29.9., 8.35 CST/10.35 EST/15.35 CET, Flight AA 986 MNG-MIA, above Cuba 😉
My host Lenin gave me several opportunities I’ve never would have gotten just by staying with him at his place. Some may call me crazy but I’ve learned that it is not just to give, it’s also of getting a revanche.
Urs, my CEO at World Vision, who has taken part of #myjourney in Nicaragua these days, and, of course, my mother and my sister really insisted on why am I doing this couch surfing thing. There might be a high risk of getting robbed, or even worse. It’s insecure and I should not feel responsible for anything bad happening in the world.
For me this time I lived by a Nica person, real life, as it is. Lenin gave me an insight on how living is in Managua for a well trained but unemployed young man. I stayed in a house next to the calle principal of Barrio Centroamerica, a 4-lane road, starting heavy traffic around 5 am, crowded until 7 am, blowing horns, yelling and whisteling ppl all the time, evenings it got quiet around midnight. Just a wooden wall seperated my room and the main entrance room to a small veranda facing directly the pedestrian walk and the road. The smell of the old school buses with rotten exhausting pipes, taxis of course without any catalysator or other air cleaning facilities, trucks and lorries passing by. Not just once I kept my breath when another bus blew its combustion gases directly into my lounge.
I also met several ppl from all over the world, all guests of Lenin. Not all of them have been so delightful and thankful like I was. But having met Lily from Taiwan, 2 guys and 1 girl from Mexico and Chile (?) travelling through Latin America, another group of 3 (1 swiss-guatemalteca girl, 1 german girl, 1 Argentino) back packers and another german boy, funny enough he’s from Lörrach next to Basel; Lenin’s sister, his stepfather and others are wealthy contacts. I also met other couchsurfing host in Managua, e.g. Denis, a lawyer, speaking several languages, who was in national media, who won the trial on abandoning homosexuality of being a crime in Nicaragua.
Ok, sometimes there are times I missed a calm and fresh-aired room in a hotel – think about the buses I’ve mentioned. It would have been better having dinner w/ Lenin and inviting him instead of a spaghetti-pasta-potlak with greedy and short-money travellers. Not being bound to listen to testosteron issues happening just one wooden plate behind me. Thunderstorms and rain showers which spread not only one drop of water into my place. Being bound to taxis and my collegues Urs and Miriam picking me up and giving me a lift to and from the hotel. Also a matter of time and plannings, not just walking down to the lobby for a debriefing meeting e.g.
To sum up: It was my first couch I used as a guest. I’ve learned so many things about Nicaragua which I would have missed for sure. I git in touch with an usual way of living and getting around. I met interesting ppl. It was not always funny but an experience for life. I will do it again. And serve my room to others of course 😉