Terror, joy, terror, joy, terror… joy? It’s my first time traveling completely alone, my first time in Central American. I also don’t speak Spanish.
I exit the airport and search for a stranger with a sign and, soon, we are driving away, and it hits me that this is the ultimate test of trust in humanity, to jump in a car with a stranger in the dark, to believe that he will take you to where you need to be. And you cannot even speak his language. Terror.
And then we are driving around and around, up, following the curve of the mountain. A village sleeps in the valley below, and the full moon illuminates the sky and the clouds of volcano smoke. Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” plays on the car radio. How freeing. How incredible to think how far I’ve come in one day. Joy.
The Spanish School is dark and empty now, except for the wild dogs, and now there is a wild dog on my bed. On my bed. It won’t move. There is no one to help. I am alone in Nicaragua, and there is a wild dog on my bed. Terror.
But to grow, we must venture into the unknown. The more terrifying it is, the more that I know that it is right. It’s right that I am here at La Mariposa in Nicaragua. And that brings joy.