Nicaraguan Lessons learned

Today’s post is a brief overview of some things I’ve learned over the last few months here:

  • Not all houses have roofs – Nicaraguan homes have a beautiful way of letting the breeze and sunlight into the home this way.  I can feel like I’m outdoors, even when I’m inside (only setback is that God’s little creatures…bugs, birds, bats, etc. make it into the house through this special entrance too)
  • How to divide things into quantities of 30 – especially important when negotiating prices in the mercado.  Currently it’s 28 cordobas to every US dollar, so using 30 makes the math just a bit quicker
  • Get ready for your concept of “personal space” to be challenged when riding the bus
  • It truly is the land of lakes and volcanoes  (so far I’ve gotten to hike 2 volcanos and swim in the crater of another)
  • Nicaraguan people are kind –  we’ve been offered a ride in a downpour, received countless directions for taking the best bus routes, and lots of restaurant recommendations
  • Adios is a form of hello as well as goodbye
  • Nothing tastes better on a hot, sweaty day than something ice cold – whether it’s one of the many “refrescos” (homeade juices) in flavors like naranja, gramma, cocoa, guayaba, or calala or a coco fria (cold fresh coconut) sold on the top of Volcano Masaya at the end of your hike, or stopping at Eskimo for an ice cream sundae
  • There are 5 catholic churches in the heart of Granada and all masses are in Spanish
  • Local Beer is Tona vs Victoria, Bo and I both prefer Victoria
  • If you are female and under 50, prep for the unfortunate onslaught of whistles and shouts of “que linda!”, “Hola chica/hermosa/bonita!” or my personal least favorite, “hi laaady!”
  • Couldn’t have lucked out more to find we’ve moved right next door to a fritanga, or home restaurant.  Quite the challenge to consider cooking dinner when smelling pollo, bistek, and cerdo grilling away for a hours in the evenings…or Bo’s personal favorite – the salty queso frito = deep fried cheese
  • It doesn’t take long to figure out it’s worth the extra steps in the wrong direction if it means finding the shady side of the road for some much desired sombra. Granada is HOT and humid.
  • Almost everything here is sold by vendors that walk through the neighborhood… from ice cream bars to pineapple to soap or fresh bread.  Once you get the schedule down of the vendors, shopping couldn’t be easier.    Bo and I love to hear the man yell “paaaaan” every evening at 5pm without fail, selling various types of bread (mostly hot dog buns and a type of crunchy homemade biscuits).

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