First Impressions Nicaragua
As Taylor Swift would say about New York, "it's been waiting for you." Not exactly waiting for me, but it's certainly been here awhile. In reality the colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua and New York City have very little in common. Chief among them clean water. Followed by air conditioning and population. With less than 40,000 occupying the colonial city there are entire streets with no one around during the hottest parts of the day. At the same time there are several constantly crowded areas where you have to be extra attentive or get run over by a car/motorcycle/horse/bike.
We have only been here 3 days now but I have had a lifetime of lessons. It's a tougher way of life for most of the locals. We have AC in the bedrooms only, that is a welcome relief after a long day of feels like temperatures of 104+ degrees F. We also have toilets, you can't flush paper down them but you at least have a toilet to sit on when you have to go. After lunch today we had our leftovers boxed up to take back to the rental house; on our way back a desperate young man came up to us asking for them. The look on his face was terribly sad. He was truly just hungry and wanted nothing more than the food in our box. We gave it to him of course. It was heartbreaking and not something you often see in the US. The city has pretty buildings but also trash... oh so much trash everywhere!
We enjoyed a boat ride of the Isletas, which are basically just islands with homes on them. We saw the indigenous peoples washing their laundry and fishing in the lake right next to the vacation homes of rich French, English and Americans. A brief stop at Monkey Island to see the little guys and then back to Granada. Our "tour guide" was found at the local square and the boat was kept at a very out of the way dock. The cab that picked us up was a beat-up old car with seat covers on the cushions covering up what I am sure I would never have felt comfortable sitting on otherwise.
A carriage ride around the city was the most enjoyable event so far, Graham has been asking to go on another one ever since we got off. We saw part of Lake Nicaragua, the city cemetery and several of the old cathedrals on our ride. We even got into a horse carriage race with another carriage. The horses were full speed running next to each other. Graham loved it, I just kept hoping the wheels were on our carriage tightly. Isla was fast asleep through most of the ride.
The pool at our rental home has gotten hours and hours of use over the days. It is a much needed afternoon oasis. My biggest complaint about our house are the ants. The kitchen is open air and the ants are just everywhere. We also have a rat but he hasn't been a problem. You just better put all of your food away!
(Originally published on my old blog, Babies and Borders April 27, 2016)