Tuesday, August 28, 2007


On Friday I went into school and S.L. actually told me he thought I needed some time to decompress. This, coming from S.L.? He said he thought a vacation might do me some good. Unfortunately, I didn’t get this in writing, so he may deny it all later. But realistically I don’t think a vacation is in the cards for me right now. What I’d rather do is train for and run the Dallas White Rock Marathon in December :) We’ll see.

It seems to me that the time for this blog is coming to a close. Certain readers (including but not limited to my mom) have encouraged me to continue, and there is a big part of me that is addicted to this blogging thing and would like to keep going. Honestly though, the excitement of my daily adventures back in the US is going to be pale in comparison to life in the jungles of Nicaragua. So, if there are people out there reading this, what do you think? Would you continue to read if I kept going? Please let me know if you have an opinion, either way. Its time for me to make a decision.

Well, now that I’ve had a little time to gather my thoughts about this year-long, action-packed Nicaraguan adventure, I’ve compiled some final observations about the whole experience. What follows is a listing of some major points and nuggets of wisdom that I have been collecting throughout the year.

First, here’s the final count for number of ticks removed: 68

And now, the things I learned:
  • There’s always a way through barbed wire.
  • It will be better in the morning.
  • Hospitals are free, but bring your own toilet paper.
  • Wear socks to sleep.
  • You can’t be too careful with a load cell.
  • Always say I love you first.
  • Little ants bite the worst.
  • “I woke up and there was a tick on my eyeball.” (Melissa)
  • “The @#$%-ing rat bit me.” (Rob)
  • This is a nation of people who have a lot of phlegm.
  • You’d be surprised at how many things in the forest taste like garlic.
  • If you smell something gross in your room, look for a gecko in the doorjamb.
  • Those aren’t gunshots, its just the 4am fireworks.
  • “The rat has outsmarted me.” (Rob)
  • Barbed wire is just a suggestion. The rock wall, now that has meaning.
  • “I don’t know why they call them sandals, they’re not very good in sand.” (Rob).
  • A surprising amount of people say “Right on!”
  • Beware of Nicaraguan Death Cheese.
  • Avoid the big rocks with your front tire.
  • “Don’t make yourself sick on chismol.” (Melissa, to Rob)
  • Try oiling the columns and central thread.
  • “Oh God, we’ve finally caught what they all have.” (Melissa, to Rob, after he hacked up a bolus of phlegm).
  • “Ay, el hijo de Melissa me mordió!” (Daraysi, after being bitten by the baby monkey).
  • There are likely to be live bees in the honey jar and live ants in the sugar bowl.
  • If it can be built, it can be built out of concrete.
  • Always keep the Toughness Tester battery charged.
  • “I think Dalila just called me a blockhead.” (Melissa)
  • “Tienes muchas cosas bonitas.” (Eduardo).
  • “I am not welcome at TelePizza” (Alvaro).
  • “The squirrel just jumped on me” (Rob).
  • “Don’t make yourself sick on cabbage” (Melissa, to Rob).
  • Costa Rican dogs have thick necks.
  • “I’m so hungry I could eat at Papa John’s” (Rob)
  • Papa Johns: Mejor ingredientes, mejor pizza.
  • Always bring a pen with you when trying to cross the border.
  • Don’t try to cross the border on a Saturday afternoon in June.
  • “Thank goodness I brought my traveling spoon.” (Melissa)
  • “At least the muffins got done and nobody got hurt.” (Melissa’s mom. Actually this has nothing to do with Nicaragua, but I thought it was really funny).
  • Nicaraguans are a bracelet-loving people.
  • “Chicho is soaking wet because of you” (Rob, when Chicho went to get lettuce for me in the rain).
  • Be sure to check your salad for tiny snails.
  • “That’s the second time there’s been a snail in my salad” (Melissa).
  • “That thing is not going to live in our room.” (Rob, when I wanted to keep a pet snail. That I had found in my salad).
  • “I ran into a baby cow.” (Rob, after returning from a bike ride around the entire island).
  • “Jesús wasn’t at home, so I left a note under an avocado pit on the table outside his house” (Melissa).
  • “My God, I never thought in my entire life that I would be so desperate for M&M’s” (Rob).
  • “Dang, I should not have drank the tap water,” (Melissa).
Thanks for reading. Let me know if you’d be interested in reading the non-Nicaraguan adventures of an almost-PhD grad student who may be attempting to train for marathon #6.


