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Yesterday we had a mini-tarot reading exercise at breakfast. I pulled the card “Fight” and was told that it meant that there was something I need to stop fighting. It left me in a mood for pretty much the rest of the day.

We visited two areas of Los Quinchos today-the Farm (the 2nd stage for boys in the program after the Filter House) and Yahoksa (the area where all the girls in the program live). We weren’t at either place for very long, just as we weren’t at the Filter House for very long the day before, but that hour was enough to leave a permanent imprint on my heart.

During process time in the evening (after a meditation session that had left me wide open), I just thought about how much I wanted to protect them all, and how I couldn’t, and how beautiful they all were. These children had either been living in the streets and addicted to paga (a shoe glue) or their had been living in very harmful home situations. They all smiled and laughed and played (as children are wont to do). Their resiliency is inspiring and frustrating…because children shouldn’t need to be so resilient.

I still don’t know what it is that I’m fighting. I’ve been fighting things for so long that I’m past the point of being able to figure it out. Maybe it’s that I need to figure out what I’m fighting for.



My first weekend here in Nica has been both an opportunity to relax and an opportunity to learn. Since I got here a day early, I had the opportunity to visit the laguna a whole week before almost everyone else. One word-gorgeous. It was nice to have a chance to hang out for a day and get acclimated to the weather, the time difference, and have some extra yummy food (Tostones con queso? Si!)



The next day, after everyone else arrived, we were off to Matagalpa to visit one of two casa maternas we would visit this trip. Along the way there was tasty fruit…and we seem to have way too much fun picking out our treats for the bus ride.


I don’t have pictures from the casa maternas we visited on my iPad (will add some later), but the work they are doing is amazing. I was particularly moved by the work done at the casa materna in Jinotega…they focus not only on insuring that the women who may be considered higher risk have the chance to access medical care and hospital during labor (though there are other issues going on there, the presence of casa maternas has done amazing things for the maternal mortality rate in Nicaragua), but also on the underlying societal issues that affect the women they serve-in particular abuse and sexual violence. I am intrigued by their work and hope to reflect more on it a little bit later.

The night we stayed in Matagalpa we visited this fantastic restaurant for dinner. The food was so-so, but the environment was amazing. The booths were painted with feminist quotes and words of empowerment…I don’t remember the full translation for this particular quote, but I do recall the end being particularly powerful to me. (I’ll double check the translation and post it later.)

The land is beautiful. The people are beautiful. I can’t wait to see more.

Happy Christmas…

…to ewe!

Election day!

(This is political as I get here…)

Alright…technically I voted a couple of weeks ago via mail-in ballot…but you get the point. It’s your right (if you are an American Citizen 18 or older) to vote. If you don’t, well, that’s on you then.

Cooking all the things…

I can cook.  Really, I can. I just have a tendency not to. Not because I don’t enjoy it (well, I don’t generally enjoy clean up, but that requires a special sort of which I am not), but because, for some reason, it feels like a huge production to me (I have time issues). Or should I say, it felt that way.

Then I met one of my S’s…Sairy (go ahead, click. She’s doing NaBloPoMo, too…) She cooks ALL. THE. TIME. And enjoys it (or at least, it appears that way…I’m sure she’ll tell me if I’m wrong).

So, this weekend, in a fit of cabin fever-esque something or another…I cooked. And baked. It was frightening. The kitchen doesn’t know what to do with itself (and it seems to have hidden the self-cleaning button, dammit).

The baking was precipitated by the presence of some past-their-prime bananas, so they became banana bread.  Then there were the chunky peanut butter brownies that Sairy said I HAD to make (twist my whisk, why dontcha?).

The cooking? Well, that all started when I went with Sairy and another of my S’s (who henceforth shall be known as Shaz…because damn I’m getting confused with just S’s) to a fabulous little restaurant on our way to Rhinebeck a few weeks ago. The soup of the day? Tomato Goat Cheese.

Yes, please.

I wanted to drink a vat of the stuff…and I don’t like soup. This is impressive, people.

I may have mentioned to Sairy that she should find a recipe and try it out and report back. So, she did. And then she tweaked it and made it perfect.

Here it is. Double the goat cheese and add 1/2 tsp of dried thyme. You’re welcome.

Last dish…chili…which strangely still hasn’t been touched (The Boy forgot I made it Saturday and put a pizza in the oven on Sunday. Oops.) That will be remedied soon enough. It getting chilly in these parts…something about a Nor’easter…just what we need after a hurricane.

Sairy is my own personal test kitchen. I just ask for a recipe for something, and it’s like she becomes my Google search. It’s fantastic.

However…I DID find these all on my own (I think)…Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats. I made caramel, people! From scratch! And I didn’t burn it!!

Three Nights with Mr. Messy

The next few posts will be long overdue from my trip to the UK. Blogging hasn’t exactly been top priority around here. These posts will also be pic heavy, word light (likely).

You might think, based on the title of my post, that the Boy came to visit for a few days whilst I was overseas…not the case, for a number of reasons. 1) That would have been really expensive, and B) who wants to fly 7 hours one way to stay for a few days and fly back another 7 hours. No thanks.

In reality, this is about my trip to Scotland. Mr. Messy was the name of my bed in the hostel I resided in during my stay in Edinburgh. (The Castle Rock Inn, if anyone is interested. It’s  great little place and inexpensive. My only suggestion would be to bring a bed roll as the ‘mattresses’ leave a bit to be desired.)

My bunk

The Mr. Man room. Ironically, an all female dorm…

I arrived on a Thursday evening after a chilly train ride (the quiet car was quite cold…hooray for the fleece blanket I had rolled up to bring with). It was a quick walk from the train station to the hostel, and even though it was about 10 pm, it was still relatively light out (higher latitude for the win!)

