Before getting out of Honduras, it had to trow me one more curve ball-the Earthquake. Luckily I left the two cities that were hardest hit hours before the earthquake, but it still woke me up that night in Tegucigalpa.
Then the trip from Tegucigalpa, Honduras to Esteli, Nicaragua, which could have been a long, frustrating day ended up being fun and easy. I met some great Nicaraguan kids on the first bus in Honduras and traveled almost all the way to Esteli with one of them. We had lunch with her dad at a comedor on the border, and visited and talked about Nicaragua for a bit. After the 5 chicken bus journey it took me to get to Esteli I stayed there for a few days looking for a volunteer job. Turns out that nowhere I went is looking for volunteers, so I went up to UCA Miraflor for a few days.
Miraflor is an enormous amount of land, run by 3 orcanic agriculture coops (one mens, one womens, and one mixed). The communities, farms, and coops have been around for years and years and have always been organic a generally sustainable-which is impressive, and uncommon in this part of the world. Tourism was later added, and has still not expanded much, keeping it a calm and ruraly destination. In the bus station on the way I met a girl from Spain and we ended up spending a couple of days there together. It was fun to travel with someone who was just as excited to be there as I was, and to practice so much spanish.
We stayed at the house of a wonderful family, with beautiful flower gardens, veggie gardens, citrus trees, cows, goats, and chickens, a comfortable house, a beautiful view of a little valley, chilly nights, and great day trips. In the morning we would get uo early and drink coffee, or milk in my case (fresh out of the cow, like a mug full of butter!) and watch as the clouds creared up for a sunny day. We walked around to different miradores (lookouts, or view points), looked at all the other fincas, climbed into a 250 year old tree, mooed at all the cows, made moustaches with spanish moss, visited waterfalls, and relaxed in the breeze! We only met one other tourist while we were up there together, and it was so nice to get away from the city!
The food was phenomenal, milk from the cow that morning, cheese made by Elim, tortillas from fresh ground maiz, organic free-range chicken fresh from the neighbor, juices from peaches in the yard, fried plaintains from the billions of plantain and banana trees around the area, and all fresh organic veggies from the yard! It is such a beautiful, sustainable community with equally beautiful people. I was at Finca Fuente de Vida in the community of Cebollal, in the zona alta, and in the next few weeks hope to visit other zonas to work with the local guides on a program to teach them some intermediate english, and about the tourism projects in their community. I loved being in the area and cant wait to get back!