The one non-negotiable thing on my to do list for Nicaragua was to visit Jenevieve, a great friend of mine from our MBA in Spain. When I decided to “quit” Nicaragua, there was only one place to go – Matagalpa!
Luckily I got to Granada on a Friday and I had already made plans to visit her for the weekend. I spent the night in Granada and headed to Matagalpa on Saturday morning. This involved taking a bus back to Managua, a 25 minute taxi ride to another bus station, and then a two-hour bus ride to Matagalpa.
I met a fellow Buckeye at the bus station though, a mini-highlight of an otherwise not so great couple of days! Well, he wasn’t really a Buckeye. He just had the shirt, probably bought from a Ropa Americana store. When I asked if I could take a picture, he called his fellow vendors over for the picture. I didn’t get them in the frame as I took the picture with an extended arm, but they are there in spirit. And I didn’t touch this guy’s nipple by accident like I did in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.. 🙂
Not being terribly happy with Nicaragua at the moment, I found this sign particularly appropriate. Nicaragua is by far the dirtiest place I have gone on my trip. Garbage is everywhere and the sight/smell of smoke from burning garbage is omnipresent. This sign is painted on the wall in the bus terminal and it says “Prohibited to urinate in this place”.
Apparently enough peeing was occurring that they painted this on the wall. And, I suppose, one can assume it’s ok to pee where one does not find such a sign painted on the wall. And maybe #2 is ok on that wall since it only says urinating is prohibited? Well, you can see the kind of mind-set I was in as I headed east to visit one of the awesomest people from my MBA.
Jenevieve is in the Peace Corps and teaches entrepreneurship/small business here. She’s really happy doing what she’s doing and overall she is just happy and high on life right now. Spectacular!
She introduced me to Matagalpa, her home for two years. Besides the frequent pickup trucks blasting advertisements from speakers as tall as me, it was a very tranquil, fun, and relaxing two days. It was definitely what I needed. I was her first visitor and I think she had a great time as well.
The highlight for me was hiking up a mountain for about an hour to get a great view of the city. It was a pretty decent hike, but at the top it was nice and windy and freeing. It’s too bad it wasn’t sunny for the pictures, but the hike was much more pleasant under the cloud cover!
Well, it was just a great two days and it was sad to go. But I am excited to get to Costa Rica. One door often closes and opens a new opportunity. I am sad that I lost the volunteering opportunity I had in Nicaragua, but I am in talks now to help a coffee cooperative in Costa Rica on top of the original plan of volunteering at Finca Amanecer.
Everything is back on track and after a bit of a speed bump, The Happy Nomad Tour is back to running at full steam with fully recharged batteries!