Thursday, March 21, 2013

TFN to NIC: Are We There Yet?

By Bella, Hannah, Luis-Manuel & Aaliyah

On Wednesday morning, everyone gathered in the freezing school yard, looking forward to the warm weather. We waited there for about half an hour, parents saying goodbyes and grouping us together so they could blind us with the flash on their cameras. A couple of the travelers were reluctant to leave their parent(s), while other were excited to fly to Nicaragua.

After that, two shuttles arrived in the basketball court to take us to the Philadelphia airport. At the airport, we got our passports checked and our luggage weighed. Some of the travelers were nervous to see if their luggage was under fifty pounds. Our next stop was to go through security. It actually wasn’t that bad, though, except when a few people had to get their bug spray thrown out, because it was over three ounces.

After security, Tr. Kate and Tr. Steve assigned us jobs for the rest of the day. The jobs included bloggers, leaders, leave no trace-ers, and energizers. Lastly, the time came when we got to have some wonderful downtime. We had time to eat lunch and hang out before our flight. There were restaurants, great souvenirs, and much more. We had a difficult time finding a suitable place to eat. Finally, at 12:05, we boarded our plane to Miami.

Once we were on the plane for Miami, it was easy to see our excitement. We talked about how excited we were for our flight, and we waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, the planed started to move, and we cheered in our heads silently. For about 5 minutes, the plane moved slowly as it got in position for take off. Suddenly, all of the mini-televisions came down automatically, and a pre-recorded video popped up on the screen. It told us how to fasten our seat belts, put on our life jackets(we didn’t need to use them), where the emergency exits were, and other things. After that, the seat belt light came on, and all through the plane you could hear seat belts buckle. The plane soon began to go faster than ever before; and soon enough, we were in the air.

During the flight, some people played cards, others drew, and some slept (Lola snuck pictures of those people). Window-seat travelers looked out of the windows and were surprised to see how the landscape looked from above. Landing was terrifying, happy, and exciting all at the same time. It was fast and bumpy, and some of us were really scared. Luis had his hands up in the air because he was overly excited.

After touchdown in Miami, we went into the airport and docked at an empty area because the gate that was supposed  to be for our next flight was still full of people waiting for a different flight. We all wandered and got some food to eat before we left for Nicaragua. The weather wasn’t so nice and there was a delay on the runway. After we finally took off, it seemed that Managua was right around the  corner. We could see a lot of the city from the sky, and it was really nothing we expected to see. We weren’t expecting to see so many lights in the city, or the cars below us. A few of us also saw lightning in the distance as were were landing. We landed at a not so busy, empty airport, and we were in Managua, Nicaragua.

After we went through the Immigration, passport stamping, and Customs, we met with
Don Pablo, our bus driver, and headed to the bus. We were all hit by surprise when kids came up touching us and asking for money. We were all uncomfortable, but it really hurt our hearts seeing them like that.  We all wanted to give them something, but we couldn’t. We were afraid that if we gave them our money, we would end up giving them more than we expected to. When we were all loaded up, we set off, and eventually arrived at our hotel. The inner walls of the hotel were a light yellow. We all huddled into a semicircle, and M. Steve and Tr. Kate told us who we were bunking with and in what room.

Walking into our rooms, as we opened the door and turned on the lights, the sight was amazing! The mattresses looked super comfortable, the pillows look as if they were stuffed with the clouds we were just over, and the air conditioning systems looked beautiful! We had a short meeting, where we talked about the events that happened over the course of the day, and M. Steve and M. Kate gave us a few details of what was going to happen the next day (we’re keeping that a secret for now...). And then off to bed we went! We all slept so well, although some of us woke up really early due to jet lag.


  1. your spamer-shaniyahMarch 21, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    OMG!!!! I miss nicaragua sooooooo much!!!! I shoulda have hoped in the vans when the cost was clear!I hope you guys are enjoying your trip and tell all our old buddies we say hola! Well it has snowed today :( but later it got nice and warm so hey were all getting the nice warmness right!
    Well have fun and dont let the bug bites
    by the way I had don pablo too ( i think)

  2. WOW! Wish I were a kid again and doing something so exciting. But since I'm grown and can't be with you all I am truly happy and excited for my Grandson Luis Manual (Macho) for this great opportunity. I enjoyed reading the stories so far and I'm loving the pics. I can rest assure that they are all in good hands, learning and have a great time. May the journey continue to be a safe and fun one. You are all in my prayers. Have fun, take care and God bless. Macho....see you soon. Grandmom love ya.

  3. Looks like the fun began since the moment you entered the school yard. It was great to see how everyone surrounded you like the superstars we know you are. That's why we turned into the paparazzi :) Love the pictures! Many prayers and blessings are being lifted up for all of you.
    Macho's Kermit and Miss Piggy :)

  4. Wow! Sounds amazing so far. Now the big question..... How is
    the food? What did you eat? What was your favorite thing so far? Hey Nick-Tony has officially moved into your room.
    Did you know that he snores? I can't wait to hear more, so keep the info coming. xo

  5. Excellent writing and description of the day's events. I felt like I was on the trip with you guys for a minute there, then reality hit! :-D Can't wait to read the next post!

    Have fun and learn a lot!
    Love you Macho
    God bless
    Love, Belinda (Luis Manuel's Godmother)

  6. Nickkkkkk!
    Hi, your trip sounds amazing so far. So glad you got the window seat, you can honestly say you looked at both sides of a cloud now. It is ridiculously cold here, not nearly what you think of when you think first day of spring. Enjoy your experience, I think it will be so much fun and so interesting, I am very happy for you. Although I think tonight’s Archer will be the best ,sorry you won’t get the chance to see it….. ever
    Much love -- Dad

  7. Nickkkkkk!!

    PS -- I did feed your many fish.
    Have a great day tomorrow.

  8. Nice to see "Kanana" as little Isaac calls her, having a great time with friends. Do miss her but what's important is that she is having fun. Even if you are 80 years old, you will always be Daddy's little girl.
    Love Daddy

  9. I am happy to see the pics and that you all are having a great start. Kaden - stop being so camera shy!! Miss you lots and can't wait to see what you do tomorrow! Vega thinks you are still on the airplane.
    Hugs and kisses
    Love you

  10. Sounds like the beginning of an adventure you'll all remember for years to come. Looking forward to seeing what the coming days bring.

    Kaden, nice to see 1/3 of you peeking out from behind Gaby. Not the same around here without you, though. Cypress and Raven are actually not bickering -- what's that all about? And Vega think's that you're either, still on a plane, or outside.

    I'll make sure to take care of your teddy bears and your Justin Bieber Cds until you get back.


  11. Hi Hannah,

    I am so glad to see you guys arrive Safely. I hope you are enjoying this great adventure, you are very much missed at home and everyone tells me to tell you Hi and take many, many pictures. Enjoy each and every day as a gift. Don't forget to get me a nice gift. I love you so much, can't wait to see what the days ahead brings. Don't forget to say your prayers.

  12. Wow looks like you all are having so much fun.Shanice how did you enjoy the plane ride? Were you scared? This trip is truly a blessing and I hope you enjoy every minute of it. While there i hope for u to learn and see so much and to be appreciative of all that u have. Take plenty of pictures. Love mom

  13. Wow looks like you all are having so much fun.Shanice how did you enjoy the plane ride? Were you scared? This trip is truly a blessing and I hope you enjoy every minute of it. While there i hope for u to learn and see so much and to be appreciative of all that u have. Take plenty of pictures. Love mom

  14. Hey Dejah, it's Aunt Vanessa. Glad you arrived safely. The journey has just begun....enjoy.