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Week 2

June 4, 2011

Greetings again from Nica,

I´m out of Leon for a spell to help with a solar oven workshop in Granada (south of Managua) where I was part of a lovely Gettysburg reunion with graduates Hannah Kane and Greg Purifoy. Crags (Greg) is working near Boaco with the Peace Corp, and Hannah was on her way to Costa Rica to take a summer course in San Jose. The workshop itself went so so as only 3 of 10 showed up and that was only the total through the course of the day. Not a real big deal considering where we are, but it is interesting that if this was an organization run by foreigners, it probably wouldn´t have gone over as well. There is a balance in recieving aid and becoming a self-sustaining particpant in the global community, that is maintaining identity and values, but at the same time, compromising those values for others or simply other values. I don´t really know where a good middle ground is, and it seems a hard thing to justify since it´s the sort of mentality where you can´t play the game unless you play by the rules, and we all know who came up with the rules of the game, and who also likes to break them on a self-serving basis. Other than that I find myself longing for Mexican food and especially swearing. I am used to being able to swear at taxi drivers that don´t stop, my friends, people I am trying to be friends with, and pretty much anything in between. Maybe it was the people I spent time with (and their families, grandparents on down), but swearing was an easy way to connect with people and overcome certain tricky vocab words I could never seem to remember, but here is more subdued. The one-phrase-fits-all a la gran… just isn´t as fun as anything else I´ve become accustomed to. I´m slowly picking up on the slang here, chunche becoming a favorite. Anyway, that´s all for now, hope everyone else is well.

Ben

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