This is my first time out of the country and it is amazing. It is almost unreal, I feel like I am watching myself experience this culture, a sort of out of body experience. I had researched what it would look like and how people would be, but being here is just much different than I had expected. The life and color here is amazing. However, at the same time I see the huge culture differences. The children want to draw your attention while the majority of the adults will just pass you by. The huge Christmas celebration was very interesting and there were young men and women in a small parade. I am so excited to see more, and really get a great experience!
Touching down on Nicaraguan soil brought back many fond memories of my experience with microfinance in the Dominican Republic. Being our first day in Nicaragua, we took it fairly slow. Our host mother, Maria, is exceptionally generous and has offered all of us incredible hospitality. Finally, we ended the day with a nice dinner and a trip to the super market to stock up on supplies. I am very excited to see what the rest of the trip will look like.
I was amazed that we had actually gotten to Nicaragua, for after 64 hours traveling through the US, my hope was dwindling down. Once we unloaded from the airplane, the harsh heat hit us like a wall. To feel it though was surprisingly sweet, for with it came the realization that we had made it and we could now meet the people who we had been working closely with abroad. Driving the hour and a half from Managua to León (where we were staying) was eye opening into their world and culture. We were generously greeted by our housekeeper María, who welcomed us with open arms. This was just a foretaste of the affectionate spirit that we encountered the first day. The terrain was green and beautiful and the town was full of life. We walked through celebrations and while enjoying our first meal in town, fireworks went off, which symbolically displayed the importance of us being here. My first impression of Nicaragua was that it was full of life and amiable. I can’t wait for our adventures here!
Getting off the plane after 64 hours of traveling I was a little dazed. After I finally settled into the house in Leon, I noticed the beauty of Nicaragua. The culture definitely shocked me into awe, and I instantly fell in love with the genuine people. The architecture of the 1700’s was something that was unexplainable, and I embraced the environmental change. I am looking forward to learning more about the history of this Central American country, and cannot wait to endure all of the problems that this trip throws at me. Adapting has been necessary and my expectations have been shattered in every way. My attitude towards this trip continues to flourish, and I cannot wait to have my perceptions altered through cultural realization.
Today we finally arrived in Nicaragua! Although I had no window (just a convenient wall that was where my winder would have been), sneaking glances out other people’s windows made me excited. The county is lush and beautiful. Right now I can hear Spanish music drifting in from parties in the street. Our house here is exactly what you would picture for an image of a Central American country, house featuring giant plants in our living room space and an airy, open layout. The streets and house share their own charm with a mix of Spanish-Colonial architecture styles. Overall, it’s great to experience so far and the people seem very nice. However, it’s hard to see poorer people in the streets and some of the repairs needed throughout the city.
We landed in Managua this afternoon and took an hour and a half drive to Leon from there. The scenery on the drive here was a good way to take everything in and get used to public mannerism of the cities. Once we found the house, a lovely woman named Maria greeted us at the door and toured us around the home she is renting out to us. We set out for a little self-tour of the area and grabbed ourselves a nice lunch and got to enjoy the sight of some traditional street Christmas celebrations from everyone around the city. There were little shops set up all around the plaza and a fun parade going on with non-stop music and bell ringing to be heard from any side of the town. We are now back in our beautiful home as Maria is sleeping upstairs. We’ve enjoyed the sight of fireworks form our rooftop since we got back the evening from walking around. We can still hear the music very clearly from the celebration as we’re circled around in rocking chairs discussing our agenda for the week to be as efficient as possible with the shortened time we have here.