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.

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."


  1. I haven't kept up with your blog as much as I would have liked, so I read all about your summer adventures yesterday! Are you sure you don't want to come back to DC and stare at numbers on a spreadsheet? End of the fiscal year and all..... ;-) It sounds like your adventure in Nicaragua was a good test for your peace corps work, and I wish you the best of luck in training and later in Cameroon.

    1. Good to know someone's reading! Ha. And great to hear from you. Drop me an email with the work gossip. I'd actually find it pretty interesting.

      And give me a month or two to decide how I feel about either staring at spreadsheets or fighting mosquitoes.