The Life of Liz

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Marinating in Awesomness

On Independence Day:

To celebrate my home and native land (to borrow from our neighbors to the North), I subjected treated my sweetie and his roommates to an authentic 4th of July feast: potato salad and hot dogs! Oh yeah, baby!

The key to really tasty potato salad is to marinate the potatoes in Italian dressing after you cook them, but before you add the mayo. Well, I couldn't find any Italian dressing.* But did I despair? No, hombre! I made a nice garlic vinaigrette out of materials on hand for the potatoes while I marinated in my own awesomeness. Don't worry, I was sufficiently humbled by the fact that I am completely incapable of turning the stove on. I had to wake Eli from his Sunday nap to make fire for me.

All in all, dinner was a hit! Everybody liked the food and I got a little taste of home.

*Or for that matter, actually explain what I was looking for. Salad dressing isn't part of Nicaraguan cuisine so when I tried asking Eli what kind of sauce he puts on his salad, he looked at me like I'd asked him what kind of ice cream he puts on his hamburgers

On Birthday Fun:

My actual birth day was very nice.  We had a yummy dinner at Eli's brother's house. It was an enjoyable, low key kind of day. The next day was the party. And by party, I mean PARRRRTAAAAAAY. There was much festiveness and dancing. Lots of dancing! Becky, you would have loved it. I am just sorry my iPhone camera was unequal to the task of taking action shots, so only the posed pictures turned out.

I would now like to present Ways in Which Latin Men are Superior to Their North American Counterparts: they both can dance and will dance. None of this, please baby, just one dance, for me? Nope! All the guys at the party voluntarily got down and got funky, all night long. When the girls got hot and tired, they would even dance with each other (it was pretty hilarious, particularly the showcase of 80's moves to Ice, Ice, Baby).

In every way, it was a birthday to remember. Thanks to all my friends and Nica family, and especially Eli, for making it a really special weekend for me.

On Wrapping Up:

So I have exactly two weeks left of my mission stint here. No, I can't believe it either. In some ways, it feels like I got here last week but in a lot of other ways, it feels like I've been here forever. I am no longer phased by crowded buses or taking a shower using only a bucket and a bowl. I can't say I've mastered life here, but it's kind of like my Spanish: I am passably proficient.

At the same time, I've been looking at the family photos from the Fourth of July weekend and they startled me a little bit. I don't mean my family is frightening or anything; it was more that after six months in Nicaragua, everything that used to be my whole world for six years looked strange to me. Lawns, carpet, extra food - these kinds of luxuries aren't familiar to me anymore.

Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to seeing my family, hanging out with my friends, eating sushi, going shopping, taking a bath, eating sushi, catching a baseball game or five, eating some sushi... BUT, half of my family is here.  And what if I want some repocheta? Or plantain chips? Or soda that is make of real, honest sugar, the way God intended?

The people I love best of everything aren't in the same place anymore. So where do I belong?

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I don't know how to feel. I'm happy and sad and excited and on the verge of tears all at once. I'm also more than a little terrified, but that may have less to go with going back to the U.S. and more to do with the huge ass mouse that just ran across the floor.

So just to sum up this blog post: birthday, awesome; potato salad, delicious; me, crazy nut bag. Thanks for reading.


Jo July 6, 2011 at 4:01:00 PM MDT  

So I am confused. Who does not approve of dancing, and should I be learning dancing as well as Spanish???

Maeve's Momma July 6, 2011 at 5:18:00 PM MDT  

I am so happy that you are marinating in your own awesomeness and got a lot of dancing in on your birthday.

And about feeling split - I guess it'll be like that for awhile, but wherever you end up, you'll patch along the best you can. And being in love is a good solution for many problems.

Marissa July 7, 2011 at 8:13:00 AM MDT  

I'm so excited to see you even in the midst of lawns and sushi, etc.

Also, pop with real sugar is all the rage right now. My favorite is still Mexican Coke in bottles, which Costco sells in bulk.

Mrs. Wallace July 8, 2011 at 8:53:00 AM MDT  

No electricity - no problem...No salad dressing - no problem!! We are fantastic people aren't we :-) Can't wait to see you.

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A brand new mom trying to navigate the crazy world of mixed families, babies, and working full time. Phew! Just writing that makes me want to lie down.


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