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Arrival in Nicaragua


I have finally arrived in Managua, Nicaragua.  After over 38 hours in transit (somehow I lost track of time changes), I arrived in Managua, via Houston and Toronto.  While 38 hours of transit might seem like a lot, I believe that I was actually in the air for a total of 7 hours. 

Once outside the airport, I saw Ronald’s family greeting me with a homemade sign welcoming me to Nicaragua.  I have never had such a greeting before.  Ronald, his wife Esther, and children Jonathan, and Brian welcomed me to my new home.  Their home was about 30 minutes from the airport, and when I arrived, there was another sign welcoming me with balloons.

Esther made me a meal of chicken, rice, plantains, and carrots, and we spoke in broken Spanish (I spoke in broken Spanish).  Surprisingly I understood most of what was being said, and they understood what I was saying.  The french immersion I took really paid off in the long run.  I then went to sleep in my comfortable bed, tired from the stop and go of the journey there.

Things are going well so far.  I will spend two days in the office this week with the schoolbox.ca  team, then I will head onsite to a school build site for the next two days.  On Friday, I will head to a Catarina, a small village outside of Managua to learn Spanish.  I will be staying with a family with 3 children.  I will be immersed more in Spanish, which should get very interesting.

Several highlights of my arrival in Nicaragua thus far:

  • Asking a child at the airport “how many anuses he had”  instead of how old he was.  It was the n that did me in.  After getting a strange look, I realised my mistake and corrected myself.  (the plural is actually ani – i checked google just to make sure)
  • The “customs”  official at the airport took me aside to question me, after xraying my bags.  They noticed that I had two laptops in my bag (one netbook, and a normal sized one).  He indicated to me in Spanish that I only needed one laptop.  Obviously I knew that he wanted to take it, so I played dumb (which was surprisingly easy).  After a few moments of arguing back in forth – in Spanish on his side, and in broken English on my side, I just walked away, and there was no problem.
  • I slighly electrocuted myself in the shower this morning twice.  The hot water heater actually sends a charge through the water.  Since it was a new showering experience for me, I decided to play around with the cords and hoses to see how it worked.  I will never make that mistake again.
  • I woke up one hour earlier.  I got confused thinking that Nicaragua was in the same time zone as Houston.  While it is in the same time zone, Nicaragua does not participate in daylight savings.  In one week, I should be ok, as I will be back on Central time.  It is a luxury being only one time zone away from Ottawa, and now I will be 7 time zones away from mainland Europe.
SchoolBOX Welcome Sign

Ronald, Esther, Jonathan, and Brian greeted me with this sign at the airport

schoolBOX office welcoming sign

schoolBOX office welcoming sign

SchoolBOX office

SchoolBOX office

Categories: Nicaragua
  1. Klára
    November 7, 2010 at 11:25

    This is just so you Jon, love your stories! all the best!!

    • jon
      November 8, 2010 at 16:22

      Hi 🙂 Weird stuff happens to me everywhere 🙂 Glad you are reading

  2. Ray
    November 2, 2010 at 21:50

    Great! I like your stories.
    I miss you!

    • jon
      November 2, 2010 at 21:56

      you are sorely missed as well. thanks for enjoying my stories

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