We’re visiting one of my oldest friends. He came to Nicaragua in the 1980s as a reporter, fell in love with a poet, and more or less stayed. Charlie was the guy I went backpacking with for 3 weeks in the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming the summer I turned 21. We carried all of our food and gear. We caught and ate tiny trout, argued over whose share of the daily meat bar was bigger, and once surprised an elk as we crested a rise. I had never seen one before and didn’t see this one. But I felt the ground shake and knew it was bigger than any wild animal I’d ever encountered. We each came back 10 pounds lighter and changed in other ways, too. I still had no idea what to do with my life, but I was calmer, less worried about it.