Friday was spent on a day tour with MacBackpackers (highly recommend! Inexpensive and the tour guides are great!) up to Loch Ness and then back to Edinburgh through Glen Coe. Scotland is fantastically beautiful. I would love to live there…at the very least I want to go back for an extended vacation/trip so I can see more.

No Nessie sightings…

Glen Coe

I think this should be a postcard

Hamish, Tour Bus mascot

Our original tour bus ended up having some minor mechanical difficulties, leaving us minorly stranded about 4 hours out of Edinburgh. Never fear…the tour company generously paid for our dinner at a local pub (haggis, neppies, and tatties for me!) and took us on a walking tour. The replacement tour guide had me laughing so hard on the way back that I couldn’t breath…if you ever want to know the real story of Braveheart, you must hear it from that man (his name is Hamish, too…)

On Saturday I took the day to wonder around Edinburgh, staying in Old Town. Princes Street, Edinburgh Castle, and all that good stuff.

Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street


He was playing the theme from Star Wars

Flower Clock in Princes Street Garden

View of Old Town from Edinburgh Castle

I had to go back to Uni on Sunday, but the tiny taste of Scotland definitely whetted my palate. I shall be back.


Hang on folks…it’s going to be a rough one…

I started fall classes on Thursday.  I cried in one of them on Friday.  This is going to be a tough semester, no doubt.

I knew that going into it.  I have 2 difficult science courses, a math course and a writing intensive course.  With the leadership position I’ve taken on, I have a lot on my plate.

Here’s to a good fall semester…by the end of which I hope I still have all my hair.

The Epitome of Cute

I'm adorable and I know it!

Yeah, I know it’s a little blurry, but you try to get a good picture of an 8 week old with poor head control.

Guilty Pleasure…


I enjoy watching reality television.  A la Bravo style…as in, the Real Housewives of (insert overly indulgent city/county/state).


I think I may have just been discounted as a future Nobel prize winner.

I remember when they first started with the “Real Housewives” series…you know, back when it was just the OC.  Now, it’s exploded to areas up and down the West and East coast (though I still have yet to see Real Housewives of Milwaukee…maybe people in the midwest are just too nice. Either that, or they can’t figure out how to pronounce some of our towns’ names.  Real Housewives of Oconomowoc, anyone? How about Keokuk?) (And honestly, I didn’t know that people had difficulty with those names until I moved to the East coast.)

Now, we all know that there is no sense in fooling ourselves and pretending that those kinds of reality shows are ‘real.’  There is a very small percentage of the population that constantly attends these events that they show on the Real Housewives shows, and it keeps getting smaller.  You see, it’s like the Royals..there has to be some familial connection and we’re getting pretty close to scraping the bottom of the barrel.  Pretty soon you’ll have all sorts of interesting chromosomal disorders…maybe that’s why they always seem to be in bad moods and intellectually challenged.

Ok, another admission…I do have ‘favorite’ housewives.  Not from every show, mind you (I am equally appalled by all cast members on some of the shows), but every once in awhile there’s one that’s not quite so bad.  They appear to be a little more logical then the others, and slightly less prone to hysterics.  These would be the people that I could see doing the “Mommy and me” classes instead of sending the kids along with the nanny.

Truth is, people aren’t interested in watching a real life housewife…you know, the one struggling to make sure the kids don’t kill each other, there’s enough food on the table, and maybe sneak in a shower every couple of days. That’s just a little TOO real. I ask myself all the time how I can justify watching these shows and I’ve just come to the sad realization that it’s like a bad traffic accident…you don’t want to look, but dammit, you just can’t help yourself.

What’s your guilty pleasure?



Warning: Bumpy Road Ahead…

Please fasten your seat belts and know there may be some serious swearing ahead.

Let’s do a brief status update, shall we?  I’m officially 1 month post-op today, so it seems appropriate.

Physical healing:  |———¦–| 90% complete.

I only put 90% because I really am not privy to the state of the insides as, while my skin may be translucent, it is not transparent.  Things feel generally better, I move a lot better, and the majority of my bruising has disappeared, sending me back from technicolor to, well, pasty pale.  I’m still on some restrictions, as I’m being treated as a Cesarean section patient, without the benefit of having a baby at the end of it all.

Mental healing: ¦–|————| -10% complete

Yes, that is a negative sign in front of the 10. I am seriously fucked up in the head.  Way more than I expected to be.  Not only that, but it’s like it’s all hiding and comes out when I least expect it and at the most inopportune times.  It comes on suddenly and viciously to the point that sometimes I don’t know who I am.  It isn’t just because I lost a baby, though I will not deny that that is a good size part of it.  I’m also trying to wrap my head around the fact that I almost died.  DIED!!!!!  Really?  What the fuck?

In my attempts to get through this, there may be some more emotionally charged/ranty/angry posts in my future.  I may set them to password protect, I might not.  I don’t see the point in setting them to private, because that defeats my purpose in general, and it’s my blog and I can do what I want (see?  Unexpected.  Just as I typed that I was getting angrier and angrier.  It’s bizarre.)

Here’s the scoop.  If there is a post that is password protected, you are more than welcome to send me a message and ask for the password.  I’m not going to password protect them to make sure no one reads them…the opposite, in fact.  I’m doing it because they will not likely jive with general over-all witty banter I normally attempt to write with.  They might be dark for all I know…because sometimes my head feels very dark.  So, feel free to send me a message on FaceBook or Twitter, and I’ll share.  After all, I did at least pass Kindergarten.