Living Like a Local
Trip Start Sep 28, 2012
11Trip End Apr 09, 2013
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PHOTOS! Daniel came to the rescue! My pics aren't great quality (my camera won't pick up color vey well), but its an idea of what it is like here!
HIGHLIGHTS: micro-bus rides, cheesecake, chocolate, meeting homestay family, one direction, volcanoes, and more!
FACTOID OF THE WEEK: Nicaragua's revolutionary march took place in 1979 (that's less than 33 years ago! Yipes!). It marked the day Somoza fled the country to be assassinated shortly after
COMO SE DICE "LOVING LIFE" EN ESPANOL?
Spanish classes are coming along. Three weeks in and I've learned how to say things in past, present, future, imperfect, and conditional! Jeepers! I've had classes throughout the week with only Spanish speaking teachers, and I've come out each day alive, great practice!
Took a microbus to San Marcos today, and had THE worlds best cheesecake. Now I've had many a good cheesecake in my 18 years, but this topped them all!
Joined in on a good ol'fashioned guitar singalong this week too
The biggest surprise highlight of the week? Salsa lessons! (I know what your thinking: Alysia Latin dance = disaster) BUT thanks to some friendly peer-pressure from Daniel, I actually had the time of my life! (It also helped that the teacher was smokin :) This class made me realize that not all gringos lack rhythm (except I am one who certainly still does!).
Volcanoes galore. Trekked on a sweltering day up Volcan Mombacho and by the end, I thought I was going to have to physically lift my legs up the last few meters! It then poured rain as we explored the area around the crater with a guide. Soaked and happy, we had conquered the volcano! OLAY!
After two weeks in the cabin at La Mariposa, I took I GIGANTIC step outside my comfort zone. New family, new customs, new language, new everything! But moving in with a Nicaraguan family has been my best decision on this trip so far.
At first, I'll admit, I wasn't sure of my place within the family. The family welcomed me with open arms, but my defensive instinct led me to be a bit timid about involving myself in their daily lives. The mama made sure I felt at home though as she said the perfect thing that completely took down my guard: "Mi casa es tu casa. Ahora, eres parte de mi familia." SOLD! I had landed the best family ever! I am now temporarily adopted =)
My new Nicaraguan family: Mama, brother and sister (bit older than I), a brother-in-law (lot older than I), niece (15 months old), and two dogs all living in one home. I'm loving it!
Funny part? Alysia and Alesia.
After a few days of having warm milk bottles, and mushed banana and bread for my breakfast, I realized that when they called for Alysia to come to the kitchen, they really meant Alesia, the 15 month old
Bonding moment with my Nicaraguan brother Josi? How does singing along to a One Direction (popular english boy band) concert on tv sound?!?! I had a blast the other night as we sang and I tried to translate the lyrics to Spanish (awfully terribly I might add!) It went late into the night and I hadn't laughed that hard in a LONG time! For this reason, I have a new found appreciation for One Direction, which I certainly didn't before =) Thanks for the good memories lads!
MONKEYS, CHICKENS AND BUGS.... OH MY!
Living in the beautiful tropical climate of Nicaragua certainly has its perks (no snow!), but with the good, comes the not so good :) don't get me wrong, it's splendid having monkeys as neighbors (cheeky and smart), but the bugs are another story! There are bugs here that I didn't even know existed: flat spiders bigger than your palm (harmless, but scared the crap outta me at first!), multi-headed flying beetle things, ants that bite (a lot!), cockroaches and scorpions of course. Good news? There aren't that many mosquitos! Yay!
At La Mariposa, they make an effort to rescue as many animals as possible, rehabilitating them, then returning them to the wild
On a happier note, I took part in the beginning stages of a turtle rescue this week (Daniel too!). We manually hauled water out of a giant concrete pit (5x10x5 ish meters) using buckets and rope. I discovered water is RIDICULOUSLY heavy! The turtles were in the sediment at the bottom of the pit so we needed to remove a LOT of water to access them. And this water was disgusting! Filled with gunk from years of use. The group came away hands plastered with blisters, and clothes covered in icky swamp water. It'll take a few more rounds of water hauling to gain access though. I'll keep you updated on the continuing adventures of turtle rescuing!
Well, that's it for now! Only a week and a bit left in this beautiful country :( I'm definitely gonna miss it!