Well my first two weeks in Managua have certainly been eventful! I boarded the plane on a pretty crumby, snowy day in Indy two weeks agoÂ bound for Managua, Nicaragua. Having spent some time in Nicaragua a few years ago, I had some idea of what to expect as far as the country and culture, but had only a vague idea of what exactly my internship entail. Either way, I boarded the plane with much anticipation of what was to become of my 3-month stint in Nicaragua.
I was met at the airport in Managua by Gran Pacifica's driver, an extremely cheerful little man named Sadis. I was surprised at his level of English, and I think he might have been surprised at my level of Spanish as well. He took me to the store to pick up a few things to eat, then dropped me at my intern accommodations Â surprise number two. The house is great! Located in a gated condominium in a great area in Managua, the digs are equipped with A/C, cable tv, WiFi, and even an in-ground pool and grill. A few amenities that I definitely didn't have as a volunteer in Granada on my last visit.
Monday morning I made my way to the Gran Pacifica office with Sadis, about a 10-15 minute drive with little traffic. Passing through the colinas (hills) with gorgeous views towards the volcanoes and Lake Managua, I was so glad to be back. The office is located in a plaza off of Carretera Sur, I was pleasantly surprised to find a pretty modern atmosphere and ample air conditioning. The office staff also was very welcoming and made me feel right at home. Everyone's English is excellent, a few employees hardly even carry an accent when they speak English Â I guess that's pretty important when you're dealing with predominantly N. American clients. Since arriving 2 weeks ago I've been keeping fairly busy. Some of my tasks in the office thus far have been revising and editing some documents for company shareholders, preparing a country handbook for potential investors in Ecuador, and helping (a little) prepare for the home owners' association annual meeting.
I have had the opportunity to visit the property already two times, it's gorgeous. The homes, condos, infinity pool, golf course and private beach are all incredible. You can ride horses down the beach or play a round of golf with a crisp blue ocean in the backdrop. I wouldn't mind staying a few days on property before the internship is up.
Outside of the internship, I have been keeping busy trying to stay active and visiting with some local friends I made during my last stay in Nicaragua. I've been jogging in the mornings and attending a boot camp at the park next door to the house in the evenings. It's pretty intense, 50-some Nicaraguans and I meet at 7pm each evening for a vigorous workout, dragging enormous tires around, obstacle courses, countless burpees, you name it. It's been a cool way to spend the evenings and to meet people in the neighborhood.
On my second weekend here in Nicaragua, I went to meet up with some friends from the states that are here visiting. We met at the beach in San Juan del Sur and had a pretty spectacular weekend. Great food, drinks, company, beach, sunÂ it was just what I needed. We visited the statue of Jesucristo on top of the hill at the edge of the bay - with sweeping views of the coastline, incredible! I have a couple visitors coming next month and I definitely plan on taking them up for the view.
In the meantime, I'm currently relaxing by the pool at Las Perlas de Gran Pacifica while they're having a meeting in the clubhouseÂ not half bad. My time here thus far has been very exciting and rewarding, certainly looking forward to the next 6.5 weeks to come!
ByÂ Aaron Skelly