Hola a todos! He llegado sana y salva.
After two long and one not-so-long airplane rides, I have finally made it to Managua! The ISEP people from UAM (Universidad Americana de Managua, pronounced "WOM", where I will be taking classes) were there waiting for me outside of the baggage claim when I arrived, as was my Grandpa who had taken the bus in to ensure my safe arrival. I only got to see him for a few minutes before we parted ways - he, back to the bus, and I, with the ISEP people. After two more girls came in we loaded onto a bus which took us each to our new homes. Driving in Nicaragua is an adventure - if there are rules, people don't really follow them. There are also fun things to see just driving around, like people selling puppies on the side of the road. I was the last to be dropped off, and when we finally pulled up to my new home, I was stoked to see a little boy waiting for us on the lawn outside - I have a little host-brother! His name is Sebastián (or Sebas for short), he's six years old, and needless to say, he's a cutie. I took my stuff inside and met Esperanza, a really sweet older woman who works at the house, and Janet, another sweet girl who's probably about my age who also works at the house and at the family's little "panadería" attached to the kitchen that the family owns and runs. They both helped me get situated in my new room and showed me a bit around the house. It's a small and simple but beautiful home with tile floors, quite a few paintings, and a walled in back patio/lawn. Neither of Sebastián's parents were there (his dad was working and his mom was flying home from a trip to the US), so I unpacked a bit and spent some time hanging out with my new host-brother. He showed me around the back lawn, then we went inside and he started asking me to tell him what everything was in English, and then I tested him on all the colors. After that I taught him to play "Go Fish" and "War" which was fun. Later when he went to go play with his friend Ricardo he came straight up to my window (which faces the driveway) to say goodbye - it was cute :). I'm so happy to have a little brother! He can be a little hard to understand sometimes because he speaks so quickly and uses "vos" instead of "tú" so I get kind of confused sometimes, but it's a good challenge. My host-dad René(?) came home in the evening and my host-mom Katia came home later that night and they were both very kind and welcoming. I am so thankful to be living with this family in this house! Anyway, I have today and tomorrow free, aside from possibly getting together with other ISEP students, and then on Friday we have orientation at UAM where we will get to know the university a bit and then do some kind of tour around Managua. I haven't seen much of the country yet, but, aside from the city, there are already things about it that remind me a lot of home - lots of similar plants, the warmth, and the laid-back lifestyle. I am so blessed and thankful to be here and am excited for my next four months here in Nicaragua!
P.S. I have no idea how often I'll be updating this thing, but I'll try and make it pretty regular. Maybe once a week. We'll see. Thanks for reading!!! :)