The Rundown - August 2016
August was kind of a roller coaster month. There were some celebrations, some goodbyes, and I spent a lot of the time sick. So let's get into it, shall we?
My Managua bestieB finished out her contract and so, necessarily, we had to say goodbye. Since we were also celebrating her birthday a little late, we tried to make the day count. We started the day off with brunch and mimosas, had cake, lounged by the pool with margaritas all afternoon, then cleaned ourselves up and headed out for some dancing. Drinks, pool party, dance party, cake, friends, and great lipstick? I'd say we nailed it. [line] The following weekend was boyfriend's birthday and one of our last chances to sneak away before he leaves to study in Europe. We had a family birthday party and some down time, then headedB to our favourite spot - you guessed it, the Laguna de Apoyo - for a fancy night. Our accommodations didn't quite live up to the pictures online, but we had a great time anyways. With these views, how could you not?
A friend introduced me to a new-ish Managua market and it is hands down the nicest market I've seen here. It actually beats out all the other markets in the country, I would argue, with the exception of the artisanal market in Masaya. There were levels of booths and they were separated into categories so all of the food was in one place, the vendors with homemade goodies in another, shoes and clothing, then jewelry and baubles in a different place. Very clean, very organized, and really great items. A great find and a fun place to kill a few hours on a lazy Sunday. If you're looking to go, just tell a taxi it's "Parque Nacional la Feria por la Rotunda Universitaria".
La canicula hit. Which is a super Nicaraguan way of telling you that rainy season got put on pause for about six weeks and the heat cranked back up to the high 30s and into the 40s (celsius). NOT FUN. Ugh. We had all so been enjoying rainy season and it's slight temperature break. But apparently this is common and, though it seems to be lasting longer than normal, the rains are supposed to be coming back any day now... I have never cared so much about the weather in my life. And I'm Canadian.
I got Zika. Oh yes.B I told you last month that my bestie got it while here, and turns out I wasn't far behind her. On the upside, the symptoms were less severe for me and I didn't get the joint pain. I just felt flat out tired for a few weeks and I actually think I might still be recovering in that way. Of course, I have also just recently had a nasty head cold so maybe THAT is what I'm recovering from...sad face emoji.
I had a job interview a few weeks back that I totally tanked. TANKED. I never tank job interviews and that has been a point of pride of mine. If there's something I can do, it's sell you on the idea of me. But all of a sudden, there I was, just tanking. And I was totally helpless to stop it. And then I tried to write an elevator pitch about myself as part of a group workshop, and everyone around me told me stuffB I had missed, mentioned achievements I hadn't even considered adding, and told me I was totally downplaying all of my skills. Talk about a wake up call! Somewhere along the way my self esteem has taken a serious hit (I think if I'm being honest, it's been a more gradual slide and a number of big wallops over a few years) and I stopped believing in myself. Journey would not be impressed with me. So that's been good to note and now I have my work cut out for me. I still have a long way to go to be my best self but I work on it all the time and if nothing else, I really ought to give myself some credit for that. Suggestions? What do you guys do to build yourselves back up a bit?
The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson - Well this was the weirdest book I've read in a while. It follows a family of artists that are all slightly (or very)B unhinged in some way and whose views on art are highly different, and by most accounts, odd. At its' heart the story is one of family, forgiveness, acceptance, and the profound knowledge that our parents fuck us up and that's just life. It's a worthwhile read if you have it hanging around or bump into it at the used bookstore, but I didn't love it enough to suggest you run out and buy it at full price. Then again, it was a bestseller, so what do I know?
Around the Interwebs
I've been really leaning towards the minimalist lifestyle lately. I know that's super trendy right now, but it's not about that for me. It's about making smart choices on what to buy and choosing only to be surrounded by things that bring joy into your life. And take work out of it. And to budget. Largely, it's to do with not re-buying shit, selling it, cycling through it but instead investing in a few items to last and bring me joy. Weird, right? One minimalist blogger said something that resonated with me a long time ago and that was "Stop buying things to store your other things in" and I thought that was so on point. If I need a bin to store all my knick knacks, maybe I don't need knick knacks. If I tuck some books away in a box because my bookshelves are overflowing, maybe I could donate a few of the ones I never plan to read again. I like the idea of having a home that is beautiful andB functional in its' beauty. I also loved this piece on developing a uniform, even if a person wentB less severe and just paired down a little. Would you consider embracing at least a work uniform for ease? I want to want to but I'm not so sure I do...
Due to an agreement I signed with my current work placement, I'm not allowed to share much about what's happening politically in Nicaragua. But I think it's important everyone knows. This article written by an author I love (and whom I saw speak six months ago) is a good starter on the situation. You'll have to look into the rest if it piques your interest (and I hope it will).
Read the World? Uh, heck yes! I love when people do things like this. It so perfectly combines my two greatest loves - books and travel. I want to add them all to my list! And yes, I've read the one she chose for Nicaragua along with several others by the same author. She's well worth a read.
I had a ton of fun writing and compiling this post, and have spent even more time than usual daydreaming ever since... My Big Bucket List
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Coming up in September
The bf leaves for Scotland (sniffle) and I start my farewell tour of Nicaragua. Only three more months in this beautiful and frustrating country that has become my second home. What's next, you ask? I'll dish on that in October :)