Flying and First Night in Nicaragua

on the plane in Toronto

Cheerily waiting for our plane to be de-iced, little knowing what an adventure awaits us!

I am so glad our family was able to travel together. We flew through Panama and Costa Rica and arrived in Nicaragua after dark. We didn’t take any pictures when we got in, but here’s a few from the flight.

possibly Barbados

This is possibly Barbados

islands in the Caribbean

More islands in the Caribbean

Getting to the hotel was a bit stressful and chaotic, including a teenage boy “selling flowers,” putting folded palm fronds in our hands then demanding money. We gave back the flowers and escaped into the well-marked Best Western shuttle, hoping it was legit and not an elaborate fraud to kidnap us instead of whisk us just across the street. (Good news – it was in fact a 47 second trip to the hotel!)

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Home Again

We are back! Back in Canada, unpacked, with the Christmas tree set up. We have great tans, tons of pictures, and a fresh impression of the little luxuries we take for granted, like flushing toilet paper down the toilet, reliable electricity and hot water, familiar brands on the shelves of stores we shop in, and the option to leave our dishes in the sink for the next day (very bad etiquette in the common kitchen of a hostel!).IMG_20141207_182227

Our family vacation to Nicaragua was everything we hoped for and more. We definitely faced some challenges, some scary moments and frustrations, but looking back in hindsight it was all part of a rich experience we wouldn’t trade, and we hope it won’t be too long before we have another opportunity to travel as a family and even to return to Nicaragua for another visit.

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Waiting on God’s Help

For several months, Matt and I have been planning an amazing family vacation, and this week it almost came undone. Our three week trip to Nicaragua is a culmination of years of dreaming, months of saving money, countless hours spent reading hostel/hotel reviews and travel blogs and drafting itineraries, then going back to square one and repeating the whole process. We chose this Central American country because Matt has been there before on mission trips and loved it – he has always said how much he wants me to travel there and experience the culture and see some of the amazing scenery Nicaragua has to offer. We also sponsor a child who lives in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, and we felt that having the opportunity to meet her in person was one we couldn’t pass up.

This may be a once in a lifetime trip, although I hope it isn’t! In the short-term, however, we do have a very special window to both take three weeks off work, for Torre to fly nearly free of charge, and to have pulled together enough money to make the trip happen. I joked with Matt that even though Nicaragua doesn’t really have any resorts, we can tell people we’re taking an “all expenses paid” vacation – it’s just that we’re paying all the expenses as we go 🙂

My passport has a few years left on it, but Matt had to renew his passport for this trip, which he did without any hiccups. Then Tuesday afternoon we found out Torre needs a passport to travel. Now, everyone who I told this to more or less responded with, “Well, yeah.” But we just didn’t realize. Honestly, I had no questions about showing up at the airport with our tickets and our child and his birth certificate and getting on a plane, but that’s not how they do it any more. Doh.

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