Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Heat is On!

I'm hungry.

That said, I am also hot and am slightly hungover from last night. I have the television on, but the sound is being overpowered by my neighbor who is blaring Vicente Fernandez and singing along at the top of his lungs. I love him. Them. Both Vicente and my invisible singing neighbor.

I wish I could grow a moustache like that. However, even darkening in my moustache with mascara does not yield results as impressive as these.

I have been so busy living up to my title as the most fascinating person in the hemisphere, I don't even know where to start! I suppose I will start by getting this ant off my head! Not cool, ant.

So, last December, Dr. Smith came to visit me for a few weeks. It was super fun. We flew in a tiny plane and took, I believe, 7 different boats together. On the panga from Bluefields to Laguna de Perlas, it rained. So the boat people busted out this giant black tarp so we could cover ourselves - immigrant style - and keep ourselves dry! It was fun! Look at all the fun we're having!

Doesn't that look like fun? Are you jealous? You should be.

We took the tiny plane to San Carlos and, from there, mosied on down the river. We took a boat to Boca de Saballos where Jason and I hung out all day drinking beer and watching the river after walking for nearly an hour through cow pastures in the pouring rain. We took a boat to El Castillo where a young border patrol officer recited poetry to me while holding his AK47. And we took a boat to San Juan de Nicaragua where we ate the BEST FRIED CHICKEN EVER before I fell into a swamp! We made friends everywhere we went, from the old ex-gun runner from Ireland whose reluctance to talk about his past made us think he was likely in the IRA and on the run from the government to the 20 year old drug runner who took us to dinner. It was an interesting and exciting trip. And it was the first time I'd been all the way down the Rio San Juan. I felt like Mark Twain, except I think he went down the river in the opposite direction.

After Jason went back to the USA to have Christmas with his family, I had three days to get some work done and repack my bag in preparation for the arrival of Kt and Denis! During their stay, we climbed mountains and volcanoes. We went to Matagalpa and Selva Negra. Then to Leon to visit Dale, volcano board and have Christmas!! We went volcano boarding on Christmas Eve and I raced Denis down the mountain! I was totally winning and going super fast when I lost control of the board and went rolling half-way down Cerro Negro.

This is Cerro Negro. The active volcano I climbed, slid down, fell down and climbed again to get my board.

This is what I looked like after I fell down the volcano. I was quite dirty. Luckily, I listened to what the guide said and I kept my mouth closed. If I hadn't, more than my bra would've been full of volcanic rocks.

After we left Leon, we headed to Ometepe for a few days where we ate Italian food at my friend's restaurant, swam in the lake, and went kayaking down the Rio Istiam. It was beautiful and amazing. Denis broke one of his oars and we all got sunburned! But we saw monkeys and toucans and turtles and all sorts of stuff. I love kayaking. I wish there was a river that went to my work so I could kayak there. It would be amazing!

After Ometepe, we went to Masaya and Laguna de Apoyo. I love Laguna de Apoyo and should probably go there soon, considering I haven't been since I moved back to Managua. We also did the night tour at Volcan Masaya. Unfortunately, it was quite overcast and the Santiago Crater was very smokey, so we did not get to see any lava. But the rain felt nice on our sunburns!

After the gang went home, I spent New Year's Eve in Managua. I went to Tabu and Q with Alex. We drank several bottles of rum and, when the strippers came out at Q, I was far too drunk to get down from sitting on the bar. And that is how I got tea-bagged in the back of the head on New Year's Eve in Managua.

I washed my hair the next day.

After washing my hair, I went back to Rio Blanco and worked. I went to Amelie's despedida (she moved back to France), ate lots of fritanga with Mike, drank with the boys and made a few trips to the campo. I did a lot of sampling in Siuna and met with nearly every governmental and non-governmental organization there while trying to find information on the geology of the zone.

And now, I am being attacked by ants. They bite. I do not like them.