Women's Swimmer Caitlin Fujan spent three weeks studiyng abroad in Granda, Nicaragua. Here is the second of three blogs that tell about her trip. 


BLOG # 2

Even though I have been here for a week, it feels like I have been here for at least a month.  Lots of things happen in just one week, such as Bobby finally getting an updated passport and finding a way to get down to Nicaragua! The whole class landed in Nicaragua on a Friday night, giving us the whole weekend to relax and absorb Nicaragua, but Bobby wasn't able to get into Nicaragua until Tuesday.  Unfortunately for Bobby, he wasn't able to go to one of the most beautiful and neatest places in the entire world, the Laguna de Apoyo. 

Essentially, this place is a volcano that has a crater full of water in it.  Hands down the coolest place I have ever seen in my life!  Many people live around the crater because it is like living on a lake and is totally safe to live on.  Our whole class swam, kayaked, and hung around the whole day at Lorenzo's “sweet crib” that was right on the Laguna de Apoyo.  Lorenzo comes from one of the wealthiest families in Nicaragua and without him and his family; Miami wouldn’t be able to partake in this study abroad program. His house was small yet beautiful with a very Nicaraguan-like look.  The house had tons hammocks, two different platforms to layout on, a lazy-river pool, and a huge patio-like platform on the top where people were able to eat and hang out.  This place was so extravagant I couldn't even take it all in!  

The Laguna was one of the first true bonding experiences that we had as a group.  Talking about upcoming events, the classroom, and our host families gave us a commonality and much to talk about for the rest of the day.  Each person in our group was completely different. Without this study abroad program, I doubt that we would have ever met or hung out on Miami’s campus. Even though I only knew a couple of girls before coming on this trip, we ended up knowing or having mutual friends back at school.  It's funny to think that in some way, different people throughout Miami’s campus connect us all together; and finally through this experience we were all brought together.  A really interesting question that Jane, one of the girls on the trip, brought up when we were talking together was this: How many times do you think we have been in the same building, the same dining hall, or just even passed each other on the way to class?  Probably thousands of times, but it's the fact that none of us would have ever just walked up and started a conversation with one another.  Jane was saying how she wished she could go back in time and see where/when she had seen each of us on campus without even knowing it.  We had such a great time at the Laguna. Somehow, despite all of our differences, our group meshed really well together.  I will never forget our first excursion or the new friends I made there that day.

The first excursion of the program was done.  I felt like I was living the life of an extravagant, wealthy pop star; but at that point, we still hadn't even started on the nitty-gritty work of class, exams, or Sor Maria Romero/Carita Feliz.  The real work of the program started the next morning and continued till the end of the week. 


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