this journey is over

exactly 6 months have passed since I came to Nicaragua.

exactly 6 months have passed and here are a few things that I want to remember, as I wait for my delayed flight back to the United States:

  1. La laguna de apoyo. i.e. my favorite spot in Nicaragua.  This volcanic lake has warm and mineral rich cristal waters. I loved that I could go there for the day, lounge on the beach, swim to the floating platform and sunbathe.  I loved the kayaking, the sharing with friends, the howler monkeys.  A little paradise just 45 minutes from Managua.
  2. Tostones con queso.  Fried plantains, fried cheese, pico de gallo. enough said.
  3. The coffee growing region of Nicaragua.  Now I know where the concept of heaven is inspired from.  You guys. Seriously. One of the really great things about coffee research is that it takes you to some of the most stunning landscapes of the world.  I have never felt so much awe, so often, by the beauty that surrounded me.
  4. The women of Nicaragua. Educated and uneducated, rich and poor, young and old.  I met some amazing ladies in this country.  Women who are fighting for their rights, girls who walk hours to get to school every day, women who break their backs working and still have time to sit and help their children do school work, friends who have taught me and inspired me to think critically about the society that surrounds me and shapes me.
  5. the hospitality of Nicaraguans.  During my fieldwork we visited some of the poorest people in this country. and yet more often than not, I left their home with a gift of fruit, having had a cup of coffee (in perhaps their nicest cup) and a homemade corn tortilla.

There are so many other things that I loved of Nicaragua, and some that not so much.  I go back home after spending 6 months here feeling like a better person.  I have grown professionally and I have grown personally.  I have learned, and struggled, and laughed, and cried.  I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am a better person on 10 August 2015, than I was on 10 February 2015.  And for that, thank you, Nicaragua.

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