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Friday, December 21, 2012

Nicaraguan Myths, Legends, Beliefs, etc.

Sometimes people believe weird things.  There are people that believe you have to throw salt over your shoulder if you spill it, that you have bad luck on Friday the 13th, or that you shouldn't open an umbrella indoors.  Usually we just call those people superstitious and let them believe what they want.  Here in Nicaragua, there are so many weird beliefs that almost EVERYONE believes and NO ONE questions (except maybe a brave Peace Corps volunteer).  Here's just a selection of some of them.
  • You shouldn't bathe while you're "agitated" (like after being outside when it's hot or exercising) because it will make you sick.
  • I've also heard something about not bathing after exercising that has to do with your pores and the soap that you use causing problems when your pores are open
  • If you have a cold or cough you should not drink anything cold, only hot beverages
  • You should not bathe at night, it will make you sick
  • If you are eating nacatameles, you must accompany it with bread or tortillas (even though it's already a big huge hunk of carbs) and coffee.  No cold beverages.
  • A change in climate can make you sick (as if there's really any changes in climate here...warm or warmer?)
  • Tomatoes and tomato juice cure diabetes....but insulin makes you blind (from my host mom in training, whose husband passed away from diabetes)
  • If your baby hasn't started walking yet, you should rub goat fat on his knees
  • My host uncle here at my site had some kind of eye infection.  My host mom said he needed to put a woman's breastmilk in it...and she was serious.
  • My friend Chelsea's host mom in training always made her drink Coca Cola when she was eating eggs because "it helps with digestion"
  • You should not bathe after eating, you'll vomit (seriously...when are you allowed to bathe?)
I'm sure there are more that I'm forgetting, but that's a pretty decent list for now.  Just gives you an idea of some of the crazy stuff I've been hearing all the time since I got here in September).  Because I'm a gringa, I'm allowed to violate most of these rules whenever I want and just say I didn't know any better or that "I'm used to bathing after exercising" (because, seriously, who isn't?). 

On a serious note, my home state was hit by a unimaginably terrible tragedy a week ago today.  As soon as I heard about it, I called my friend Emily who is also a Nica60 Environment volunteer and also from Connecticut.  We both were on the internet at the same time and in complete disbelief, but it was nice to have someone to talk to.  Since last Friday, I have seen the story on the news here in Nicaragua multiple times.  I used to get strange looks every time I told someone what state I was from, because no one had heard of Connecticut.  Now they've heard about it, and unfortunately for a awful, tragic reason.  I still have all of my Connecticut friends and family in my prayers and all of those affected by the shooting in Newtown. 

"In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans, and I will do everything in my power as president to help, because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need, to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories, but also in ours." -President Obama

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