We arrive at Managua airport in Nicaragua today at 12:45PM. This is my team from my university. We have been taking a pre-course to get us a bit acculturated to the new environment that we will be facing in Nicaragua during this internship.
I'm sure you are wondering what I am up to. And why the sudden enthusiastic deluge of a full fledge blog entry...I know, I am the worse. But I promised myself that I would document every moment of this journey. And announcing it publicly on social media may force me to be accountable this time.
Background: I am on an eight week social entrepreneurship program with Social Entrepreneurship Corps to work with women in remote regions in Nicaragua -- the second poorest country in Central America -- to build sustainable business models for them. We will help them expand their market and product reach through (hopefully innovative and well thought out) marketing initiatives. A few names of who is involved includes the Clinton Foundation and Warby Parker. If you are familiar with the latter, for every pair of eyeglass that you purchase, they provide a pair to entrepreneurs in regions like Nicaragua, so that they can sell these necessities back to their community, becoming self-sustaining in the long run. According to Warby Parker:
You can learn more about them here (after you read the rest of my entry and look at the pretty pictures)
But in addition to the optical services, we will be helping to market solar lamps, water filtration systems, hygiene health and advocacy, and gas stove burners to reduce smoke inhalation in the home.
So this is Nicaragua. This is Managua, actually. As viewed from my bus on our way to Granada. Managua is not as developed as Granada and you can see huts along the way with dirt floors. Wild horses litter the country side and small shops with recognizable American brands (Trident gum, etc) are painted by hand on their facade.
We enter Granada.
It was a Sunday, so the streets felt a bit desolate around 2PM. A girl and her sister cross the deserted street above.
Hostels are a staple, even in Granada, a historical town with a colonial feel. There are not many upscale hotels, but the hostels are friendly, full of travelers like us, and has plenty of wifi. It was pure luck of the draw, but I ended up with my own room, a queen bed, attached with my very own bathroom and shower...and a fan. A godsend in this humid humid heat. I sweat just sitting here. I sweat from breathing...
The cathedral at the center of the city. One of the main landmarks of Granada. My apologies for not being able to rotate the image. I'm too tired right now.
We found a cafe to grab lunch. There is an attached shop with cute hats. The Garden Cafe is known for its breakfast and coffee. Will have to take advantage of this during the week.
We ordered a pitcher of sangria and some pina coladas. They were delicious and fresh.
Some of my sweet team members for this trip. Lauren dyed her hair a gorgeous reddish/purple after seeing my purple hair. I'm excited to take more photos with her and mayhaps go on a tattoo adventure.
Life seems simple enough here.
I don't know where my feet will take my next, but I am confident that they won't let me down. When traveling, I tend to be more of an observer than a talker. There are personalities here who just love to talk and connect. I do too, but in my own silent peaceful way. I'm sure sometimes it may come off as uninterested, or stand-offish, but I think everyone here so far is so warm and welcoming. They have an open heart and I can't wait to start this journey with them. I mean, you have to be pretty crazy (and passionate) to sign up for something like this.
We will not be living like royals, but we will certainly be the most fulfilled souls once we return.
Here's to coming back a totally different person.
Spanish class and orientation starts this week!
Goodnight everyone. Thank you for your well wishes and support. They mean the world to me and keep me going when I suddenly feel homesick or lost.