March 2013- Nicaragua “Potters for Peace” Trip Day 1

I wasn’t as inspired to write about Nicaragua, perhaps because Hazelgrove was urging us to write. Whenever I opened  my journal most everybody else began writing too. That’s not my style. Now that the trp is in the past, there is so much to write about. Anyway, my day started at 3:25am. I was one of the first people at the airport, ready for the flight. When I found my seat– 17B I was relieved because I had dodged sitting next to an overweight old man that smells of cheese (which is my usual seat buddy.) The girl next to me seemed nervous as if it was her first time flying. She was one of the few people that actually read the safety pamphlet when the flight attendant instructed us to do so. The trip to Houston took 3 hours. I was so bored I began counting how many people got up to use the restroom– 7, 8, and so on. For a while the sky was horizonless. The next flight from Houston to Managua was another 3 hours and I was hoping for a window seat. I continued to ramble on in my thoughts. As I sat there half listening to the conversations around me I began getting anxious to land. This wasn’t a nervous anxious, but rather an excited anxious. I had high expectations because of the amazing Guatemala trip I had taken in August. The warm weather is also a plus.Our flight attendant was most likely the nicest flight attendant I have encountered. I tried to sneak a look at his name tag– Fabion E, that’s all that I caught. For the flight to Managua my wish did come true –seat 22F– a window seat. Hazel was two seats over from me. I was sitting next to a nerdy girl who must have belonged to a church group. When I had been walking to our gate I had seen the first girl I was sitting  next to. She was with a guy and much less nervous. I decided that perhaps this wasn’t her first trip, but rather her second. The flight attendant began her safety presentation but became nothing more than background noise to everyone’s conversations.

“It’s funny, you know, how people sitting by the window suddenly think they own the window. They get to decide whether or not to leave it open or pull the shade down. The funny part is when other people try to look out of the window. They feel as if they have to sneak a look, steal a glance. They never look at the view for long, and sometimes barely turn their head. Perhaps because they feel like it doesn’t belong to them. People are strange.”

I couldn’t help but compare each part of the trip to Guatemala. I was expecting to walk outside to that fresh air I appreciated so much back in July. Truth is, as I walked outside, nothing reminded me of Guatemala. In fact, the smells reminded me of my trip to Thailand. We all piled in the van and started our trip out of Managua. I was sitting in the very back seat which was spacious, so I appreciated it; however, then the music came on. The enormously large speaker right by my legs blasted out sound to the point in which I was vibrating. I stuffed my sweatshirt down over the speaker in order to muffle the sound. We ate lunch at a Nicaraguan McDonalds type of restaurant. We ordered a few family meals which ended up being a lot of chicken. For the next two hours of the car ride I stared out of the window. The landscaping was much more brown than I had hoped. That being said there had been occasional breathtaking trees, hundreds of years old and in full bloom. The blooms were bright purple or orange and stuck out from the monotonous background in an intense manner. Our first destination, Jinotega, was a city similar to Panajachel. We stayed at Hotel Zoy for the first two nights, which was very nice– nicer than I imagined. Once Maggie, Haley, Hannah and I got settled into our room we all walked to a park and made a stop into a cathedral. There was something so thrillingly beautiful about the cathedral. I don’t know if it was the life size etherial jesus figurines or the slowly smoking candles in the transept but I was transfixed. There was part of  me that wanted to take photographs, but not only would that have been inappropriate, I also knew that a photograph would not portray the marvel and beauty that I felt it had. After we got back to Hotel Zoy, Hazel talked to us about letting go and relaxing. I knew that this would be hard for some of the girls. We then played a game of BS, which I won. The restaurant that we ate dinner at was about 12 minutes away. Most of us got grilled chicken which was served on a sizzling platter with rice. I thought it was absolutely delicious but some people did not like it. As soon as we returned to Hotel Zoy our long day hit us and we went to bed.

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