Leaving the office thinking “Ohh, it’s been such a long day – I can’t wait to take a nice shower!”
On the other hand:
Today I have been working with a designer for six hours on the graphics, details, contents and outline of a UNICEF Nicaragua publication. We made a million corrections in the strive for perfection – it’s going to be so, so beautiful, I can’t wait to see it printed!
And my landlady just called:
“The water is out in the entire area – this never happens, I’m so sorry. But hey, I left you some fresh mangoes from my garden in the kitchen!”
I’ll deal without water.
My new closet made me think of you, Cicirella, and look – I even closed all the doors to your honour!
It took me one week to look around and decide on where I will be living here in Managua, and I’m really enjoying my new place. My room is airy with a high ceiling and big windows both to the east and the west, the closet is huge so I can hang all my stuff up and don’t need to have anything laying around, my bathroom is mine, mine and only mine, I have my own patio for breakfasts im the sun or wine under starlit skies, and I’m fifteen minutes by foot from the office.
As a bonus, I have the funniest landlady ever. She is a super fit, energetic and positive 60-something year-old that looks at least ten years younger and lives a couple of minutes away from here. We went grocery shopping together when I had moved in today after work and decided that we should continue doing so because we had so much fun. Haha. And she bought me new towels!
It’s all a lovely deal – the only problem is that I’m not the only one loving it. Wait, what’s that? A spider, a mosquito, a fly, a big, red ant? Oh darn, they’re all over!
Good thing that I generally don’t mind bugs, but if any of them starts sucking my blood I’ll Baygon the soul out of every living creature in this place.
Hear that, you evil things!? My blood stays in my veins, this restaurant is closed.
My bruise, apparently a natural spark for many random questions, is in the process of transforming from brown to yellow-ish. See? Very exciting if you ask me. I’ve never before had the opportunity to study the development of a bruise as profoundly as now. Haha..
And I worked until 8pm yesterday. Today I had a very fruitful meeting with the Rep and another one with operations which both gave me a lot of clarity on what I can work on in the area of resource mobilization and external communications, apart from what I am already working on. It is really exciting as I will have to create new strategies, mobilize the entire office, improve and ensure more priority to areas that I believe are crucial – and be creative. Of course I want to stay here until late if I get to have this much fun! Let’s see how difficult this will all be – I am hearing very a bit too often.
And I have decided where I will be moving in from tomorrow by the way, maybe slightly more interesting news for the rest of you.
Passing a new guard this morning on my way to enter the office, I was stopped to provide my name and show my ID.
“Let her pass – it’s Carolina Batschh!” another guard shouted from far through the walkie talkie.
The guards learn our names by heart and we say hello every morning. It’s very pleasant and feels safe to know that they really check everybody and that you don’t have a ‘free pass’ just because you don’t look like a local (like in some other places I have worked in) – it would just be far more nice if I somehow managed to make them stop adding that tschh sound in the end of my last name.
People, friends, strangers, meet my lunch.
The fact that a meeting was delayed twenty minutes left me with enough time to grab and eat a package of cookies.
And that’s about what my life is about now. Meetings and cookies.
Visited a volcano today, and a huge shopping mall that made me feel like I was in the United States or something.
Now: Sun with Pochi.
Have a pleasant Sunday, all.
So yesterday I had a hectic but very informative and efficient first day at the office.
I arrived at 9am and started off with a meeting with the representative, the deputy representative and the operations manager. Thereafter, I was toured around to meet with and get introduced to all the staff members. Slightly overwhelmed by a million faces and names, I was happy about speaking Spanish and only accidently let “obrigada” slip through three times. The Portuguese was very much present on the tip of my tounge throughout the day and it took some efort to hold it back but I felt that I will be back on Spanish ground very soon as there only is four international staff in the entire office and the working language is Spanish. Joking about the language issue, I found out that three of the internationals had been to Portuguese speaking countries before coming here and were all very familiar with the battle, we played a couple of word games, laughed and moved on.
Back in business, I was briefed on security issues and earthquake precautions, got practical information, a ton of documents to read, and a couple to sign. I went to arrange my Nicaraguan sim card and UNICEF id, made sure that my banking details in the system were updated and all the previous administrative mess was cleaned up, got my computer and email set up, received the keys to my office, looked at four different apartments, and completely forgot to eat lunch.
In the evening, we came back home and ate a nice Nicaraguan dish, worked a little, played with sweet Ayane, spoke for a couple of hours over a bottle of white wine, and decided not to go out.