April came quickly, bringing with it my mom for our spring time adventure. I met her in Managua and from there we went up to Northern Nicaragua. We were busy busy busy as we managed to go to see and do quite a bit. In Leon we made it to the beach, volcano boarding down the side of an active volcano, city tours and to see the carpets made of coloured sand for Semana Santa. Then we made our way to Finca Neblina del Bosque, a beautiful eco lodged owned and operated by Nestor’s brother Eduardo and his wife Isabel. Then we went to Matagalpa and I was able to visit with a friend I made from a brigade back in December.
After Northern Nicaragua the adventure continued to Panama. It was quite the shock to see how different countries that are quite close in geography can be. Panama city was filled with skyscrapers and signs, malls and cars as we drove in. We were lucky to actually be on the canal and go through some of the locks, tour the old city and get out to the country.
From Panama we made our way back North to Costa Rica. We found a wonderful and small B&B to stay in while we were in San Jose whose owner Darrylle was so kind and fascinating to speak with. We did a few tours in and around the city before going to the beaches for a surf and yoga camp. After several years of trying to get my mom on a surf board it finally happened and she was like a pro. I was so glad we were in the area known as the gentlest for beginners as otherwise I would have been more black and blue than I was.
Then came the hard part. My final week on the island. Fortunately I had my mom there for a little moral (and packing) support. There was a brigade going on so NDI was in full swing. Unfortunately Tabby and then Luna were unwell, so I missed seeing them but did help out a bit with one of the course days for the brigade. Much of my final time was spent with friends and my neighbours. Mom and I went to Alta Gracia and swimming on on the other side of the island with Angela’s family. The last few days were spent with the family – my neighbours. We went to the grand opening of the new location of Pizzeria Buen Appetito all together and on my final night they surprised me with a lovely dinner and music, until the power went out. Another fantastic surprise was a donation brought by my mom down to NDI and the island. She, my cousin and a family friend Thinh Thang had gotten laptop computers set up and donated to NDI through Thinh’s company Critical Mass. I cannot begin to say how much such a donation meant to those who received them and to help NDI in doing it’s work, but I want to say thank you again as it is a donation that means so much.