Surfing and I are on a break. Time shall tell if it becomes a break-up. I spent yesterday in a state of surfing-induced disequilibrium. I got knocked off my feet by a particularly normal sized wave yesterday morning, and surfaced with a sharp pain in my right ear and throughout my face. I guess I inhaled quite a bit of water through my nose and all up in my right ear. Jaime yelled at me to come back out, hurry! I just turned around and walked out onto the beach in a snotty tearful mess—I was sure I had punctured my eardrum. Or something equally as horrific that would leave me a left-hearer only, forever yelling what? at noisy dinner parties. Granted, I was not in the most rational state I’ve ever been, but yeah, my ear hurt.

So Jaime tooled out of the water to see what was deterring me from coming back out and I attempting to explain to him what happened amidst my ‘oooows’. I tried jumping up and down and all around to shake the water out of my ear and perhaps return the pressure inside to something resembling normal. No go. Jaime took a look into my ear: ‘ay, chica, hay una piedrita.’ A little rock. This did not calm me down. We traipsed back to the hotel and I grabbed my hand tweezers, and Jaime was able to pull the rock out (while I was thinking that I would rather have someone besides Jaime operating on the inside of my ear, a part of my body I’m rather fond of). He extracted the foreign body with no damage, and I swished my ear out with alcohol. The ache stuck around all day, as well as a general inability to hear very well out of that ear, so giving classes to students who are already prone to mumbling proved incredibly taxing on my patience. I was not a very good teacher, let’s just say.

So, although my ear is still not in tip-top shape, I’m a little relieved to have an excuse to stay out of the water and away from that surfboard. My sinuses are also aching, due I presume to the amount of salt water that has passed through them last week and yesterday. The ocean is one ultimate Neti pot. (Except, I guess with sand and other debris that tend to clutter rather than purify those good ol’ sinuses.) 

Last night was Yan’s last night at Brio. He has been training Adam to take over for him as dinner chef, and last night decided to let Adam run solo in dinner preparation. Adam, on the other hand, did not know of this decision and decided, in turn, to take a four hour nap during key dinner preparations times (4 to 8 p.m., roughly). I plodded up the stairs exhausted after my night class to find Yan passively-aggressively writing on the white board ‘no dinner.’ Adam was still sleeping. Rob finds this out and has a hissy fit, for obvious reasons (as there are actual paying hotel clients here expecting dinner). So, after about an hour in which I sat in awkward silence and listened to tense bickering and blaming and waking up poor Adam, we finally went to town for dinner. Due to the speedy service in Gigante, I finally found a plate of food in front of my drooling self at approximately 10 p.m. Nicaraguan standard time. I’ve now been to town for dinner a total of four times (out of 10 nights here. Wow, has it only been 10 nights?). I’ve been to every restaurant in town (there are 3) and had essentially the same plate at each. These restaurants don’t have menus—it’s either the chicken plate or the fish plate. Eating out four nights out of ten means I have to pay for dinner four nights out of ten, which irks me slightly since I was promised free food. After Adam leaves in 3 weeks (and we’ll see if he can even successfully make dinner over this period), the dinner situation is up in the air. Rob isn’t sure he’s going to hire another volunteer. Yet more evidence that Hotel Brio has some kinks to work out.

In other news, I dreamt last night that I went to Target and spent an hour staring at the chocolate aisle (yes, in my dream Target had a chocolate aisle). I haven’t had chocolate since I arrived in Nicaragua. This is a problem. 


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