the nicaraguan chronicles – part 9


I sit here writing this in the wind tunnel that is our hostel’s common area, listening to the seemingly endless pattering of rain drops sound their reveille in the courtyard. At peace, content with the time I’ve spent in this country and ready for the next step.

Because in 48 hours I’ll be back in a restaurant kitchen, listening not to the sounds of Nicaraguan rain but rather to the sounds of ticket orders printing, microwaves beeping, chicken sizzling on the grill and my boss telling me what he thinks I forgot to do.

So, in light of all I have to look forward to, I’m soaking up what I can now, making each second last a lifetime and each minute an eternity.

the nicaraguan chronicles – part 9
the final day

We stayed in Leon for a couple hours, taking care of last-minute items, closing our tabs and grabbing breakfast. Storing things in my pack proved interesting this time around because now I had three two-and-a-half-foot-long machetes to pack (read: “hide”).

We eventually headed to the cab that took us to the bus stop that took us to Managua, where we grabbed another cab that took us to the Peace Corps HQ for Nicaragua. Suddenly having access to a computer for each of us individually, we did the first thing any 20-something would do after being disconnected for so long: we logged onto Facebook.

back to civilization

For the first time in nine days, we checked in at a hotel instead of a hostel. We reeked of must and mold, and me, A and C wanted nothing more than a hot shower and to feel clean for the first time in the trip. And OH, t’was a glorious shower! I cannot emphasize to you enough how amazing it felt to feel the hot water, the steam, cleansing me of my nastiness. I cleaned off with a dry towel then went to put on my clothes . . . my clothes that still stubbornly maintained the lingering scent of mold. But, they were the cleanest ones I had, so I threw them on with vigor and went to lay down in my bed for a quick nap before dinner.

One thing you should know about me: I hate television. I believe it to be a tool of the devil to lull us into mindlessness and turn our brains to mush. We’re not challenged when we watch TV. We’re rarely stimulated. And we just sit . . . for hours. Wheel of Fortune, then Jeopardy, then Survivor, then Glee, then Real Housewives of Orange County (that last one which, by the way, makes me hate people), then whatever other crap show we watch. I prefer Family Guy :). When I lived with one other person we had no cable, and it was amazing. It’s so much easier to communicate without disassociated voices and a constant buzz in the background.

So after the shower when I laid down to catch some z’s and re-energize, I failed to do either, attributed to the fact that we had a TV in the room and one of the greatest shows of all time was on: Dawson’s Creek.

I honestly debated shooting myself in the face.

We spent our last night in Nicaragua experiencing a very different part of the country. Shopping malls, hotels, a food court and a movie theater – it felt like a totally different country. To pass the time we watched a movie in said theater called Friends with Benefits. If you haven’t seen it, just so you’re prepared, you get a lot of butt-shots, side-boob shots of Mila Kunis and angled views of Justin Timberlake’s six-pack. I couldn’t help but laugh at the reactions of the Nicaraguan crowd around us. They laughed without reservation, and literally ooo’d and ahhh’d when they got one of the above-mentioned shots. Picture a laugh track on a sitcom where the protagonist challenges someone else, using an incredibly cheesy one-liner, and the laugh track goes “ohhhhhhhHHHHHHH” in a rising crescendo. This happened without the assistance of that laugh track. Hy-sterical. That was one of the coolest experiences, only because it was unbridled reaction without concern for judgment or opinion. I always worry when I go to a movie on a first date and I laugh WAY more than my date does, so I felt very at home here!

(Aside: This movie was actually really funny. An appearance by Woody Harrelson as a gay co-worker and JT’s fear of heights pretty much made the movie.)

After a final round of euchre back at the hotel to decide the week’s champion team (A and M won . . . bastards), we called it a night and set our alarms to catch our 7:15 flight the next morning. Our experience was over and it was time to go back to our respective lives in the States. A and C went back to New York and I ventured back to Cleveland. After 20 hours of travel time that included cab > plane > layover > plane > train > train > car, I walked into my house at 5 a.m. and set my alarm for 10, ready to head back to work at 11 and settle back down to my life.

conclusion to the nicaraguan chronicles

I hope you all enjoyed The Nicaraguan Chronicles! I had so much fun writing these, and they were definitely a challenge at times, but one I welcomed with arms wider than the Alton Giant.

I apologize if you were hoping for more excitement or drama or a climactic conclusion where I vanquished evil and stood upon its corpse in a Captain Morgan pose. Unfortunately I found no evil to vanquish, no damsels in distress to defend, and no bad guys to exchange one-liners with when I killed them. If I had, I probably would have said something like, “Let off some steam, Roberto,” after I threw a pipe through his chest . . . a chest that for some reason is covered in chain mail. Who wears chain mail in this day and age?! Honestly!

I had someone ask me the other day, “Where’s the fights? Where’s the drama? Where’s the sex?” And to that I simply say, “My parents read this blog.”


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