For anyone wondering, León means Lion in Spanish. And I am the first male Volunteer in León for about three years. All of the other Volunteers have been female. So that kind of makes me a self-proclaimed lion king. Yea, I’m Simba. Being the Lion King, I am entitled to my own Lion’s Pride. I would like to introduce you to my Lion’s Pride – the other Volunteers in León and my other friends:
58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63
When I first arrived in León there were five other Volunteers in the city, for a total of six. Chinandega had four, and I think all other sites had three, two, or one (Nueva Guinea and Estelí also had four, but that’s only because they each had married couples). And each of us was from a different group – Nica 58 (Joanna) through Nica 63 (me).
Lauren (Nica 59) finished her service in July and is now back in the United States. And Chelsea (Nica 60) wraps up in November, which will put us even with Chinandega (if you knew my relationship with Jessica in Chin you would know why that bothers me so much).
So for now, Chelsea, Jen, Isabel, and Joanna make up the core of my Lion’s Pride. Jen’s sister is also here for a long Spanish-learning sojourn, and she frequently pops up at fun events.
A few months ago Rachel, a member of Nica 59 returned to Nicaragua from the United States. She completed her service in July with Lauren. She is working at a surf shop and constantly bugging Loanna for her hair straightener. She is a solid member of my Lion’s Pride, although she will be leaving León by the end of this year.
One of my best friends in León is Noel Santiago. We met the first week that I was here. He is a tourism student, León native, and speaks Spanish, English, German, and French. He is great tour guide to the many sites of the city, and I am going to miss him a lot when he goes to Austria for 2015.
Then, of course, no Lion’s Pride is complete without Timon and Pumba tagging along. And without a doubt my Timon and Pumba are Maggie and Brayan. Maggie is an Austrian exchange student that lived in my house until yesterday (she moved to the university residence). When she arrived I texted Noel, since he loves Austria, to tell him that an Austrian girl had just moved into my house. His response:
Yea I know, Maggie, she’s a bitch but I love her
I couldn’t agree more! They had met on a prior trip to León that she took, plus they saw each other the last time that Noel was in Austria. And Brayan is a friend of Noel’s that has quickly become Maggie’s sidekick and a friend of mine as well.
That about sums up my Lion’s Pride. There are tons of other people that I consider my friends here – Yerena, Jeniffer, Christina – but I can’t highlight everyone. Here’s some more pictures of me with my León friends: