I Never Made It To Costa Rica!

Good day ETA readers!

As you can tell by the title of this blog post, I never quite made it to Costa Rica on my recent travels to Central America!  You may be wondering how that ispossible, given that my last entry talked about how I was sitting at Gate 4 of the Teguicgalpa airport?  Shortly after my blog post, my colleague from Lynn University and I boarded our airplane and took off, heading to our next destination.  However, within 5 minutes of taking off, the landing wheels came down from the plane and the captain came on the intercom system to explain that we had to turn around because of mechanical problems.  Upon returning to the Tegucigalpa airport, we discovered that the next flight out to Costa Rica would not leave Honduras until 2:00pm that afternoon – too late to be able to visit schools!  Thus I made the decision to change my flight and head straight to my next destination – Panama.

Panama is where I spent the next several days, mostly by myself as my colleague from Lynn University returned Florida.  While in Panama, I had the chance to visit several schools, meet up for lunch with some familar faces, and also visit one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World – the Panama Canal! 

As you can see from the picture below, I was at the Miraflores Locks and it was quite an experience.  My arrival was perfectly timed as a huge ship was coming through the Canal right as I arrived – thus I got to see exactly how a ship is moved through the canal.

Standing outside the Miraflores Locks

Standing outside the Miraflores Locks

 

Overall, my experience in Central America was fantastic!  I learned a lot about traveling internationally in a smaller group setting (as opposed to last fall’s Asia tour) and thoroughly enjoyed the schools I visited & people I met.  Hopefully I will see some of those same students on Elon’s campus some day!

On a final note, I found it somewhat humorous that when I was traveling specifically in Panama, Elon was actually experiencing a snow storm – which included a cancelled day of classes!  Thus while I was enjoying the 85 degrees Fahrenheit/ 30 degrees Celsius temperatures, Elon was getting hit with a small amount of snow!  This is the second “snow storm” that Elon has had this year, and both times, I have not been at Elon!  (Please note that a “snow storm” is a relative term…we had less than 3 inches in both cases!)

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Vamos a Costa Rica!

Hello from the Tegucigalpa airport!

As I sit at Puerta 4 in the Tegucigalpa airport, I can’t help but think about how fast this week in Central America has gone! My travel colleague from Lynn University (FL) and I have visited many places and had the opportunity to meet an amazing number of students over the past few days- I can’t believe that it is already FRIDAY!

With our travels, we have visited Managua, Nicaragua where we visited the American-Nicaraguan School and Lincoln Academy. While in Managua, we were also fortunate to go to a local market and eat some churrasco (my personal favorite!)as well as some yuka.

Next we flew to San Pedro Sula and had a quick visit to the city in order to visit Escuela Internacional Sampedrana (EIS). Both Managua and San Pedro Sula are two locations where Elon has or had students from in recent years – thus the turnout was excellent.

From San Pedro Sula, we flew to Tegucigalpa and have been on-the-go since we arrived! Yesterday we visited 3 schools (Del Campo School, the Discovery School, and Escuela Americana) and also did a Junior Parent Night in the evening – whew! Tegucigalpa is a city where Elon hasn’t done much travel to in the past but I am confident that we will be back in the future!

And now as we sit waiting for our next flight to San Jose, Costa Rica, I can’t help but think how much I have learned from traveling internationally in a smaller group setting compared to the Asia tour in September 08. It is amazing how much detail goes into planning these trips – everything from booking schools, hotels, flights, and transportation to knowing exchange rates, how much information to pack, etc. It has been a wonderful travel experience – both professionally and culturally as well!

Well it is close to boarding time here in Tegucigalpa – more information from me later!