Some observations

Some observations…..

Things grow here! Plants… people.. life! People are curious about each other….they are out on the streets, they look at you, in the eyes…you are closer to the earth here, closer to nature, even in the houses, there is no glass in the windows, just mosquito mesh and bars to keep out the totsies (african word for thieves).There is rain, heat, wind and drought! The elements are all around you, you have to live with them, create a home that is functional within these parameters. In Canada we shut ourselves away for many months of the year, close our doors tightly and live in our hermatically sealed homes. It cuts us off, it seals us away, away from our neighbours, away from our environment, away from fresh air. Physically, emotionally, we are islands of our own making.

Where we are living is a Nica family who works for the landlord, Marilyn cleans and Juan Carlos looks after the property. They have two young children, Janahin who is 9 and a little 18 month old boy with sticky out ears, too cute. Janahin and her cousin come over a couple of times a week and I do art projects with them…tonight I took the dogs for a walk and passed their house, the girls ran out with a treat for me, a chocolate covered banana… how nice was that?

The Nicaraguans are beautiful people, inside and out, some of the most handsome people I have ever seen, the children are completely adorable and everyone smiles. Their houses are painted in bright blues, pinks and greens, the church down the street is this crazy bright purply-pink. The butterflies are amazing colours and patterns, the birds too!

There is a lot of noise “pollution”, but its happy pollution, firecrackers for any occasion, especially if it involves the Virgin Mary, music really loud at all hours, blasting trucks with loud speakers announcing daily specials and the ever present “ mungoes mungoes” from the mango vendors. Not to mention the howling Howler monkeys, that wake you up they are so loud, roosters and crazy flocks of little green parrots that make the most incredible racket.

It’s a strange place this Nicaragua, I won’t pretend that these last few months have been easy, they have not! The language, the culture, the money, the effing bugs, the food, all of it has been a huge learning curve…..how do I feel?: frustrated, anxious, sometimes scared, but at the same time, incredibly happy, content, and grateful that I have had the opportunity to follow my heart and a dream in such a beautiful place!…how many people can say that?

In the last month I have read 3 books, painted 2 pictures, and mastered the art of flatbread. I have also helped teach english classes, volunteered my art skills in a local school and joined a group called Trade School where you trade your skills for things on your wish list, like coffee, produce, bread…

I asked Ken what his biggest challenges have been. He said learning patience and taking each day as it comes, not having a set routine, and having to slow down. Yes, I think we are used to instant gratification in North America, everything is in an instant, at the flick of a switch, high speed internet, 30 minute pizza delivery, fast highways, next day delivery services, 24 hour drugstores and coffee shops….. well here, I don’t think our speedometer has gone over 40k, there are no stores open late and the internet, as with electricity, can be intermitant! Nothing comes quickly or goes particarly fast….especially if you are using a horse for transportation.(or building a house) Living here is a lesson in patience!

But we are learning the joy of just sitting and watching the ocean, the fishing pelicans and finding a really cool rock on the beach….and creating meals from a very limited choice of produce and dry goods. One day there may be carrots, next day not. I get really excited to find broccolli or cauliflower….tonight’s menu is roasted red pepper, butternut squash, carrot and cauliflower. Did I mention we do not have an oven, so “roasting” means grilling slowly on a stovetop griddle, served with couscous and a side of mashed potatoe mixed with refried beans and beetroot crisps.

The food tastes great here, you have not tasted a banana until you have tried one here….talk about earth to table….the kitchen calls….

till next time

Sue