reeling live from nicaragua, overdue for an update, i am contently resting in leon, borderline binge drinking local beer and feasting on a train of 50 cent tortillas.
...today is good.
i bounced through belize with no real opportunity or necessity to blog. the country is at best not par for honorable mention. on the bright side, i did relax. traveling is exhausting. i dove the blue hole, a scuba divers must, and enjoyed cheap lobster.
honduras was next, where i spent some notable time at the whale shark oceanic research center on utila, one of the bay islands. initially, i had planned to blog solely about the magnitude of my adventures there and my time spent refusing to even blink under the water afraid i would miss something. but instead, i´m convinced that i am incapable of eloquently expressing the phenomena of the natural world that i was fortunate enough to experience.
i´ll say it, i´m a nerd. that´s not science, that´s life.
and nearly anyone who would care that i had the rare opportunity not only to study whale sharks but also to swim with them has by now received a postcard or phone call cluttered with jabbering bits of excitement about rhincodon typus. sadly i have no real photos of my sharing the ocean with this gentle giant. i am moved by my memories, and shudder at the flashbacks of coasting the caribbean sea with in fact the largest fish in the ocean. not one. but two! an arms-length away i felt like my 5´stature was smaller than ever before. swimming with a whale shark is like hiking with big foot! i have gained so much knowledge about the species, about their migratory patterns, their feeding, their reproduction. i have learned about conservation efforts, and tracking. nerdy or not, i won´t continue, but i can easily say that i am undoubtedly satisfied with my entire trip based only on my encounter with evolutionary perfection.
i have floated through to nicaragua now where i met one of the most charming and openly friendly souls i have had the pleasure of sharing smiles and thoughts with. his sunny disposition could easily highlight my day, and i liked him from the moment i met him. he said to me, ¨sometimes. we are really lucky, you know. to meet so many wonderful people. so many. i feel really blessed.¨ and that simple construction of a sentence summed up the way i felt about him, and so many other intrepid travels i have met on the road. so far, i have failed to really mention the influence of friends along my journey, but their impact has been unforgettable.
for starters: there was matt, who offered constant companionship and endless card games of crazy 8´s. then jeff and graham, the two super laidback warm-spirited canadians who helped me demolish buckets of beer after long days at the antigua espanol escuela. jeff, over a month later i ran into in honduras where we danced entire evenings away, and graham who i hope to meet in costa rica soon. not to be forgotten, olenka and katrina, the eccentric and flighty ladies from gun-wavin´new haven, ct. this duo brought more laughs and loads of love to my trip. we met in guatemala and continued through belize, where the 3 of us absolutely unknowingly accompanied some local fishermen on a drug deal to san pedro. olenka and i went skinny dipping in the heart of a lightening storm in honduras, and before i knew it the tiny polish girl and her swiss friend had disappeared from my life. briefly gavin and dewitt intersected my days and filtered in so much humor chased with odd looks from onlookers. as a small white woman, traveling with two large, loud black men, entire days are ensured to be enveloped in giggles. then there was olaf, the funny kid from holland with all the magic tricks, and peter, a boy from colorado who danced like a chicken. on another day, it was angel, the 43 year old british doll that sang to me, ýo shorty, it´s your birthday´and chanted my name to chug mojitos on my 26th.
and phillip, the heart stirring man with an unfailing smile and kind eyes who said just how lucky we are, to meet so many wonderful people.
all these souls, these amusing folks, have collaborated to make my journey of self-discovery and exploration even more touching and laughable and real than i knew possible. tackling the entire world alone can seem scary. and that sensation, that very one, is probably why i do it. but the kindness of strangers leaves little to be desired on the road. i like it here.
i´m anticipating days washed with surf in nicaragua.
maybe i´ll buy a board.
maybe i´ll buy a house.
maybe i´ll never leave.