As much as I’d like to dive right in and regale you with tales from my life that is apparently more exciting now that I am living in a foreign country, I am first legally required to inform you of the following: The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the opinions of Global Brigades. Three cheers for legalities!
Today has been our first day off since arriving in Boston. Orientation and the Student Leadership Conference were equally inspiring, humbling, and exhausting.
I was both relieved and anxious upon our arrival to Estelí this past Tuesday. After four days here, I am in love. (With the city, not some Nicaraguan man.) Estelí is the third largest city in Nicaragua, and can seem like a bustling metropolis at times. As I type I’m listening to distant traffic—the familiar sounds of engines revving and horns honking. However, the city retains a quaint nature. I’m staring out at a beautiful vista of the mountains and can smell the rain that will inevitably come this afternoon. (The rainy season is real and we are to expect showers almost daily until mid-November.)
Our home is beautiful. 7 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms, a large kitchen, and a beautiful garden/courtyard, all connected via large outdoor patios. The days are warm and humid. The nights are cool. Our neighborhood is easily walkable and close to the city center; only about a ten minute walk to our office. Our local grocery store, La Colonia, is nicer than the Schnucks I shopped at in St. Louis. Much nicer. Seriously. (And not to brag, but the exchange rate wildly favors us Americans. Beers really are less than $1 USD a piece.)
The team of Chapter Advisors is fantastic. I’m surrounded by intelligent, passionate, and like-minded individuals. These people will become my family during my year here, and for that I consider myself lucky.
Certain aspects of my new life will take some time to adjust to. Throwing my toilet paper in the garbage can as opposed to the toilet, for example. Or the siren (think tornado) heard throughout the city at 6 A.M. and noon. Every. Single. Day. (Locals say it is a relic of the revolution that today signals the start of the work day and lunch time. Our Senior Advisors claim we’ll soon be able to sleep right through it.)
For the time being, I am enjoying taking it all in and being perfectly contented while doing so. I am blissfully happy here and cannot wait to see what adventures the next 12 months and 6 days will hold.
Pictures and more stories to come…