Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Letter to my Students

So a few of my old students have been asking about me, and I got a letter from a parent asking for an update. This is what I wrote:


So sorry that I haven't written you! They don't always have internet here in Nicaragua. I am now living in a town called Estelí, its the third largest city in the country.

I haven't always been in one place though, I originally flew into Costa Rica and spent a week in the jungle and a week along the pacific ocean. The jungle was a cloud forest  and I got to zip through it on ropes and swings. I saw vipers and tarantulas, sloth and a furry anteater-like thing called cutramundi. The pacific coast is powerful; black volcanic sand beaches, dark green water, and strong waves. I took surfing lessons and made great friends with a guy from Switzerland who told me all about skiing in the Alps.

Then I came to Nicaragua and climbed the Volcano Conception. It was 1670 meters tall. That's way taller than the Empire State Building! It starts off with a jungle at the base, but at the top, its all crumbly black rock (just like Lord Of The Rings). I got to stand in the rain and wind right on top of the crater, and feel the hot steam coming from the mouth of the volcano. Check out the picture!

I took Spanish lessons in Grenada for a while, I really wanted to be able to speak with Nicaraguans in their language. I thought I could speak Spanish before, but wow! I have really had to study a lot!

In San Juan del Sur, I celebrated Australia Day (like July 4th for Australians) with about a hundred Aussies all on vacation. Those guys like to party! How funny, to celebrate an Australian holiday in Nicaragua.

After that I stayed at a giant treehouse in the Jungle, and got to see howler monkeys hanging out in the trees all day long. They are so social and their howl is loud and powerful. I liked seeing the baby monkeys being carried on their mother's back!

There were people staying at that treehouse from all over the world. On my trip so far, I have met travelers from all over Latin America, North America, Scandinavia, Europe, the Pacific Islands and Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. It has been amazing to hear their stories. Like the German guy riding his bike from French Canada all the way down to the Southern tip of Chile. Or the Israeli girl trying to visit every country in the world in 18 months.

I went volcano boarding at Cerro Negro, near León. You suit up and sled down the side of the volcano--I went almost 50mph! The ash and rock fly at you, and you have struggle to keep balanced. Check out the picture.

So now I'm staying in Estelí in the mountains. I am volunteering at an environmental education center, helping to teach about conservation and recycling. The weather is much cooler up here (but not as cold as NYC!). I can take hikes here, and swim in waterfalls. And every wall in the town has a mural painted on it. They tell stories of farmers, children, love, struggle...Its beautiful and very unique.

After I leave here, I might volunteer on an organic farm for a while, or maybe I'll climb Volcano Arenal. I know that I'll return to Costa Rica, and I want to see Panama too. I'll be home to visit in the spring!

Miss you guys, stay in touch!

Jake (Mr. Nacheman)

Ps. Send me your postal address and I'll mail you a post card.

Jake Nacheman
Fortune Seeker 

Here's that route map again, at a higher resolution:

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