Five years ago, bored with my job and at a post-thirty crossroads I took a year out to go traveling.
It wasn’t that I had any great desire to do so. In all honesty I just couldn’t think of anything else to do that wasn’t work.
I plotted a route that took me through South East Asia and Central America. I loved it all.
The trip changed my life and when I returned back home, I didn’t settle. Just over a year later I signed up to do volunteer work.
I wasn’t allowed to choose where I would be posted. So, when their representative rang up to inquire whether I would consider Vietnam, she was a little bemused by my over-the-top enthusiasm. Yes, yes, yes. I would consider it. When she hung up I danced around the room. Then I rang everybody I knew.
Nicaragua returned to my thoughts. By pure chance I became aware of an organistion called Building New Hope and in particular Café Chavalos. Café Chavalos, like KOTO is a training restaurant for disadvantaged young people.
What are they odds? My two most favourite places in the world, running the exact same concept. I contacted them. We chatted by email They knew of KOTO and KOTO was an inspiration to them. Like KOTO they needed a new restaurant.
So, eventually I asked them. Would they employ me? They would. Wow.
So in mid March I am moving to Granada to set up home and work for Café Chavalos.
I don’t want to second guess what it will be like but it will be quieter. Everywhere is quieter than Hanoi.
* Pictures are from my first backpacking trip to Nicaragua. The one above, in particular haunts me. I remember how happy and in awe of my surroundings I was when it was taken. The pics are of Ometepe a volcanic island in Lago De Nicaragua. Granada sits on the mainland at the edge of the lake.