This weekend, ICDS took us on a 4 day trip to Nicaragua. We got picked up from our houses at 3:30am and didn’t get to Nicaragua until 3pm! It was only suppose to take us about 8 hours, but it we hit traffic and the wait at the border took awhile. When we finally got there, we were greeted by two Nicaraguan men, Juan Bosco and Octavio, who will be with us the entire time. They brought us to our hotel, which was located in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua. We had lunch there and ventured into the city afterwards.
Juan Bosco took us to see the fallen tree, the president’s house after the earthquake destroyed it, churches, museums, a statue of Sandino, and other historical monuments. It was very interesting to see the army guarding different parts of the city just casually. You don’t see that in the states. For dinner, we had had barbecue types of food such as beef kabobs, chicken kabobs, and ribs. It was something different from what we are used to in Costa Rica. After dinner, we were free to do whatever we want before we got back on the bus. Some people went to dance, while Mary, Mary, Julie, and I went to the souvenir shop. When we back to the restaurant, everyone was gone! We had a small panic and went back to the museum to see if anyone went in that direction, but no one to be found. We couldn’t use our tico phone because it doesn’t work in Nicaragua and we didn’t have wifi to WhatsApp anyone. It was our first night and we were already lost. After 15-20 minutes of anxiously searching, we finally found Luis. Turns out we weren’t the only ones missing. In hindsight, it was quite funny.
The next day, we left for the colonial city of Granada, which is located right next to Lake Nicaragua. After we checked into our hotel in Granada, we visited many more churches and museums. One church was specifically cool because we got to go to the top of the “La Merced” tower and overlook the city. After lunch, we went to an elementary school an hour away and painted the classrooms for our community work. We were able to play with the kids and have them help us with painting. Later that night, we went to another hotel to eat dinner and to swim in the pool. The food was delicious and swimming in the pool after a long day was great.
On Saturday, we went back to the school to finish our paint jobs and afterwards we went to an islet on Lake Nicaragua. When we got on the islet, they welcomed us with fresh coconuts. It was absolutely beautiful and the food was the best I’ve had in Nicaragua. We got to swim in the pool and kayak on the lake. There were also hammocks, trampolines, a volleyball court, and other small activities you could do. For the rest of the night, we had dinner and was free to do whatever we wanted. Some of us went out for a little bit, while some of us stayed in to do a paper that was due the Monday we came back. Word of advice – finish all your assignment before you go on a trip because wifi is not always reliable.
The next morning we were on our way back to San Jose. However, there was a bit of a mix up before we got on our bus. Only 10 of us were able to get on the 8am bus, while the 20 of us had to wait until noon. I was part of the unfortunate 20, but on the bright side I got to explore a little more of the city. We were able to get back within 9 hour. Nicaragua was