Hasta Luego Nicaragua

Trip Start Aug 09, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Friday, December 26, 2008

We wrapped up our Spanish classes today with a feeling of success.  All of a sudden the past few days a switch turned on and it all came together.  We are far from fluent but can talk in simple sentences to hold a basic conversation.  We are happy we stayed the extra week as initially we were only going to stay for two.  We are a little sad to be moving on but feel sure we will come back in the future.

The past few weeks took us on a few adventures and saw many celebrations.  The Nicaraguan people love to have festivals and December sees many.  One of the largest festivals here is called Hipicos.  To try to sum it up is hard.  It is mostly a parade of cowboys on their horses along with much eating, drinking, dancing and merriment.  The parade takes hours and goes slowly.  The men on horses stop and talk with the pedestrians and have beers along the way.  The horses parade down the road in a dancing trot.  The whole thing is very macho and manly.  Also a bit dangerous as the evening wore on.  Horses on a crowded city street mingling with many people drinking and dancing with loud music.  It was one of our most memorable days yet and we spent it with some local people we met when we first arrived which enhances the experience because we can ask more question and understand more of what we see.

Christmas was perfect and laid back.  Not all the consumerism and commercialism that you see back home.  If you didnīt look at the calendar you almost wouldnīt know it was Christmas.  However, as with many celebrations here, there are fireworks at midnight on Xmas eve.  We had a nice dinner with our family.  We were a bit nervous about conversation but it ended up being no problem.  Our Spanish vocabulary suddenly pulled together and we were talking quite well.  We even held a conversation about the Mayan calendar and the end of the world to our surprise.

We got away last weekend and headed up to the Miraflores reserve.   It is an expanse of private land that is community managed mostly existing of farmland and a bit of ecotourism.  It was absolutely beautiful and we saw an amazing sunset.  We went horseback riding and it was Jeremyīs first time.  He was a bit apprehensive at first but ended up loving it except for the sore hiney the next day.

Jeremy had his 15 minutes of fame a couple weeks ago during another celebration.....we were walking around with some friends and a TV camera came up to them and started talking.  Okay, no problem....but then the camera turned on Jeremy and he was asked what he thought of the festival....I ducked away quickly but he managed quite well to say we were enjoying it, etc.  It was pretty funny.  Plus Iīm sure the news loved the blonde headed gringo talking about the festival.

All for now....my writing brain isnīt working well.....a bit boring of a post?  We leave for Honduras tomorrow and hope to hit the Bay Islands for New Years....more later.
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