Hello everyone! We arrived in Nicaragua yesterday, and as soon as we got off the plane we could feel the change in weather. Some said it was a dry heat, but I felt the humidity. Going through immigration and customs was a breeze. They are much more relaxed here than they are in the U.S. with that sort of thing. Once we grabbed our bags and finished the basics we found our CEPAD guide Doug, who led us outside and told us that he would come grab our bags and direct us to what van to get into. After waiting a few minutes in the "dry" heat we were in the van and on our way!
Driving to CEPAD was a culture shock, at least for me. As we were driving down a highway with heavy traffic there were people walking down the lanes of the road. Many of them were carrying bags on their heads, and there were also a lot of children. Everytime the traffic would start moving again I would get nervous because there were people walking in the street! I guess that after awhile avoiding cars becomes a skill. When we were driving the main road was paved, but if you looked down side streets they turned to dirt and were lined with small homes that were made out of scraps of wood. As we kept driving we saw that there were a lot of roads blocked off and people were walking in huge groups down the streets. We asked Doug what was going on and he said that Nicaragua is coming into an election year and that there was a political event. This must have been a big event, because there were bus loads of people making there way. The busses here are so neat! Many of them are painted, but others are just regular school busses. Doug told us that all the bus systems are made up of old school busses because public transportation is not monitored by the government. (No need to worry we are not taking any busses haha.)
We turned down a dirt road and made our way to the CEPAD house. We got here and drove in and it was exactly like the pictures I had seen. It is outdoors similar to an outdoor theatre we might see. It is half covered with a roof, but most of it is outdoors. I am so glad that it is not indoors because I would just be too hot! After eating some lunch we got to rest. It was nice to just hear about CEPAD and be giving the chance to relax after travel. We played some games until dinner, which was also very good. I had a chicken lasagna, which had a sweeter taste to it with corn and black beans.
Around eight thirty at night Doug took us on a walk up the road where we were able to try some local foods at a rooftop bar. The walk there was very interesting. The cars absolutely do not have to stop for people crossing the street. Therefore we ran, but it was good because they have large breaks in traffic. I loved the food that we tried! There was one thing, I have no idea how to spell it, but it was a local vegetable made into a mini pancake with cheese on top. Then there is a salso to dunk it in. I really enjoyed it, and wish I could find it in the States when we get back. After we walked back and everyone fell asleep very quickly because it was a long day. It really was a great day!
This morning we woke up and they had a great breakfast laid out. Fresh fruit, including banana and pineapple, eggs, toast, with rice and beans. I think the pineapple I ate today might have been the best I have ever had! It was a white pineapple, not nearly as yellow as ours.
Today we are going to learn more about CEPAD and then we will go on a group tour to see the city before we come back for dinner. I am very excited to learn more!
Basically...this place is great and we are having an amazing time!
(Hi mom and dad love you!!)