A Guest Submission to The Big Schlep
By Schlepping Sister
1. I’m really not as good a surfer as I would like to think that I am.
Sure, Clare won the coveted ¨Whippp of the Day¨ award (see below), but the photographer probably had about a hundred pictures of either of us to choose from. The difference between Clare and me is that she hasn’t been surfing at least once or twice a week for the last several months. I think I managed to get to my feet twice and got solidly hammered by the Pacific Ocean an uncountable number of times. While I may not be winning any surfing competitions any time soon and that Quicksilver contract I was hoping for is definitely off, I will continue to surf because there is nothing better than sitting on your board in 80 degree water waiting for your set to roll in. Wiping out is a part of life. The most important thing is to resurface with a smile on your face. Plus, if you get tired of getting slammed by the waves, you can always have an epic body surfing session to make up for it.
2. I am and always will be Scottish, not Hawaiian.
Sometimes I like to deny my heritage and pretend that it’s okay for me to lie out on the beach in a bikini without proper sun block application. I really shouldn’t do this because for the remainder of the trip, I will be nursing an awesome patchy sunburn as a result of chilling on the Playa Santa Domingo on the Isla De Ometepe. Hey, at least I didn’t get eaten by a bull shark right?
3. Al Gore is right.
I’m not talking about Global Warming (although I’m pretty sure he’s right about that too) but instead am talking about how we, as a country, use ENTIRELY too much electricity. The energy that I use to power my little studio apartment in downtown Santa Barbara could probably power the entire village of Limon II for a week. It’s not like the place shuts down at sunset either. It gets dark here at 5:30 pm and yet, somehow these people survive without proper street lights, neon signs, or fluorescent lighting. I’m realizing more and more just how wasteful I can be just out of laziness and convenience. I think we can all learn a little something from how the Nicaraguans live.
4. If you’re going to travel to a Spanish speaking country, without speaking a word of Spanish, do it with 2 people who are fluent or practically so.
This is my not so subtle way of thanking the Schleppers for their translation services thus far. I’m pretty useless when it comes to anything to do with the Spanish language, and so I rely on Clare and Paul to carry me like an extra backpack. I’m so incredibly envious of their abilities. Clare manages to have these amazing conversations with children at almost every stop along the way. She would say that it’s not a big deal, but when you see the faces of these children after she takes their picture you realize how exceptional a gift communication is. Clare, Paul and I had a conversation about travel the other day, and were arguing in every direction about the pros and cons of guided tours. Do you get less out of a trip if you do it from the comfort of an air-conditioned bus and the consoling sounds of descriptions in your native tongue? I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that I can’t possible learn as much from a trip to another country without being able to speak with its inhabitants. I’ll still have an incredible time, but I’ll have to watch how people live from a distance instead of hearing about it first hand.