Well this is my second journal. The trip is a lot closer now, and I am pretty nervous. I also am looking forward to it. What I cannot wait for is to meet my host family. I want to spend time with them, get to know them and hopefully keep in touch with them once I make my return to the U.S. In fact I feel like I am looking forward to meeting them, then I actually am looking forward to the trip. It is the end of the semester and we are all feeling the strain. However I am confident that once we are actually there, as long as we are smart, and do not do anything dumb, it will be an experience to remember. I was for a little bit in early November extremely nervous about going. Looking back, I think it was and still is the jitters people get before they move to a new town or a new school, only intensified a bit. For reasons I cannot really explain just hearing the names of my host family did a lot to put my mind at ease. It’s a little frustrating because there are times when I find myself trying to work and drifting off, wondering what they look like, what their personalities are like. I wonder a lot about how they will first react to meeting me. I imagine that it will be awkward at first, because I still am going to be in an unfamiliar with their culture, there are going to be nuances, and instances we just cannot prepare for.
I just really hope my host family is patient with me, because I do not speak a lot of Spanish, and there are a lot of other gestures, and mannerisms and cultural things that are there that we likely do not have information on. Still that does not keep me from wondering what it will personally be like for me to eat with them, talk to them and learn about how they live. Mainly I hope they are patient because this is going to be new for me no matter how much preparing I did. The meeting about dealing with culture shock was pretty useful and I hope we can review it on the plane down there. My friends and family are all a little worried about me, because I will be going to a third world country, but I keep telling them that they are being a little ridiculous.
I am looking forward to working with the children, even though it’s been a while since I last worked with kids. If the Nicaraguan children are like the American children I dealt with before, this will be a lot of fun. I hope that we spend some time going over lesson plans, and the like before each day. I do not want there to be a lot of confusion for me, I want to be able to pull my weight and do my part when I am down there.
I am glad to have the team I am going down with. In particular, I think that Rob’s sense of humor will be what keeps us going on the more strenuous parts of the trip. I know I have been going on and on about my host family and you are all sick of reading about it, but I still cannot get them out of my head. I am going to live with them for three weeks I think I am warranted to be curious about them.
I think this will be a great trip. I want for finals to just be over and done with so I can go and go down to Nicaragua. This is shaping up to be a rewarding experience.