Hello McDaniel College,
Over Spring Break I visited Managua, Nicaragua. My friend Andrea’s father lives in Nicaragua and offered us a place to stay. This country is one of the poorest countries in the world but has some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. The tropical scenery that was a part of every beach we visited always took my breath away. Throughout the week I was there I traveled with my two friends (who also go to school at McDaniel).
We bought the plane tickets in December, during our Winter Break but the culture and adventures we experienced during Spring Break 2010 will never be forgotten. The culture there was shocking in every aspect. Not once did I feel like I was still at home. Everyone spoke Spanish (I knew very little) and they always knew right away just by looking at you: you were not native to the country. The only way we could slightly get by was through Andrea. She looked native and although her Spanish was much better than mine it was still not comparable to the natives. Of course we were dead-give-aways the moment we spoke English.
We experienced the night life and met college students just like us (who always seemed to want to have a good time). They told us about living in Nicaragua and showed us around the parts that were inaccessible to tourists. Not every aspect of Nicaragua was all fun and games though. We met American Troops and teenage missionary groups who helped provide cleaner water systems and volunteered in orphanages by taking them to the beach for the first time.
By the way, the driving there is nothing like it is here. All of the people drive like maniacs; avoiding many traffic safety laws that we abide to here. The beep of a horn is just a kindly reminder that occurs every two minutes while driving and does not signify road rage like it does in America. Experiences like those made it just as much a learning opportunity for me as it was a fun vacation time. But, the simple pleasures of water fountains providing free, clean water and clean, trash-less roadsides were some things I’m became more appreciative of after returning to America.