Friday, August 8, 2014
Thursday, August 7, 2014
(To my mom and dad)
Here I am sitting on an express bus from Estelí to Managua. Tio Uriel will pick me up from the bus terminal and then give me a ride to Diriamba. I see mountains, agriculture, and the humble houses. In the beginning of July I kept asking myself, "how could you have left this beautiful land?" It saddens me that because your country was ripping itself apart you were forced to leave it behind. However, now I see you both with more admiration after realizing how hard it must have been to move on from this land with the possibility of never seeing it again.
It must have been so difficult to leave a life so calm, so peaceful, with bountiful air to breathe and space to be, and where you knew everyone and everything to cross into new lands. These new lands led you both to a new country with different habits, customs, cultures, and language. A country that you had only heard said of without first seeing it or testing it out with your own eyes.
I also think to myself, "how scary,"... and not just you guys, but every immigrant that leaves the comfort of their home, their family, without looking back, to go to a new place to get a "better opportunity".
Mami and Daddy, my hat goes off to you.
I have to say, your tierra is so beautiful, your people are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn about my culture, and making us proud of our heritage.
As those already strong children begin to grow up they begin walking to school on their own and helping out around the house with chores that need to be completed. Both of those things are foreign concepts to me and my youth. The youth of Nicaragua grow up fast. Becoming adults at young ages, majority of the time that isn't the case in America.
During the workshops I made a connection with Joseling. I saw a part of myself in her and don't know if she saw the same in me because we had a hard language barrier. From what I can tell she's going to be a single mother at the end of the month to a baby that she already loves more than herself. I know that I never verbally told her how proud I was of her for being such a strong woman at such a young age, but I would like to think that via gestures and laughter, she could feel it.
Between the hot sun and the long days of work, Nicaraguans make their daily lives happen. They don't complain when something goes wrong, it rolls right off their backs. They learn to deal with life's challenges from day one, something that I wished I shared with them. Time is a concept not a lifestyle. I've learned more than I bargained for about my own culture by spending time with a different one. I thank Nicaragua for all that it's given me and I hope that I can make changes in my life to incorporate the things I've learned here.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Today was my final morning in Nicaragua. I woke up tender and sore from the past two days of beach time with burnt everything (but especially my feet) and cuts up and down my legs from the smart decision of swimming with the rocks amongst a very strong tide. As physically sore as I am I move my way downstairs for a 6:30 am breakfast, devouring a plate of fruit before hopping onto our 7 am bus to Managua. Although my whole body hurts I am not thinking as much about it as I am about how the time has already arrived for departure back to the states. Even after exchanging hugs, going through customs and making it back to my home in the states I still haven't fully come to terms with the fact that I am no longer on Nicaraguan soil...guess the sand in my shoes will have to suffice.
|San Juan De Limay|
|Suyapa Beach Leon|
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
This photo is of two girls that came up to me in the park while I was working on some independent work in Limay. They were timid. They stood around me acting almost embarrassed but completely curious about what I was doing and who I was. I openly conversed with them and they began asking me about where I was from and why I was American but looked Asian. I explained to them my adoption story – as much as I could of it in Spanish – and they understood and nodded their head. It was the first time I had taken a moment to face a local people and tell them about my origin and heritage and verbally share a piece of my dual identity instead of letting them assume the things they may assume about a “chinita.” Even though I cannot be sure they understood fully what I was saying, I felt like judgment of all sorts fell away at that point in time for both of us.
My alram didn't go off, and I wasn't even planing it, but when I turned over and opened my eyes at 5:15 this morning something told me to get out of bed. Thinking about it now, it was probably my grandmom. She loved the beach! As kids we spent every summer at a shore house with her for the month of August. Something tells me it was her who made me go on this trip.
The sun changes so quickly in the morning, and it reminded me of myself on this trip. I too had to change quickly to fit in with what was going on around me. The beginning was rough for me but this morning as I walked along the Pacific coastline, I realized wasn't afraid of Nicaragua anymore. It feels like a new home, a new part of who I am and that change happened quickly, before I could even see it happening.
Half of our group flys out tomorrow while the rest of us are here for one more night. I'm torn. Half of me can't wait to get on a plane and head back home, but the other half of me is set in confusion. Nicaragua feels so much like home to me that that half doesn't want to leave. There's so much more to see and do, so much more to learn from this place. I never thought I would have this conflict, but now that I'm having it, I'm glad. It makes me feel that I learned something about myself here. And I know that's why my grandmother always told me to travel, she knew that I would grow and flourish from it before I had even thought about stepping foot outside of my comfort zone. I'm thankful for her encouragement and for the opportunity to have spent five long, intensive weeks in Nicaragua. By being here I've learned that my life isn't over if the power goes out, get outside and look at the stars dammit! Nicaragua has tought to me to stop fussing over things that are outside of my control. Just like the sun, I have to rise and fall no matter what the day brings.
Monday, August 4, 2014
clouds on the move over the landscape. I miss that moment breathing the cleanest air and completely in my own thoughts thinking a lot of my mom and dad both
We all gathered, grieved and tried to move on. I came out of the experience ok, but I know there will be people who are forever traumatized. That day people lost mothers, sisters, aunts, and friends. I hope all those suffering find peace, but know eventually the town and people of Limay will move past this tragedy. If I have learned anything from traveling to Nicaragua, it is that resilience is abundant here.