We all got up early today to watch the US play Slovenia this morning at a café down the road called Esperanza (like everything else down here). I won't go into detail about the game, it was a disappointing showing by the Yanks that ended in a 2-2 draw. The horrible officiating didn't help us out at all, though, especially when we were robbed of the game-winning goal just before stoppage time due to an extremely vague call (we weren't sure if it was an offside or a foul; apparently FIFA will issue an explanation sometime this week). Anyhow, after the game we came back to the house, where I proceeded to sleep through a majority of the day. Later that night, we went over to see a movie at the Gallerias, a very nice mall across town. Some people saw Robin Hood, a couple of the girls saw Sex & the City 2, but me and Kelly saw the A-Team, which was surprisingly good. Lots of ridiculous American action movie stuff that got us all gringo-ed up. Plus Jessica Biel was in it, which never hurts. After the movie, we hung out and had a drink at the house before hitting the sack.
This morning we set up a venta (sale) at Farito for the Cedro community. We got up around 6:30 and started loading the micro with suitcases full of clothing donations. After driving down and setting up, the gates opened at 8 am. We tried to keep stuff structured--Anina, Amira, and Hemby manned the gate and let in 10 people at a time. Each group of ten was given 10 minutes inside and limited to buying 10 items (although they were allowed to get in the back of the extremely long line and go again if they wanted to). We sold items for 5, 10, and 15 cords apiece (which is about 25, 50, and 75 cents, respectively), which is much lower than market prices down here, but enough to make a bit of money to recycle back into manna programs. In total we made about 400 dollars between 8 am and noon. After the venta, we went back to the house for another much-needed siesta. That night, after a lovely dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches (which seems to be our go-to meal when our cook Elena isnt around), we went to a place Ian likes called Mio Mi Gato, a bar near the Gallerias. It was really nice, and a great atmosphere, but after our first round of drinks we decided to look for a place that had cheaper drinks and a dance floor. We ended up in the Gallerias at a bar called Reef. Originally the bouncer at the door tried to charge us a $4 cover, but after we turned to leave he said we didn't have to pay (I'm thinking that the fact that we had like 10 pretty white girls with us didn't hurt). We stayed for a few rounds there (I had my first Nicaraguan Long Island, which proved to be pretty good) and later on this band took the stage. They were pretty good actually, and me and Ian enjoyed critiquing them for a bit. After the place got a bit crowded over with Nicaraguan hipster-indie types (which are an interesting sight), and our group got its fair share of tipsy, the PDs (who don't drink when they take vols out) drove us home. I came in, washed up a bit, and went to bed.
We slept in a bit in the morning, and then left around 11 for Laguna de Apoyo, a volcanic crater lake near Masaya. We went to this great little restaurant that sits over the lake and has a big 12 or 15-foot jump into the water, the same place that we went to with the Georgia group over spring break. We spent the day reading, swimming, and eating good food. After the drive back to Managua, we had a meeting to select what programs we would be working with over the next three weeks. I'll be leading the Advanced English class, as well as working with the men's soccer program, the Elementary English class, the kid's baseball program, and of course NicAyuda (the program UGA worked with over spring break that helps fund pre-primary education in Managua). It's not as much as it sounds like, and I'm really looking forward to digging in down here. It'll be good to make a personal contribution. After the meeting, I enjoyed a lovely sandwich courtesy of Kelly, followed by some West Wing with Alexandria (which has quickly become an everyday routine) and then bed.
Woke up for the Monday morning meeting at 10. Spent this afternoon blogging, West Wing-ing, and going for a short jog. My first class is at 5 today, it's the Elementary class that Hemby teaches. There are some of my favorite people from Cedro in the class; it should be tons of fun! More updates to come as I try out my programs this week.