Saturday, September 18, 2010
Buses and Volcanoes and Bats...Oh My!
As a wanderlust, I'm always looking for excuses to see the world. And so, I happened upon a one-month opportunity to spend my summer break in Nicaragua, setting up a clinic! As many of my peers are also world travelers, they viewed my Nicaragua project as a way to get out of the US as well. And so, a prior fling decided to fly down to meet me in this HOT and WET tropical locale.
He was brave, flying down alone and taking a taxi to meet me in a hectic market/bus terminal,
without having a solid Spanish background or a way to contact me. But we managed to find one another amongst the pushy bus operators, women carrying colorful eats on their heads, and occasional chickens and stray dogs skirting around our feet. We boarded a local, vibrant, converted school bus to embark on our journey. A couple years prior, we had traveled together in Africa, so it was almost refreshing (in the beginning) to re-experience the sights, sounds, and smells of this experience. (That being said, the cramped seats, BO-filled air, and bumpy ride got old fast!)
As the week progressed, we visited several of the country's numerous volcanoes. To get our fill of inactivity, we spent a day floating in Laguna de Apoyo--a tranquil, dormant, volcanic crater that has since filled up with amazingly clear, mineral-rich water--while howler monkeys roared in the distance. Quite relaxing! On the other hand, it was very humbling to see how powerful mother nature can be, while inhaling the billowing, sulfur-filled smoke erupting from Volcán Masaya.
When we were around the Masaya volcano, we also decided tocheck out the bat caves. At one spot, we could sit in darkness while we feeling the breeze of hundreds of bats flying past our faces. Definitely a reason to grab on to someone's hand!
But, alas, the "vacation" came to an end. He returned to work and I returned to school. But the memories shared will last a lifetime.