Ya voy

It’s 8:45 on our first day of classes.  My housemate’s class starts at 9:15 and she wants to be sure she gets to the university in plenty of time.  We wait and we wait, and when the shuttle taxi is 5 minutes late, and Amy only has 25 minutes until class starts, she calls him.  “Ya voy!” he says, “I’m coming!!!”

Fifteen minutes later, the taxi arrives from the university, which is only ten minutes away at the most.

And on Saturday, our 3pm barbecue didn’t actually begin until 4:45 at the earliest.

And although we have a made and security guards and so many other luxuries in our home, we have no internet access, which makes communicating so very difficult. But don’t worry, we’re supposed to get it by Wednesday.  Oh wait, last Wednesday.  “Ya voy,” says the company, “Ya voy.”

Oh, Nicaragua.  For a girl who has over-committed and maintained a very tight schedule for quite a few years now, this will be a big transition.

In actuality, the laid-back feeling is really quite endearing.  And it’s only one of the many things that make the Nicaraguan people so different than other communities.

My favorite thing is the hospitality and openness.

A new friend here, Alejandro, drove our entire group to Laguna de Apoyo near Masaya.  Laguna de Apoyo is a beautiful lake surrounded by smallish mountains and two volcanoes.

It was a beautiful day at a beautiful place.  We met a guy named Ismael who shared his little boat with us which was fun, and then he joined us at a bar by the lake we were done swimming.

There we met the Perez family.  I first noticed Jerre (sp?), the four year old son, curling up in one of the many hammocks that hung between the tables and lawn chairs.  Over the loud salsa music, his parents encouraged me to take a picture of him all wrapped up in the hammock, but he got very shy.  Eventually, I started chatting with his mother Gloria and his two older sisters, Jesuara and Jini.  Gloria was obsessed with my lip piercing and asked me more questions about it than I thought possible (What did your mom think?  Can you describe for me how it felt?  How did you decide what side to get it on?  How much did it cost?  How many different jewelry have you tried in it?  What is your favorite?  Do you think a pink diamond would look pretty on me if I got one?), and then she asked if I would ever go with her to get her own lip pierced.  When we were heading out, Gloria gave me her phone number, address, and detailed directions to her home.  She assured me that me and any of my friends would be welcome to come over anytime we were near Masaya.

Her willingness to open her home to me just struck me as so unusual and sweet, but over and over, that is the kind of love and welcome that the Nicaraguans have consistently shown me and my friends.  It certainly has given me food for thought about how international students are treated in the U.S.  I hope we get to visit the Perez family the next time we’re near Masaya, and hopefully sometime I can make someone feel as welcome as these wonderful people made me feel.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Reggie Carry
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 16:18:47

    Lizzy, Im so happy youre having a good first wk… CANT WAIT TO HEAR YOUR VOICE 1 MO GAIN!

    Reply

  2. Becca Hurliman
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 17:17:13

    mmm. time. it’s a funny thing, and something that i’m sure will make you laugh and make you want to cry or scream. hope classes are going well!

    Reply

  3. Rachel Lindsay
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 21:53:34

    im so happy you’re there right now, it makes me smile just thinking of everything that im sure is going on. i love you!

    Reply

  4. rachel
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 22:40:41

    This, and You, are beautiful. I’m so excited for you woman. so much love desde Chicago.

    Reply

  5. lmiller324
    Aug 14, 2011 @ 16:58:09

    Thanks friends (and boyfriend)!!
    Still no internet at our house soooo I’m sorry I’m not being the best at keeping in touch but I truly am trying my best. Hope you ladies are doing well as you get ready for this wild semester to come (wild? idk I can feel that it’s gonna be a crazy one…) And REGGIE!!!! You lil dumpling. You’re gonna do great on your test tomorrow ya hear? I have faith in you and I’m so proud of you bebe.
    Thanks again for the encouragement yall. Besos!

    Reply

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