, are always in my heart.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Dry Run: Nicaragua Part III

The family called me "Teo".  "Dale" is a bit hard to pronounce with the long "a" and it helps no one to look at it since sounding it out you would get something more like "dah lay".  "Da le" or "dah lay" apparently actually has meaning and they say it all the time.  So they called me Teo.

When they got particularly good at saying my name, it would sound almost exactly like "day-o".  And every time they would say it like that I'd find myself humming Harry Belafonte's Banana Boat Song.  Which I'm sure you remember from that scene in the movie Beetlejuice.  Eventually they caught me singing it.  And so I taught the first few lines to the children.  And a couple of the adults.  And we sang it.  I have a Nicaraguan theme song.

There was more fun with singing.  I ran into a brief impasse with the children trying to teach them some English words.  They didn't really get that our alphabet was pronounced differently.  Naturally to teach them I went with the song.  That's the only way I can really remember the alphabet anyway.  It may say something about the quality of music they have access to, but they were pretty interested in my singing.

I was requested to sing the alphabet by a group of grown women around a cook-fire.  So, in my best faux Sinatra voice, I did.  There was applause.  That may have been one of the most surreal moments of my life.
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I'm back in the United States.  Till the 19th when I make my way to Philadelphia for Peace Corps orientation.  Followed by an incredibly long flight to Cameroon to spend the next two plus years of my life.

Nicaragua was a great opportunity for me to meet a ton of different Peace Corps Volunteers living and working in country.  I left with a resounding "yea, I can probably do that."