Posted by: HelenRortvedt | 11 January 2006


It’s hard to imagine how I will be feeling a week from today. What I’ll be seeing, smelling, eating, thinking, saying and doing, for that matter. I am at home in Arlington for a few days of R & R before setting off for Nicaragua on Saturday morning before dawn.

What I do know is that I will be met at the airport by the country director of the Foundation for Sustainable Development–the San Francisco based organization that is setting up my internship–and driven to my host family, Los Vilchez Acevedo, in Jinotepe which is about an hour and a half away from Managua, on the road Southeast towards Costa Rica. I’m told that my host family is huge and there are “lots of men”, many of whom are teenagers and young university students I think, so that should be pretty interesting. I have been in contact with a previous intern who lived with this family and she has assured me that they are wonderful and are anticipating my arrival, so that was really nice to hear. I will be working at a local secondary school called “Instituto Juan Jose Rodriguez”, but I have yet to determine exactly what it is I will be doing there. I will have a week of observations and needs assesments before I have to settle into a routine.

It’s always exciting to set off into the unknown. I’ve got that nervous excitement setting up shop in my stomach these days, very reminiscent of the days preceding my departures to Cuba and Bangladesh. The major difference I can forsee from here is that I will not be met in the airport by a group of other nervous/excited American students. It’s just me this time, and I am up for the challenge.

My intention is to update this blog as frequently as I can during my internship, and to continue on through my independent travels throughout Central America afterwards. Feel free to check up on me here. Hopefully I will figure out how to post pictures on here at some point. I hope you all will enjoy Nica Journal! May 2006 bring you all the best. Que les vaya bien…


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