Something I have realized but have not really thought about is the fact that I am going back to Nicaragua alone. I do not again have the pleasure of experiencing this amazing opportunity with the 11 wonderful people with whom I travelled in March.
That, that thought right there, that is the one that scares me.
I don’t get the camaraderie. I don’t get the late-night heart-to-hearts with my classmates about whom I knew very little before this trip (save my sorority sisters). I have to travel entirely alone and experience this summer (for the most part) on my own.
Of course there are full-time employees of the program with which I’m volunteering and there will probably be other long-term volunteers. Additionally, there will be a new crop of volunteers to work with almost every week. I will not be alone.
But for the purpose of this post, I offer you the first feelings of anxiety I have about my trip. It’s funny, because anxiety only set in 8 days before my departure, but oh well. I am now worried that my experience won’t be the same. OF COURSE it won’t be the same, logic tells me. Duh.
And it shouldn’t matter that I’m going alone. I loved my time in Nicaragua because of the culture, the volunteer work, the people of Jinotega, and the amazing qualities of OutReach360. But I also loved (and cherished, etc.) my time in Nica because of the 11 beautiful, loving, inspired leaders with whom I shared my first experience with O360.
This post is a tribute to those 11 fantastic people- you are all amazing. This post is also a farewell to my past feelings of Nica. I am determined to go into this summer without expectations. I will not compare my second experience to my first, for that would be unfair (not everyone can be as great as my first group).
This is a promise to all y’all readers, and to myself, that I will fly my happy butt to Nicaragua in 8 days and know what I will be doing, but not how I will feel doing it. And I am ok with that. I look forward to a new chapter in life. I will always love and cherish the time I spent in my first week in Nicaragua as well as the people with whom I spent it. But I will not allow that great time to overshadow or hinder my future with the program. And that’s that.
Anxiety ameliorated by a blog post. How sweet.
Until next time!