A despedida is a goodbye party. To despedir someone is to say goodbye. This is what I’ve been doing for the last month. The next few posts will document all the goodbyes I’ve been having, and —por fin (finally!)– you’ll get to meet some of the characters that have colored my life over these two years. Yes–as promised, I have been taking photos all around town like a crazy person. Let’s get started:
The first group of people I had to say goodbye to was Nishant’s host family. Although I only made it up there a half dozen times or so throughout my service, they’ve made me feel completely part of their family. They even welcomed MY family into their home as well–Nadine and Becca had the privilege of meeting them this past October during a visit to Nicaragua.
This is Esperanza, Nishant’s host mom:
She is one of the strongest, most caring and genuine women I have known. She treats Nishant as a son, and Nishant treats her as a mother. It’s really special to see. Nishant was incredibly lucky to have found Esperanza and her family, and I feel fortunate that as a result, I’ve been able to get to know them as well, if only for the few times I was able to make the 9 hour journey to Quilalí.
Nishant is in love with Nicolita, Esperanza’s granddaughter and Tomasa’s daughter:
I met Nicolita the first time I went to Quilalí, back in October 2011 when she was just a tiny little peanut. She’s grown so much since then!
Here she is with her momma, Tomasa:
I got to go out with them to their family farm a couple times, and both experiences are forever glued to my memory. This is one of my favorite pictures from there–all the kids on the horses:
The food that Esperanza makes already makes me nostalgic:
And as a final despedida, Esperanza made me tacos! Generally Nicaraguan tacos are made by wrapping old tortillas around meat and frying it. Esperanza, on the other hand, makes everything from scratch! They were the best tacos I ever had. First, she cooks the chicken in a big pot. Then she makes fresh tortilla dough using the chicken stock from the chicken. She pats out the dough with her palm and places the chicken inside:
She then deep fries them, and voilà!
They were so good that even though that was my despedida dinner, I came back a second time a couple weeks later
It was sad saying goodbye. It really was.
But I have this unshakable feeling that this isn’t goodbye forever. In fact, I can’t help but think that I’ll be back in Nicaragua and in Quilalí in the near future, si díos quiere.