When I set up my Kickstarter crowd-fund to finance the continuation of this blog, I offered a series of awards to my backers. One of the awards was a “digital interview.” Backers could send me one question about my life in Peace Corps Nicaragua and I would respond to it here on the blog. Four people sent me questions. Read the “digital” interview below:
What do you miss the most from “home?”
Shelly Insler (my Mom)
I’m not just saying this because it is my mom who asked the question. I miss my family the most. Especially my mom and dad. Plus, I haven’t seen my aunt or uncle or cousins Amy and Laura since getting here. From the time I left for Nicaragua to the time I get home Amy and Laura will have both had their first babies. They are making everyone in my family very happy and I wish that I could see everyone.
Then there’s the Goldmans. Jake posts great Instagram photos, and it looks like Luke becoming a Bar Mitzah in Israel was fabulous, not to mention the impending wedding of my cousin Andrea to the wonderful Meredith, which I may have to miss since I will be at the end of my service.
And that’s just to mention my mom’s half of the family. Jen’s new baby daughter whom gets a lot of featurettes on Facebook reminds me of her great-grandmother.
… and Asian food. I miss Asian food a lot.
What is the nightlife like in your current town?
I live in the second largest city in the country, and it is the largest university town (there are probably more students in Managua, but it is not a university town. They are all commuter schools). So night life is big here. There is a “Zona Rosa” with bars and clubs. Karaoke is popular. Some bars have salsa nights also, and there is a lot of live music. León is known as a big nightlife town, and it is fun to live here.
When your service comes to a close, what do you think you will miss most about Nicaragua?
Of course there are people that I will miss a lot. And there are are many aspects of life and society that I will miss. This is very sad, but I will miss not being fearful of being randomly gunned down in a school, mall, or other public place. Those sorts of things are rare here. Not so much in the United States.
One thing that I will definitely miss is how easy it is to purchase food. Supermarkets are a middle-class luxury here. Not a way of life. So there are lots of food vendors all around town that make it easy to buy food, on the run. On the way home from school inthe afternoon I can pick up bananas for breakfast the next morning, and maybe some mangoes too, if they are in season. I can keep going and get gallo pinto for dinner, and maybe an avocado and cheese to throw. And I can gather all of this on an easy route home without ever having to bother with a super market.
Are there any tangible aspects of your life in Nicaragua that will remain with you when your service ends and you move back to the states? I.e objects, rituals, utensils, foods?
Aaron Insler (my brother)
I intend on being an urban bike rider when I am back home. I have found it to be a very efficient way to get around a city.
I may also continue with my breakfast routine of blended milk and bananas. However, I will probably substitute milk for a non-dairy replacement at home. I also put in peanut butter and chia seeds, although I am out of peanut butter at the moment so I put in cinnamon for some more flavor.
I also became a vegetarian and plan to remain one, probably for the rest of my life.