Published: April 1st 2008April 1st 2008
Boy in the guerilla during civil war en El Salv.
more or less:
In the social struggle for the seed, it arrives to the fruit, to the tree, to the infinite forest that in the wind will cause to sing
well, i'm in nicaragua!
the last time i posted i was wrapping up el salvador and all worked out well. for our last day, we went to the Oscar Romero March celebrating the anniversary of his death which was amazing. It was so interesting because we met up with almost all the people who we had met during our stay from El Salvador. That includes people from the non-profits we met and people from the rural communities. There were thousands of people who were there to remember the life and work of Romero. Again, it just goes to show the unifying force he had with people from El Salvador. There was one really awkward part where there was a group of kids, probably in high school, who were marching and chanting different songs and slogans. One of the lines was something along the lines of this: Necesitamos poner los gringos en la basura! Which basically means we need to put the gringos in the garbage. it was a little awkward because we were walking right alongside them. But honestly, there have been very few times where I've been pegged for a person from the U.S. right off the bat, which
is encouraging. There have even been a couple of times where after saying I have family in Guatemala, people have gone on to think I am Guatemalan, which I really can't understand because I clearly have a gringo spanish accent, but hey, I'll take what I can get.
The next day at 3 am I departed with four other friends for the KingQuality bus station to head off for Nicaragua. For a Central America bus company, KingQuality was really nice. I haven't experienced a bus company other than Greyhound in the U.S., but KQ was ten times better. There was so much leg room and food and coffee, dare I say that it was luxurious...at least compared to the chicken buses pacted with 800 people. There were some really bad American movies that they were showing, The Hard Corps starring Jean Claude Van Damme and Vivica A. Fox and some other movie with Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac, I didn't really watch it.
So after entering the bus around 3 am, we arrived at our final destination in Managua at around 2 or 2:30 and then had to take another bus to San Juan del Sur, our vacation
spot for the week. So I guess I should mention that (these blogs are very based upon what I'm thinking at the exact moment I'm typing if you haven't guessed). So last week was our spring break. One group decided to go explore Honduras, another group decided to do WOOF-ing which I believe stands for Wold Organizations of Organic Farming in Costa Rica. What the WOOF means is that you work on an Organic Farm for a period of time and your room/board and food is paid for by the labor you put in on the farm. Then my group decided to try to budget a little bit more and go straight to Nicaragua, but go to a touristy area along the coast. So San Juan del Sur is on the Pacific Coast really close to Costa Rica.
SO - we had to take another bus after arriving in Managua, but that was a chicken bus unfortunately, but luckily I was able to grab a seat. So after taking that bus, we accidently got off at a stop too early and had to take a taxi the rest of the way. That was a really horrible experience because everybody
was so tired, we were 6 people (including the driver) in this tiny little Honda Accord with all of our stuff smooshed in the back, and the road had seriously looked like it had been bombed. If there was any kind of test to see how good you can steer your car without hitting a pot-hole the size of a crater, this road would have been the test - and our driver would have failed horribly. That said, we finally arrived at SJdS at around 7:30 pm. So we immediately found a hostel to spend the night.
The next day we explored and went to find another hostel and I was amazed at how many gringos there were. I guess I didn't realize either A) how touristy the place really was, or B) how many tourists there would have been. Nicaragua especially I think out of the countries in Central America, but i could be wrong about this, has an up and coming reputation for good surfing beaches, so there were a ton of people we met who had come to vacation with their surf boards. So we founds a really nice hostel called Hotel Estrella which was right
these kids would sleep on the beach outside our hostel and were basically beach buddies with us during the day
on the ocean and was $5 a night, or 100 cordobas. In terms of cleanliness, it was pretty good, but for cheap hostel living on the ocean, it worked great. Our room had a beautiful ocean view and a balcony which I think was something we all were hoping to have.
So basically we all hung out on the beach for the week. There wasn't too much else to do unless you either wanted to spend a good amount of money or surf, and I didn't feel like taking a surfing lesson, especially since the beaches had pretty big waves. The beach right outside our hotel was more like a harbor with boats moored, but it was nice because there weren't too many other people there because they all wanted to go to the surfing beaches. One thing two other friends of mine and I did spend some money on was that we took this afternoon a tour of some different beaches on this big beautiful sail boat that went from 2 - 6, and then we got to watch the sunset, it was just really worth it I think. The free drinks didn't hurt either.
A crazy story though: So one day my friends and I decided to see one of these surfing beaches, but one that was going to have less people and not be as crowded. I can't remember the name of it, but again, it wasn't an easy taxi ride to get there. Hard enough for our taxi driver to refuse to drive down the massive hill we had to go down again to pick us up after he dropped us off. So we're at this beach and one of my friends got a jelly fish sting. So I'm going through my backpack trying to see if I had some Aloe or something I could give her to try to help her out. I was wearing my B.C. Super Fan shirt and this girl comes up to me to ask if I was a student there. I told her no, but that my sisters went there and we're a big B.C. family that lives right outside of Boston. So she asked where I live outside Boston and she said how she had cousins in Wellesley and that their last name was Hennessey. I swear my jaw hit the sand. For those who don't know, the Hennessey's are some of my family's closest friends in Wellesley. Every Thanksgiving and Easter that I can remember, I've gone to their house for a brunch after church. So the fact that Mrs. Hennessey is this girl, Liz,'s aunt was crazy, because honestly, I've probably met her before at one of those brunches. And before I left for Central America, Mrs. Hennessey had given me her e-mail address because Liz's currently living in Costa Rica. It is just such a small world that I would meet up with her totally by accident.
So we all arrived yesterday and started classes today. We're studying Politcal Science, the class is called Citizenship Participation in a Globalized Economy: A Nicaraguan Case Study, and a History class. It will be a little bit harder handling two classes while also keeping up with our activities, but I'm sure it will managable. For this week, we're living at the Center, which is owned by the study abroad program with beds, offices, and the classroom, but we're moving in with families on Thursday which should be exciting.
So just to recap, so far so good in Nicaragua! My sister Marianne will be coming to visit soon which should be great! So I'm really looking forward to that and getting started with my Nicaraguan experience! Let's see, in little over a month, I'll be home, so I've need to really take advantage of this last leg of the trip.
Hope everybody's doing well!