We just arrived in Managua Nicaragua tonight and were welcomed into the country by a hot and humid thunderstorm that nearly melted our delicate northwest-acclimatized bodies. We're staying in the dorm of the office of the organization, AsoFenix, that we will be working with here in Nicaragua. There's not a lot to report on yet, so I'll start with a quick roundup of the past month.
After ending our summer season at Stehekin, we spent a week in Maine attending an astronomy education conference, which really got us interested in teaching astronomy again--there are a lot of great opportunities at the national parks, where some of our few dark skies remain. Our conference group was treated to great solar activity and a northern lights display during our nighttime telescope training, the fist aurora we've seen since the last solar maximum 10 years ago (The sun's periodic activity is linked to Northern Lights displays).
We had some time to visit family and friends in Washington, though still not nearly enough time to visit everybody that we wanted to. Three weeks sounds like a lot of time, but with all of our doctor appointments, packing, shopping, helping the families with housework and schoolwork, and other random errands, we still felt pressed for time. Still, we had one last bonfire on the beach for my 35th, and one last spectacular hike along Ebey's Bluff on Whidbey Island to satisfy our craving for things Northwest.
We got immunized, insured, packed for travel, packed for long term storage, car winterized and registered for spanish classes; we had finances settled, autopayments on, tax extension filed, teeth cleaned, bellies filled with seafood and tickets printed. And now we're here for 6 months. We start in a couple days with 3 weeks of spanish lessons, and then we start our volunteer work doing environmental projects in some villages nearby. Check for further blog posts; we expect to be updating this more often as things are changing. We'll be physically staying in various locations, so email and skype may be the best means of getting in touch with us. If you want to skype, just look us up by last name (we're the only ones), but we may only be available again in a few weeks when we return to the office where there's wifi. We do have an address in the office we'll be working:
Jeff and Kate Z...
c/o Jaime Muñoz
Kilometro 10.5 de Carretera Norte
Residencial Monte Cristi