It’s all Greek to me. But wait, I’m in Latin America.
I don’t know why the Greek alphabet comes to mind on my first night in Nicaragua. Perhaps its ambiguity is the result of hours upon hours of contemplation and preparation leading up to this fateful journey. Or better yet, maybe it’s my subconscious reminding me that I will soon be conversing entirely in a foreign language. To be sure, these Greek letters stand as literary symbols of beginning (Alpha) and end (Omega). The two so often complement one another in a seamless way. At present, the beginning of my time as a Kiva Fellow dually reflects the end of a more comfortable/less challenging routine in the United States. Peered through a larger lens, the end of my day of travel brings me one day closer to the beginning of my Kiva Fellowship with Fundacion Leon. And to that end, I couldn’t be more excited.
I come to Nicaragua feeling shreds of gratefulness, pride and wanderlust. Gratefulness to be able to serve those less advantaged in such an honest and practical way. Pride to be included in such a distinguished Kiva Fellows class. And wanderlust, well, because I believe that’s what flung me away from the confines of the cubicle and into the freedom of the field. I have to imagine all fellows share a similar sentiment.
Before closing for the night, I have a confession to make. I am currently sitting in a cozy hotel room in Managua’s business district. I know, I know (sigh). The “privileged” American arrives late to a foreign city and seeks comfort, safety, and a satisfaction in the belief that one can easily steer expectations. Well, now for a call to action: here’s to stepping outside comfort zones, becoming immersed in this new culture, and engaging in change as the weeks wax and thought of the ‘West’ wanes. Here’s to embracing entrepreneurial empowerment as a means by which we can all help alleviate the oppressive grips of poverty. And lastly, here’s to possibly returning to this very hotel room at the end of my fellowship and feeling a gleefully foreign sensation inside its once heartening walls.
Until that end, I hope you all enjoy my ride out here in Gallo Pinto land. In the mean time, please explore the borrowers within the Fundacion Leon network. While I have yet to meet them, I can only imagine they have incredible stories waiting to grace these pages./>