Hola family and friends….we have arrived safely and we have hit the ground with both feet running. That is why this post is late. Our flights were joyfully uneventful but long. There was plenty of time in Houston to get to know each other and to hold a workshop. We arrived into Managua around 10:45pm. By the time we got through Customs & Emigration, claimed our luggage, met our in country Program Coordinators (Silvan & Maryuleth), and got to our hotel, it was midnight. Pizza and soda waiting for us! Quick phone calls were made to family members to confirm that we had arrived safely albeit very tired.
The next morning we were up and out the door by 9:00am on our way through scenic countryside enroute to our home for the next two weeks; Hostal El Rey in beautiful Matagalpa! Upon arriving we received our room assignments, had our Welcome Orientation, and was served a delicious lunch.
After lunch we had a guest speaker, Omar, who had served in the Sandinista Army for several years in the late 70’s and early 80’s durning the revolution and Contra war. He was able to give a unique and personal experience concerning the effects these conflicts had upon the citizens of Nicaragua as well as the US’s political involvement. By looking at this beautiful city today you would never know that it was besieged by war only 40 years ago.
Our PC’s, Silvan & Maryuleth, took us on a walking tour of the city to help orientate us. Our hostel is ideally located in the center of town. We viewed 3 major churches including the City Cathedral, 2 city parks filled with Sunday entertainment, the Heroes &Martyrs Hall, numerous local businesses, and our favorite stop…the ice cream store!
After a filling dinner we ended the evening with a reflection of our first impressions and an introduction to the next day’s itinerary.