My last day at work…I am sitting here trying to brush up a few changes for a follow up meeting with Roger, but mostly I am just thinking about the summer and how great it has been. The end of really great experiences tends to make me pretty reflective, so I suppose I will share with y’all. The list’er in me is coming out strong, so bare (bear?) with me!
Misc. Learnings/ “Aha” Moments:
New appreciation for Latin America, but especially for understanding a new culture
New patience for people in the US who are trying to learn English…trying is what counts!
New commitment to be welcoming to “new” people in any situation
New level of thankfulness for my amazing family, opportunity, and especially education
True trust in God and knowing that the song “He Leadeth Me” is so right!
Renewed love for the fact that there are really, really good people everywhere…
I am sooo tough enough to live alone, as long as I have a few door alarms…
Life is all about experiencing new things…whether culture, job, people, whatever
Experiences just take our little brains and pull them like pizza dough in every directions which means we end up MUCH more open minded on some things….
But new experiences also confirm us or solidify us in some beliefs/opinions
Confirmation of my belief in capitalism and a free market society
What I will miss the most about Nicaragua:
Saying “Buenos Dias!” every morning to thousands of people at work
The people at work…
Having Spanish “classes” everywhere…literally everywhere…
Driving in Managua where I have learned that honking is always appropriate and to look out for the horse carts…oh, and that lanes, stop signs, stop lights and most other forms of traffic regulations are mere suggestions…look out USA! (Oh, and horse carts are quite economical…one day I saw someone “fueling” up their horse at a grassy median while waiting for the light to change…cool, huh?)
The people at work…
Utter deliciousness in the form of fresh juices and fruits at all meals of the day…plus the anticipation of finding a new fruit somewhere!
Queso frito, gigantic aquacates, gallo pinto, maduro frito…ok, just all the food I will miss (Look out Cochise family though, b/c I am bringing home a pound of cheese and some recipes so y’all can experience Nicaragua a bit!)
My newly acquired pina addiction…
Subtitles on my favorite TV shows…especially Friends
Paying in Cordobas…and paying Nica prices
The kissing greetings, which I am still super awkward with…(ok, maybe that goes on the things I won’t miss list! lol)
Javier, Ruth, Mariana, Veronica, Melisa, Benjamin, Roger, Leonardo, Luis, Felipe, Norma, Silema, and everyone else at work…
The cute waiter at Casa de Café…
The cute waiter at my Fritanga…
Practicing Spanish with the cute waiters… (okay, I am just kidding…I just threw that in there for Jason and Dad!)
All the cute little pueblos
The beautiful scenery and greenness and my volcanoes!
Driving on roads with no street signs…(wait, maybe that goes on the “Not Miss” list also…)
The challenge and newness of living in a place where literally everything (except the Pizza Hut near my house) is foreign
The VIP movie theater with the La-Z-Boy seats and waiters in the theater
The diverse agriculture everywhere in this country
A certain granjero I met named Oscar…wink, wink
Did I mention the people at work?
The Few Things I won’t Miss List:
Being stared as the Gringa…. sometimes gawked at
The feeling of never really knowing if I am saying something I shouldn’t be
Motorcycle drivers who are insaaaane
Temperatures in Celsius and distances in Kilometers…it takes me forever to figure out how cold I want to be or how far I need to go!
Seeing poverty on a daily basis and knowing the government isn’t doing anything to fix it….it is so sad.
Driving only 40 mph max…look out I-10!
The jacked up police system and cops who pull over gringas…
Humidity! Bring on the sunshine Baby!
All in all, I am so, so, so thankful to have come here to Nicaragua and I now have a special place in my heart for this unique, rustic, culturally rich country where people have been so kind to me and where I have hopefully developed perspectives and opinions that will make me a kinder, more patient, more living, and better person in the future. I think that some experiences you don't really realize what you've learned until you have stepped away from them, so I am intrigued to continue learning what I learned...wow, that was confusing and its even in English!
In the spirit of not being toooo sappy (ok, I know I am way past that now…) I am sitting here looking at my dried coconut monkey on my desk that says “Soy Nica”…and I am loving it! Something about a Nica monkey is just so funny to me…:) And I am really getting excited to see everyone (some people?) on Sunday!!!!