So this is the first journal that I have written since I have arrived in Nicaragua. We’ve been here only a few days but it feels like a week, and I am in love with this place. I was worried at first about communicating with my family, but I’m surprised how fluent I’ve become in Spanish and how I’m able to have full conversations with my family who doesn’t speak any English. My parents never taught me or my brothers and so I started learning on my own in the 6th grade and now I decided to seek a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish. I’ve easily spoken more Spanish here than I have my entire life. The group is a lot different than I had expected. We don’t really act like a group or team of ‘volunteers’ but more like a family. We have our ups and downs, but at the end of the day we know how to make each other laugh, have a good time, and get everything we need to done. Last night we celebrated the New Year with a very unique tradition in Nicaragua, and as a team we decided to cook dinner for all of our families, which turned out to be an adventure. We cooked pasta with a tomato sauce, garlic bread, and a salad. Despite all the work, the families were very grateful and we were able to express our appreciation. We also have an addition to our team: Angelica, who is from New York and spent the entire day delivering food to one of the coffee camps and helping us cook dinner. The trip is turning out a lot better than I had anticipated. The only thing I dislike about these trips is seeing all the needs of a community and the people in the community and wanting to fulfill all those needs. As a team, we are now looking for a way to give back to the entire community of San Ramon and we are looking at the possibility of fixing up a playground in the center of the town. I also made a good friend here, he’s like a friend from back home. His name is Ariel and he works for Planting Hope. After talking to him last night in ‘Spanglish’ I found out that one of his dreams is to play soccer at a University in the United States, but the only connection he has is with Norwich. It’s something I truly wish we could help with. Otherwise, I have fallen in love with San Ramon and have considered buying a house here, maybe stay here instead of returning to Norwich… I feel at home here, even though at times I know everyone is laughing at me more than laughing with me. Pero, no me importa. Me encanta Nicaragua.