Women's Swimmer Caitlin Fujan spent three weeks studying Spanish in Granada, Nicaragua. Here is the first of three blogs that tell about her trip. 

 

Blog #1:

Going to a foreign country with complete strangers is one of the most nerve-racking, yet thrilling experiences I have ever faced.  Meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and ideas, and to top it all off, speaking my thoughts and ideas in a completely different language has never made me so scared in my life.  Me and a few of the other classmates went to the airport all ready to go with our oversized suitcases, passports, and excitement, except for one of our classmates, Bobby.

Bobby came to the airport expecting to be with the rest of us throughout the trip, but when he was checking in his bags, he realized that his passport was expired.  Everyone had a freak-out moment and didn't know what to do.  All I could think to myself was..."Is this honestly real life? Is the trip already starting off this bad?"  I guess I just couldn't comprehend the fact that he was maybe never going to be able to experience this trip with us, even though he did all the background work beforehand with the two weeks of classes that we had and had invested the money to make the trip.

We all knew that we couldn't do anything about the Bobby situation, so I continued on through security and we eventually flew out of the Dayton Airport and landed in Atlanta, Georgia with a three-hour layover. We had nothing to do but wait with an overload of anticipation for our arrival to Managua.  To take up time, the girls on the trip decided to go out to eat to TGI Friday's, while the remaining three guys on the trip went to a different restaurant.  Once we were all done eating, we sat around our gate calling all of our families and friends from back home, knowing that we weren't going to be able to do this for the next three weeks.  Before we all knew it, we were off to Nicaragua.

The nerves were really kicking in when we were on the plane.  We were all so frantic trying to help each other out with Spanish phrases and vocabulary. Not only were we freaking out, but we were hands down the loudest and most obnoxious people on the plane.  We didn't know what to expect with the new host families and experiences that were yet to come.  Then we finally landed in Nicaragua and the nerves really started kicking into the core of my body.

We got our bags at the baggage claim and were ready to hit the road in no time. We all arrived onto a bus and the bus driver stacked all of our suitcases on the roof of the bus.  As we left, I decided to sit next to my future roommate, Morgan, with only fear.  We both were sharing our nervousness together and had no idea what to expect.  We didn't know what we wanted to say to our host mom when we first encountered her.  It felt like it took forever until the bus finally stopped, and of course it was Morgan's and my stop. 

With my luck, I was of course the first one off.  I felt like I was about to puke at this point.  All of the students in the bus were cheering Morgan and I on, doing a little bit of the fist pump and making me even more nervous.  

Morgan and I walked into the house, and I could not believe how beautiful it was.  We walked in further and out came two barking dogs, one that was a little, white, shaggy dog with red bow on her head and one that looked like a wolf.  After the dogs came the cutest, most petite older lady I had ever seen; it was Amandita, our host mom for the next three weeks. It was late at night so we luckily didn't have to use a lot of our Spanish when we first greeted her, but we were able to talk about her two dogs, Lulu and Muneca, and her parrots.  Morgan and I walked into our new rooms and it literally felt so surreal.  This is going to be my life for the next three weeks and I could not wait for what was to come!

 

-- www.MURedHawks.com --