At 10:10 AM, August 28, 2007, Blogger foxymomma said...

KEEP IT UP!!!!!!!! Your list gave me another reason to want you to continue bloggin!!!!!!! a SNAIL in the SALAD???????? ewwwwwww, well, at least TICKS and SNAILS may be fewer in CHAMPAIGN!!!!!!! TRAINING for another MARATHON??????? Do you remember the torture and how time consuming all the others were?? I'm with SL. maybe a 'vacation' might be a better idea, how bout Hanalei???? I'm ready!!!! luv you , watch out for cars, trucks, busses, etc, while you are out running and riding the bike!!!!!!!! Lots more traffic than on the island.

At 12:52 PM, August 28, 2007, Blogger Ragfield said...

Please keep blogging. Otherwise we'll have to start talking to each other...

At 2:15 PM, August 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE COMMENT FROM 'RAGFIELD' -- HE IS AMAZING!! and i selfishly have to agree with the requests for you to continue blogging -- HOWEVER, it must be your choice ... it was obvious that you loved writing while in Nicaragua ... and you should only do it if you continue to love writing. I will refrain from any advice on the vacation versus marathon issue!!!!!
hugs, auntie

At 2:51 PM, August 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melissa, ytou don't know me yet, I'm Cathy, a friend of Amy P's, and I've been your internet stalker for nearly a year. I love reading your adventures, and I really don't want you to quit, you've got a gift. Perhaps you could just start a slightly different blog? A suggestion: A Friend put a link to her adventures in France on her new page when she closed up shop on her French experience blog. Her new site was a venting place for a while about all the differences (which I love to hear about) and what all was going on in her life, which since we've not yet met sounds good to me.

At 7:47 PM, August 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa! I know I have never commented before, but I have loved reading your blog and would continue to read. Hope all is well...

Ashley :)

At 8:39 PM, August 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't stop. You are so funny. I would love to hear about your marathon training and I am positive you are going to have many new adventures to share with us.

At 3:22 AM, August 29, 2007, Blogger amypfan said...

I second (seventh?) the views of everyone else. I feel strongly that you must continue writing. After all, I have a blog, and the most exciting thing that I have to write about at this time is the state of Bryn's diaper (not good, by the way). I strongly believe that reading about your dissertation and your marathon training will be far more interesting than that. And if you quit writing, what else would I do when I stumble out of bed at 5:00 in the morning and am looking for something to wake me up? Not to mention that you need to keep those writing muscles in shape so we can write our blockbuster novel someday. Besides, blogging is addictive--quitting cold turkey could be harmful to you. :) And P.S., if you need a vacation and SL approves, I suggest Indianapolis... Oh, and I LOVED the list!

At 6:52 PM, August 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melissa, YOU CANNOT STOP!!!!! We are all addicted, your like a cup of coffee in the morning, we can't get started without you. Of course, if you decide its more work for you than fun, then, we will all understand. Will keep checking in to see what you decide.

foxymomma's friend,

At 8:08 PM, August 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see how you (and Rob) could ever be boring. Your writing is excellent. You bring life to what seems like the most insignificant things. You bring us to tears, make us laugh or just leave us smiling - - like today's list. Keep up the great job! Marathon training, preparing your dissertation, biking, friends, friend's kids, family stories, SL, I know you will have mucho topics to write about. Whatever you decide to do, we've all enjoyed reading your blog. It's been terrific. Mom Scho

At 2:52 PM, August 30, 2007, Blogger Logan's Mama said...

Well, I think that it is unanimous. Everyone wants the blog to continue. Therefore, you must blog :-) Bottom line is, if you feel up to continuing it, we will continue to read it, as you have a natural talent for finding the humor and satire in any situation. So, I can't wait for your take on the next set of life challenges. But maybe you should think of a new name to mark the evolution to the new phase of the blog.

And if S.L. ok's vacation, your presence is requested in Roscoe!!


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