And so it passed, that one day, after a meeting in Managua, I traveled north for two and a half hours to spend the night in Matagalpa with my friend, Anna. I was determined to make it home the next day, but I was also determined to fix a new leather bag that my cousin had bought me from Costa Rica. Everyone in Nicaragua knows that if you want leather done right, the best place to go is Esteli, about an hour and a half west of Matagalpa. I announced my plan to travel from Matagalpa to Esteli to Managua to San Carlos to my town pretty casually, but everyone around me looked at me as if I were crazy.
"That's got to be more than twelve hours of traveling," someone said.
"Yeah, but I'm used to it now, plus, it's a chance to beat Nicaragua!" I countered. It made total sense in my head.
The next morning a little before 6 in the morning, Anna walked with me to catch a taxi to the bus station where I hopped on the next bus to Esteli. At a little before 8, I arrived and dropped off my bag, then went and chatted with another volunteer friend until the 9:15 bus to Managua. Two and a half hours later, I bought my ticket to San Carlos, and was on my way. This bus has the advantage of being very fast, and we managed to make it a little before 6pm, when my last bus would be passing by...but it never did. For some reason that day, the last bus never left, and I thought that Nicaragua would beat me. I couldn't stand for it. After waiting for about thirty minutes, I decided to take a taxi for the hour and a half ride back home. By myself, it would not have been economically feasible, but luckily there were four other travelers who were willing to split the cost of the taxi, instead of staying the night in San Carlos. So we piled in, and thirteen and a half hours after I started out that day, I made it to my front door.
When I went into the kitchen, I thought my family was having a party, seeing the huge amount of pork that my host sister had fried up. My host family usually only eats meat on special occasions since it's a bit of a luxury, so I asked why we were celebrating.
"Well, you see, one of the pigs ran out into the street today, and a truck hit it, so we cooked him," she said. "It's not like he got sick and died. He was perfectly healthy before he got hit," she went on to explain, "it would have just been a waste not to eat him."
I agreed, and went to my room to call my brother. I told him about my day, but when I got to the part about the pig, he stopped me.
"So the pig was hit by a truck?" he asked.
"So you ate something that was killed in the road?"
"Yeeees," I answered, seeing where this was going.
"That is the definition of roadkill, you do realize that you just ate roadkill?"
His disbelief at my actions, of traveling across the country in a day, of eating what was, yes, roadkill, seemed odd to me. I'd done it all before, this had become my reality, and it didn't upset me one bit.
So when it came time for me to answer, I said, "Well, I may have eaten roadkill, but it's ok, you know why?"
"Because I just beat Nicaragua. Toma Nicaragua!!!"