Day 1-Saturday, July 30th

Today was the highly anticipated travel day. The trip from Tifton to Warner Robbins to take the shuttle was easy to make. The airport was easily negotiated. We left from Terminal T which was full of flights to Latin America. We spent approximately 3 3/4 hours in the air and landed in Managua at 12:15 PM. Local time is two hours behind Eastern Time because Nicaragua is on Central Time and they do not observe Daylight Savings Time. They don’t have to, since Nicaragua lies so close to the equator that there is essentially no difference in the time of sunrise and sunset from season to season.
Rodney and Hector picked us up in a minibus. They piled our luggage on
top and we took off through the outskirts of Managua. We stopped at Pollo Frito
for fried chicken wings and jamaica. I guess Rodney is showing off his well
developed sense of humor that the first place we would stop would be a fried
chicken place! Jamaica is a delicious tea made of the dried blossoms of the
Jamaica bush which looks like hibiscus. Jamaica is hard to describe but it
tastes like a sugary and spicy Koolaid with a sort of fruity taste.
Less than 3 hours later, having driven through very lush agricultural areas next to the enormous Lake Managua, we arrive in Esteli. The countryside was lush, green and framed by two mountain ranges. We were in a valley of banana, rice, corn and pastures. Cows on the side of the road and horse-drawn carriages.
We were very pleasantly surprised by the hotel. It is set up like little community of villas with a large, al fresco area for socializing and dining. The hotel has a small conference room. We are set up with high speed internet access, Proxima projectors, computers and PowerPoint.
After being up since 3 AM, we made it an early night and went to sleep.

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