NICARAGUA! You captivated me. Do not get me wrong, the competition was fearsome. Bolivia and Ecuador are nipping at your heals, but alas, you knew I was coming back.
Bernard Byer said "If You Want To Know Where Your Heart Is Look To Where Your Mind Goes When It Wanders". With me it always hits the road and most recently back to Nicaragua. My mind has always wandered the world ever since I can remember. Staring at world maps, memorizing countries, capitals and landmarks, any historical events that I could retain (nearly impossible really). I do reflect at times, usually without sadness, at how different my life would have been had I embraced the Wanderlust spirit and the joy of writing that was in me. What would have been had I embraced that path without prejudice from an early age....and stayed there!
(There is one person with whom I now think about anytime my mind wanders. She has given me a new appreciation about how to overcome real adversity and that anything truly is possible.)
Well now here I sit. The world is at my feet. I have worked as a Waiter/Bartender in the Food Services Industry, creative roles including management in Technology and Internet Services, Volunteer Teacher in Latin America and Truck Driver in the Oil Fields of Alberta, Canada plus various transition jobs in between. I delivered the local newspapers from the age of 9, worked through high school in a restaurant. I attended Sault College , then Brock University and along the way the Trebas Institute, a crappy Information Technology School (however it did open doors which is all I could have asked for considering the price). I spent a year working at Walt Disney World / Epcot Centre in Florida on a student exchange. I have been lucky enough to have traveled to 48 countries on all 7 continents and I spent a winter being a ski bum in Canada's West. I have climbed glaciers, hiked mountains and volcanoes, trudged through jungles and deserts and sailed on oceans. I have wandered the ruins of ancient civilizations, the insanity of modern cities and the cobblestone streets of Colonial towns. There have been war memorials, graveyards and views of both historical devastation and the human spirit. I have marveled at sunsets and sat mesmerized by the animal kingdom. I have studied French, German, Japanese and Spanish and with minimal phrases I was able to Forrest Gump my way through even the smallest remote towns because people in the world are generally good! Most important of all. I have met some of the most amazing people from all over the world, experiencing their lives on the road. I do not remember all the names but they are all etched in my memories. My friends and family say I have done so much. I appreciate the kind words but that really is all relative. Lets see where the latest Re-boot takes me.
Now with that monologue out of the way I find myself ready to board the big bird and soar (or bump along depending on turbulence) to Nicaragua (via Miami of course). Once there I will be heading to Colonial Leon, a city of history, beauty and Sandinista pride. It is here where the real Sandinista movement started in 1956 by Rigoberto López Pérez who shot and killed Somoza García and the historical significance of the town is not lost on the locals. The León Cathedral is a World Heritage Site (Not that I will ever be there on a Sunday) and Scree skiing on Volcun Negro.
I will be dealing with both the modern challenges of Nicaragua. The New Canal Zone, erratic electrical and water shortages, earth tremors, cold showers (tepid if your have a good day) however the gallo pinto will be hot and the Toña ice cold plus chatting with locals thinking I am a Spanish superstar when in reality...well not so much. Leon is one of the hottest cities in Latin America but also has a rainy season that lasts 3 months. I have a job, an apartment, money in my pocket and a rudimentary understanding of the language. That's all a guy can ask for....well that and a Bills Superbowl.
*** I was chatting with a friend of the family who came to wish me luck. I said to her, "it's 4:00 how about a cup a tea?" to which this 96 year old superstar replied without skipping a beat. "it's 4:00 and time for a glass of wine. I was owned!