“Carpe the hell out of this diem.”
Mt. Adams from above.
I got med-clearance to return to Nicaragua about noon on Friday, and was on a plane to Nicaragua by 10:30am Saturday morning. I was itching to get back, but it was so hard to say goodbye to my family and friends. After some tears, last-minute packing, happy hour with friends, and lots of hugs, I was off. Dad took me to the airport, and we made a not-so-quick detour to my favorite gluten-free bakery in Seattle where I got to consume my last US meal: a very early-morning gluten-free breakfast sandwhich, and spend some good time with my dad before heading to the airport. ¡Vale la pena!
Hills and texture.
I have always loved traveling. That minute of stepping into the airport always fills me with excitement. These days it always fills me with tears, but I take that as a reason to be thankful – I have reasons to be sad to leave places because I have dear friends and community. Today was no different.
I got to the airport to find my flight had been delayed, destroying any chance of making my connecting flight in Houston. Bless the dear lady working at the United counter, she worked to get me a seat on a different airline’s flight. Then, that airline proceeded to let me check my bags for free based on Peace Corps service. Booyah!
Half-frozen lake somewhere over Oregon.
I left Seattle in the midst of a dark and dreary morning, with a bit of a heavy heart and anxiousness about returning to Nicaragua. At about 2000 ft., we lifted out of the cloud cover to find the most spectacular views I have seen flying. I was blessed with a window seat and these photos are from my sky-high perch. Yes, I am that girl who lugs her DSLR onto the plane and keeps it at her feet in the hopes of snapping pictures from above. It was a sweet moment of remembering the sunshine.
Mt. Adams in the foreground, Mt. St. Helens in the back.
I had just enough time in Houston to grab some food, a last glimpse of liquid heaven in the form of a Starbucks drink, and a little downtime at my gate. I sat down at the gate at the same time as another guy and we got chatting. Turns out he is from LA and the husband of a very famous Nicaraguan women’s author! Besides offering an incredibly insightful look into the experience of an expat in Nicaragua, he was very nice and engaging. Such a fun, random connection to make.
Farm fields creating beautiful snow patterns.
I got onboard my plane to find that they had accidently upgraded me to a better seat – helllllooooo, extra legroom! I plugged in my headphones, popped out the journal, and made a somewhat lame attempt at processing what was going on that very moment in life. There is something about travel days that makes me want to document and record and remember, but the words don’t often come easily. Some things just stay in the heart and never make it onto the page.
Sunset over my plane in Houston. Final glance at the USA.
I landed in Managua and immediately felt amazing. I was back. Later than expected, but back. I struggled through customs after not speaking Spanish for a month, lugged my huge bags through security, and waited around until a decent priced taxi showed up. Driving through Managua felt good. The warth, the cool breeze, the loud music. This is my new home and returning to it just reinforced that. And I love it.