I can’t believe it’s been 4 months and change since my last day in Nicaragua. And I definitely did not remark on my last days in Nicaragua, mostly because I was sad to leave all of the friends I had made behind. And I definitely got drunk the last night while saying goodbye to some of the amazing people I had met while there. Thank GOD Maria was there. I don’t know what I would have done without her. She seriously was my rock throughout the entire trip and I am so appreciative that she experienced it with me. We get to have little reminiscing moments and have so many inside jokes that are going to last us until the day both of us are dead.

And now I’m writing an article for UVM’s global awareness magazine about sustainable tourism in Nicaragua. And throughout my Spanish class this semester I’ve focused group projects on Nicaragua. I can’t really shake it. It’s amazing what 5 months will do to you. And I’m sitting here at my computer, just thinking about stupid little things, like dancing to salsa, or being made fun of for not speaking Spanish, or wandering around in the streets before going to go get breakfast at McDonald’s. Of all the friends I made and how we don’t keep in touch like I wish we did.

The vision that comes back to me the most though, is sitting squished in a bus on the way back from SJDS. It’s one of my favorites.

Maria and I were sitting in this old school bus with a local, making us three across. You can barely fit two grown people in those seats. It was tight. In front of us, a teacher from South Carolina (maybe?) who randomly helps out in Putney VT travels, was chatting with him about the plants out the window. We didn’t know what they were, so they were conversing in Spanish and this old man was explaining the fact that this tall, flowing plant with a white top was sugar. He continued to talk about tiburones (sharks) in the great lake and the little things that make Nicaragua so great.

It was just hearing him talk so passionately about his country. About how he really wanted us, the tourists, to see it from his point of view. The passion seeped from him even though he was poor and his government is corrupt. And it was beautiful and one of the extraordinary talks that will be seeded with me forever. It makes me really value my education and makes me sure that helping others and traveling will always be a part of me.



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