Ever since we got here I’ve been exhausted. It feels like were incredibly busy all day, then by 9pm I’m ready for bed. Normally I don’t even consider going to bed until 11, so this is early for me. I wonder if the Nicaraguans even want us here. We claim that we are here to help, but are we really? Or are we here to make ourselves feel better? I think about how I’d feel if foreigners  to my home town to help…and all I came up with is that id be almost insulted. Like they’d be saying how I do things isn’t good enough. I wouldn’t them in my home. So do they want us in theirs? Which then segways into are we really helping the people here? A bunch of unskilled Americans come in and try to help build a house. I hate to say it, but the locals could probably do a faster and better job than us. So are we helping or only feeling good?

A lot of things about San Ramon seem exponentially different from what I’m used to. (However I will admit I grow up in a bubble) For example, the girls here seem to get pregnant really young (ok, not that young- 16 and older), and the boyfriends/husbands/baby daddies seem to rarely stick around. Also, I saw a 2y.o. girl in an indoor bathroom, squatting with her pants down while another girl used the toilet in front of her. Also at the library party, there were small children dancing their or with their (drunk and far too young) fathers until 11:30pm when they closed it. You’d never see a 3y.o. dancing with her hips until 11:30pm in the states. But then again, maybe I’m far too protected and judgmental.

I’ve had a few really really nice conversations with my host mother. She’s really nice. It’s funny after a week here, I feel closer to her than I did with my Senara (the women I lived with for 3.5 months when I lived in Spain). It’s really nice, just surprising. My host mother (Sonia) gives dance lessons in her house! It’s so cool. Her students are practicing for the mother’s day show on Thursday May 30th. I really really really hope she’ll teach me a little. She mentioned maybe teaching the brigade (NU students)…? I hope so!!!!!!!!

I’m so tired here, all the time. I dunno why, I just am. 9pm is no longer dinner time, time to go out or even time to start a movie. It is now when I get ready for bed. It’s a late night if I’m up past 10:30pm.

-Beth Broudard

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