Okay, I’m gonna give you a really brief rundown of my birthday weekend. Caley’s birthday is a few days before mine, so we decided a long time ago (back in training, I think) that we’d want to do something together and have a joint celebration. During training we talked about getting sushi, but the only sushi we’ve seen here is in Managua, and we don’t venture to Managua unless we really have to.

We both ended up getting placed in sites in the department of Matagalpa, and we love the city, so we made a choice to spend the weekend there with friends. All of my training group was able to come, which was awesome because we live all over Nicaragua, from Jinotega to Chinandega to Río San Juan. Thomas and John and Andrea came too, and I was so happy to hang out with all of them.

We got in on Friday (my last day of being 25!) and obviously went to Kiss Me. We got dinner near our hostel and I ate some insanely good vegetarian curry. We went back to the hostel and played cards until after midnight, when my friends sang me happy birthday and I sent a video to Jasmine. 

Saturday, we went to a Mexican restaurant and I ate some vegetarian nachos (I realized at the end of the weekend that the only meat I ate all weekend was one BLT.) and then we went back to Kiss Me, because I’m the birthday girl who can eat as much ice cream as she wants. Next door to Kiss Me, there’s a board game cafe, so we played a couple games of Clue and I won both times.

For dinner, we went to my favorite Italian place and demolished a few pizzas. 

When we got back to the hostel, my friends surprised me with a tres leches cake and Caley and I tried to feed each other/ourselves wedding-style, but we need more practice.

I feel super lucky to have friends here who make me feel so loved on my birthday (and every day, really. They’re the greatest.) 

I wouldn’t have wanted to close out 25 and begin 26 in any other way. Thanks to everyone who made my birthday so special, both in person and otherwise. Love you all ❤️

She’s feelin’ 22

On Tuesday, after 6 hours of Spanish classes and our hourlong community English class, we celebrated our first birthday in this little Nica town. 

Maddie just turned 22!

We went to a restaurant in town and got drinks and dessert. The total for 5 people (3 beers, 2 cocktails, 2 refrescos, and 3 orders of buñuelos) was C$375, which is about $13. For Nicaragua, that’s pretty steep, but I think this is the nicest restaurant in town, and my refresco y buñuelos were muy delicioso.

pitaya, the birthday girl, buñuelos, and three of my amigos

(Not pictured from our training squad: Amanda and me, because we were on the other side of the table, and also because I was taking the picture.)

It was a fun time, but it was also a Tuesday in the middle of training, so now it’s back to the crazy, exhausting grind.