I just had such an amazing weekend. I don’t know where to start, so i’m just going to go through every single part of my weekend!
Friday 7am – i hopped into a taxi to the UCA bus station. The driver took 200 cords out of my wallet when we got there. I promptly took it right back out of his hands, told him he was rude and handed him 50 cords and left him screaming in the taxi. This was a pleasant start to my weekend 😉
8am to 11am – i navigated myself to Port San Jorge to find the Ferry. Between microbuses and city buses i finally made it to the port just in time to catch my ferry.
11:30am – I was on the ferry and all was well. I kept having flash backs to last time i was on that same ferry..with 11 other Vermonters, all anxious and what not. This day however i was on the ferry with a kid named David, who did a bunch of traveling and after his trip to Ometepe had a trip planned across Europe. David is also friends with my friend Isaac from JSC…small small world.
12pm- FINALLY arrived on Ometepe. I decided to take public transportation to Merida, which is off the beaten path on the other side of the island…
4pm- FOUR HOURS LATER. and much spanish learned, i arrived at Hacienda Merida the hotel in which i stayed for the weekend. I ate some pollo y arroz at the restaurant while i waited for my friend Yeri to come get me. Yeri is from Merida, we met him last year during the clean water solutions trip and kept in touch. Yeri is absolutely amazing, and he’s bilingual! Go Yeri!
6pm- Yeri and I head up to our friend Alvero’s house. Our group from JSC also met Alvero at La Omaja, the hotel we stayed at two years ago. Alvero works for La Omaja and also became a very big part of our time in Ometepe. Unfortunately, Alvero wasn’t back from work yet, so myself, yeri and Alvero’s family all hung out and talked about everything. They are so sweet. Alvero’s esposa was very interested in my family! And the daughters, Katy and Kaiylien wanted to see all my pictures and earrings and my hair haha. I did a lot of different hair styles that night.
Saturday 8 am- The next morning Yeri texted me and told me to meet him by La Omaja. There i met Alvero and we chatted about the island while we waited for Yeri. Then Yeri showed up with horses, all suited up and ready to go to the Cascada (waterfall) in San Ramon. So, Yeri and i rode horses ( a little scary) to the water fall. It took about 1.5 hours to ride the horses up from the village and another 20 minute walk up to the actual waterfall and it was so beautiful. It was a cloudy, rainy, muggy day, but the waterfall was gorgeous and made everything so beautiful around it. In the middle of the forrest, Yeri and i hung out under the water fall, looking for monkeys and watching the butterflies. It was delightful.
11am- After a nice ride down from the waterfall, Yeri and i rode the horses around the village for a little while. Not much has changed in Merida. The same people are there and surprisingly they remember me! and the group! It was a good feeling knowing that such a difference was made.
5pm- After a quick shower/nap combo, i gathered up all my stuff and went with Yeri over to Alvero’s house for dinner. We drank Tonas and people watched for a little while when Alvero asked me if i felt at home. And i really did, i was so relaxed. I was surrounded by people i love and respect in an area which will always have a place in my heart.
6pm- Dinner time! I finally ate dinner with a family. The girls, Yeri and i all ate a delicious meal prepared by Hijelia (maybe the spelling, i’m not sure), Alvero’s wife. It was rice, pork and spices, and frijoles. Quite simple but yet quite the combination! Probably my favorite meal so far here in Nicaragua.
7:30pm- Katy wanted to show me something really bad so she finally put in a DVD and i automatically knew what it was. During our time in Merida, the JSC group was filmed doing work all week. We watched all the highlights, all the funny moments, when i was crying like a baby….it was so great! A little embarrassing but so great. It brought back so many memories.
8pm- Yeri, his cousin and i all rode on one, yes, one motorcycle to a local hotel to have some more tonas and talk with the owner. It was a great time and certainly a bonding experience between all of us and that ONE motorcycle.
9pm- We ended up going back to Alvero’s house for a party! Yes! a birthday party! And let me tell you, there isn’t anything better than a nica birthday party. The whole family went and blasted music and played pinned the tail on the donkey. But you really have to dance while you do it. So me, being the tallest in the room, was blindfolded, spun around and told to dance to the pumpin’ music. It was a great time. I ended up playing twice and shaking my little chella butt. So so so much fun! And the whole family was there, everybody’s cousins and their cousins and the birthday girl! It was great! We made Yeri do it, and trust me, that kid can dance. After the pin the tail on the donkey game everybody just danced in the house to all sorts of music, country, latino, pop. It was so funny! Definitely what i was looking for in my nica experience, living the vida nica. Also, i was named a “Ometepiana”or an official islander! I am now officially part of the Merida family 🙂
And that is really where my story ends. I had a nice ferry ride back to San Jorge and a long bus ride to Managua, where i met other travelers and what not. But if one thing is for sure, i did NOT want to leave Ometepe. And, I guess i will admit that i cried as my bus pulled away from Merida today. I then pulled it together and looked out the window and Alvero’s family was waiting for me by their house and waving. I waved back and then lost it again. Leaving Merida is kind of like leaving home. It’s bitter sweet and i know i will be back again. The memories that are made in Merida and forever memories. Alvero has opened his house up to me, letting me know that i am now family and his house and my house, his family is my family and words can not describe how wonderful of a feeling it is to be welcomed into another persons home like that. My weekend was absolutely incredible and i am already counting down the days to go back home to Merida.