The question that most people ask is, ¨Why Nicaragua?¨ The truth is, I didn´t choose Central America for a place for me to study. India had been the original choice.Carpe Mundi had two cohorts; Fortaleza and Ganesha.I was put into Ganesha. I spent the whole summer of 2016 getting to know the students from that cohort. We all shared personal stories and opened up with one another. We became a family. February came, and it was almost time for both cohorts to start their journey. A day before departure, I got a call from my cohort Leader, Hansell Bourdon. My visa for India was still going through the process of getting fixed, and it was going to take three more weeks for it to be done. I was devastated. I told myself that I knew the trip was too good to be true. I told my cohort what had happened and they were all bummed because they all knew how excited I was to be roaming the streets of India. Before I got off the phone with Hansell, she told me that I had two options; wait three more weeks for my visa to come through, or go with the Fortaleza cohort. I felt very limited at this point, but I kept telling myself that everything happens for a reason, and that Central America will still be a life changing experience. Hansell made sure that whatever decision I made was what I was content with. She kept telling me that Central America was going to be a great experience just like India, and to stay positive. She reassured me with everything she said on the phone. After talking to her, I felt better about what was happening.
Instead of flying on February 15th, my flight had changed to February 18th. I was to travel alone because both cohorts had already gone. This was going to be my first time flying alone. I was really nervous because I wasn´t sure if I was going to get lost, or catch a wrong flight. Before I departed, I recieved a text from Hansell; ¨You can do this, I believe in you. You are courageous, strong, and beautiful.¨ It was what I needed to hear. She always knew how to reassure me. After 12 hours of flying, I finally made it to Managua, Nicaragua. As soon as I stepped off the plane, I became super confident knowing that I traveled by myself into a whole different place. The air smelled different, the people spoke spanish; a language I couldn´t comprehend very well, and a bunch of young handsome boys. I was already hyped. Meeting a whole different group wasn´t a challenge for me because they all welcomed me as if I was a part of their cohort from the start. They welcomed me with open arms and a poster they made for me. Being with a whole different set of students made me feel blessed. After a few days with them made me realize how lucky I was to meet such friendly, intelligent, smart, and funny people. I felt very blessed. I was able to spend the whole summer with Ganesha and travel with Fortalesa. Getting to know all the students that worked so hard to travel and experience a different way of living has really opened my eyes.
There´s no place i´d rather be than to be here with the Fortaleza cohort. Everyone´s energy is so great. They´re always so eager to learn, and everyone of them has a personality that´s super unique. Each student from this cohort brings so much to the table, and I feel very privilidged (i dont think i spelled this right) to spend two months learning and growing with them. Also, the Fortaleza leaders are the best! They´re very understanding. They make learning a fun experience. Rachel can be a bit challenging because she always wants to win games, but for the most part, she´s awesome. Christopher (Topher), is super awesome and chill. He´s very calm and super nice. They´re always dancing in public, and I love that because they make me and everyone else in the group feel confident to be weird and do crazy things that we´ll remember forever. I think it´s great that Fortaleza has two leaders who are compatible and are ready to go through s*** with us. Now that I´m here in an exotic wonderful place with great people, I know that everything happens for a reason. Some plans don´t work out to how you want them to, but I now know that it´s for the best. God always has better plans for you than you had intended. Thank you Nicaragua for making me love beans!