What have you learned about the city in which you are working? Would you like to return?
The last two weeks of my internship in Nicaragua were the busiest but most exciting weeks of my time in Managua. I was finally able to establish a routine in the workplace as well during my down time. My coworkers were sad to let me go, and I myself began to realize how much Managua had grown on me. The city of Managua is the capital of Nicaragua. Unlike most capitals, Managua does not have a single central area or downtown and it’s many features are dispersed throughout. Because of this it took me some time to get situated in Managua especially with finding my way around the city. There are many large roundabouts throughout the city which I soon learned to identify based on their surroundings or distinct features that differentiated them. There are very few tall buildings in Managua, which I soon learned that it was due to a tremendous earthquake in 1972 which knocked most of the city’s structures down.
I was able to tour much of the city when we went to some of the patient’s houses for their follow-up appointments for the study. When touring the different “barrios” I realized that the citizens of Managua all come from a large range of incomes. However, there are definitely more citizens in poverty than those with middle class, or even high middle class. Because it is the capital, there is always a lot of movement in Managua. You can always be sure to find something to do even on Sundays where there is noticeably less movement.
However, I must admit that Managua is not the city of my dreams. Not necessarily because of its constant busy action, but because of the overall atmosphere in Managua. I also realized how big of a role the weather of a location plays on your overall view of a place. Man was Managua HOT! Even though my internship took place in the winter there, which is characterized by daily rainfall, the temperature there never went below 90 degrees. Fortunately, most places had air-conditioning but that did not take away getting used to the humidity and especially my hair’s response to that humidity.
Overall, I have great memories from Managua. From learning how to barter my way into a taxi ride, to dealing with the insistent market vendors, I learned my way through the insights of the city. My heart developed a place for this wonderful city, and I was able to better identify with the culture of very hard-working individuals looking to better themselves.