Monday, November 28, 2011

San Juan del Sur Biblioteca: Hola Managua!

Three years ago, I had the honor of being selected to receive a travel fellowship from Simmons GSLIS to travel to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, and work with the amazing San Juan del Sur Biblioteca Movil.    As the recipient, I wrote a blog for the program.  At the time, updating the blog was a little wonky, so I worry a bit about them not being found or disappearing.  Thusly, I'm reposting what I wrote there here, in the hopes that more of you will be inspired to go down to the beautiful city of San Juan del Sur, and/or be inspired to help the project out in any way you can.  Plus, a little trip down memory lane is always fun, no? 

Hola Managua!
Originally posted on Simmons GSLIS Dispatches from the Field

Hello GSLIS, larger Simmons community, friends of the San Juan del Sur Biblioteca Publica y Movil, family members, and friends I have coerced into reading my sorry attempts at a library travel blog!

To those who don’t know me, my name is Steph, and I’m a 1/3 of the way through my degree at GSLIS. I received the Nicaragua travel fellowship (thanks, guys!) and am now blogging about it to you, captive audience! After spending a week and change in beautiful, sunny, friendly, lovely 90 degree Nicaragua (can you tell I’ve fallen in love much?), our rowdy band of 9 future librarians has returned to Boston just in time for the arctic cold snap. This is simultaneously bad and good; bad for the obvious “I can see my breath inside” reasons, and good because it’s motivated me to scheme up ways to get back to Nicaragua and San Juan del Sur asap. If I happen come off like a crazed fangirl for the project and/or Jane Mirandette, I’m not sorry. It is a fantabulous (this may not be a real word, but it certainly is a fantabulously descriptive one) thing, and Jane is an incredibly hard working and motivated inspiration for a starry eyed babe-rarian like myself.
To start my posts, I’ve decided to give a brief overview of the entire trip, possibly adding some thoughts in after. And by brief, obviously I mean it’ll be around 45 pages long…but I’ll try and rein it in and save some deep and meaningfuls for later in the game.

Day 1, or January 4, 2009

I left bright and early on a cold winter morning for Logan, convinced that my connection to Managua through Miami was going to be cancelled or something. A not so small part of me is convinced that MIA is actually the Hellmouth, due to numerous security screw ups, delayed flights, overbooked flights, cancelled flights, extended stays on the tarmac, constant construction, lost luggage, vampire sightings etc. Also, in this fantasy, obviously I am Buffy. But I digress; those are thoughts for a whole other kind of blog. After arriving on time at MIA, six of us met up and continued through the twisting and turning maze of terminals, and after a bit of a wait, made it onto our flight to Managua. The temperature upon arrival? 90 degrees farenheit. Hoorah! Jane (my newest girl crush), the founder of the San Juan del Sur (henceforth SJDS) Biblioteca project and Edwin, one of her fabulous staffers, met us at the doors and promptly ferried us to the Hotel Casa Real in Managua, where we swiftly shed winter wear in favor of summer frocks and the like, and decamped to receive our itineraries by the pool. Jane gave us the run down, our tentative itinerary, and some beautifully decorated goodie bags that contained maps of Nicaragua, tissues, and my new best friend, hand sanitizer. We ate dinner there, right next to the pool. I tried the churrasco tipico, which was delish, but didn’t know until I had a bite left that the sauces on the table were actually to put on the meat. Le sigh! Live and learn.
Since we had three more people arriving later in the night, we had planned on taking the hotel shuttle over to the airport to pick them up. A minor glitch occurred when we realized there was no shuttle; we were unaware that it was a holiday (still not sure which one). Jessica and I jumped into a cab and scooted down the road to the airport, where we had a momentary panic after seeing nobody in baggage claim and discovering that we were in fact late. Luckily, Lauren, Erikka and Charlie were just outside the gates at another entrance. Phew! Crisis averted, we headed back to the hotel, where I promptly passed out.

Pictures later, when I master the art of adding them.

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