Jamen hey, saa skal jeg da ogsaa fortaelle hvad jeg gaar og laver!

Efter brigadens afslutning 14. maj, blev det til en lille rundrejse i Nicaragua, paa mere eller mindre egen haand. Foerst blev det til et par dage tilbage i landsbyen El Tigre sammen med fire andre nu eks-brigardister. Paa turen tilbage tog vi paa canopy – svaevebane i bjergene, og derefter gik turen til laegen i Managua, med et haevet oeje og et braend-roedt og braend-varmt hoejre side af ansigtet som jeg havde faaet mig under det korte landsbyophold. Derpaa gik turen til Matagalpa, saa Esteli og saa et smut til Leon. Fra Leon tog jeg til Managua for at moede Carmen, en rigtig soed nicaraguansk dame, men hun kunne ikke moedes alligevel, fandt jeg ud af da jeg endelig var kommet frem. Fedt… Naeste dag ville jeg tage til laegen igen for at faa resultater paa blod- og urinproeve jeg havde faaet lavet sidst jeg besoegte ham, men han var paa konference og havde derfor ikke konsultation. Nnngg…! Jeg har faat resultaterne, men de tal kan jeg sgu ikke tyde selv. Lad os haabe jeg har det godt! Slap af, taenkte jeg, og tog saa bussen til Granada i troen om at det var der jeg skulle staa af for at komme til Laguna de Apoyo, en stor soe som ligger i krateret af en for laengst udslukt vulkan. Det viste sig selvfoelgelig jeg bare skulle vaere blevet siddende i bussen, fandt jeg ud af efter at vaere staaet af. Aarh ha da! Men til Laguna de Apoyo kom jeg, og blev sat af ved Monkey Hut Hostel. Her var ingen ledige senge, saa jeg bevaegede mig traet ud til en netop ankommet taxa, og hvem ser jeg staa ud: to veninder til en af de andre brigardister, som havde besoegt os i Esteli!! De sku sgu bo der (ja, de havde vaeret kloge nok til at lave reservationer xD ). Op i taxaen igen, koere frem og tilbage i jagten paa et hostel, hvorefter jeg ender lige ved siden af Monkey Hut paa Paradiso: billigere end Monkey Hut, samme tilbud om gratis kayak m.m., lige ned til vandet, OG: styret af to franske maend fra Toulouse, den samme by som min mor er foedt i. Haha… Saa er verden heller ikke stoerre! 🙂 I dag vil jeg nyde solen og soeen, og i eftermiddag kommer min ven Techy fra Esteli og slapper af sammen med mig. I morgen tidlig gaar turen til Managua, hvorfra jeg skal flyve til san Fransisco kl 12.12.
Pas godt paa jer selv allesammen!! 🙂

Advertisements

10 mostly asked questions:

¿Cómo te llamas? ¿Cuál es su nombre?     Two ways of saying: What’s your name?

¿Y cuál es tu apellido? ¿Y el otro?     What’s your last name? And the other one? Since almost all Nicaraguans have two last names, one of their mother and one of their father, the second question is a natural follower of the first one

¿De dónde eres?     Where are you from?

¿Qué haces aquí?     What are you doing here?

¿Te gusta Nicaragua? ¿Cómo le parece Nicaragua?     Do you like Nicaragua? What do you think of Nicaragua?

¿Cuánto tiempo vas a estar aquí?     How long will you be staying here?

¿Tienes hermanos? ¿Solo uno?     Do you have siblings? The second question is a natural follower really, I haven’t met any families with two kids or less!

¿Cuál es tu religion/iglesia? ¿Crees en Dios?*     What is your religion/which church do you belong to? Do you believe in God?

¿Estas casada? ¿Tienes esposo?**     Are you married? Do you have a husband?

¿Tienes novio? ¿Y porqué no?**     Do you have a boyfriend? ¿And why not? (I have been asking myself the same question for quite some time!)

 

The cronological order of how the questions are asked depend of the place/city in which you are. In the village of El Tigre for example, * will usually be asked before **, but here in Estelí it is definately the opposite!

The other day when I was walking from my house to down town, a guy comes by on his bicycle, slows down till he is right at my level and starts talking to me. He did have the curtesy to ask me my name first, and then he threw the it: “Are you married?” “No.” “Do you have a boyfriend?” “No.” “Can I have your phone number?” And being to shy to turn him down, I say: “Well, I don’t have a Nicaraguan phone.” “Can you give me directions to your house then?” What do you think stupid??! “I want to come by and win your heart” he said. Well, that ain’t the way of doing it baby!

It might seem as a very agressive response to such a “nice” man, but no. Girls, after staying here for just a week you would know! Walking down the street, no matter time of day, sun or rain, or if you are walking with other guys, Danish or Nicaraguan, men sitting on a bench will shout at you: “Chela chela! Que lindisima!” “Ay la bonita!”. Men walking by you in opposite direction will use the few English words they know: “I love you!” Men driving by on motorcycles or trucks, with wife and kids sitting beside them even, will honk at you and very obviously looking at you from toes to face – if they get that far!!

The first week in Managua it was a little fun to get all that attention. After a while you would start ignoring them, naively thinking that they would stop. And coming to Estelí, the WORST city of all, you are just about going crazy!!!

Jeeez guys, that is NOT the way of hooking up with a girl!

Nicaragüense – the language of Nicaragua

When arriving toNicaragua, I thought I would get by easily with the Spanish language. I studied Spanish for four years before getting here, one year inCaliforniaand three years inDenmark, getting the best possible grade for my oral exam, so there didn’t seem to be any difficulties. Once the plane had landed, though, things proved differently. First of all, the Spanish you practice in school is the “theoretical” Spanish, meaning the Spanish that they in theory should be speaking in the Spanish-speaking countries. But, of course, the Spanish of everyday life is filled with slang, local expressions and other funny linguistic inventions, creating lots of possibilities for extranjeros, strangers, to be completely misunderstood and understand nothing.

Second of all, the Spanish you learn in school inDenmarkis Spanish of Spain – Castillan Spanish. Many of the words I had learned have another meaning here or don’t even exist, and the little slang I had picked up in class, through the movies we saw and the trip the class made to Spain in our second year in college, but that proved to be more or less useless. The expressions I knew are not used here, and if they are, they mean something completely different. I had to start from scratch.

Thankfully, the program of the brigade dictated that we took a week of Spanish lessons in the beginning of our Nicaraguan adventure. After a week of studies, having refreshed grammar and vocabulary, having learned some more, and most important of all having learned some great slang-expressions, I left the Spanish school in Matagalpa with confidence. We left Matagalpa, we left city life, and we went to the pueblo in the mountains. There is a difference between the Spanish of Spain and the Spanish of Nicaragua, but there certainly also are differences in how the language is spoken inside the country itself. In the pueblo the letter “S” seems to be non-existent, the final syllable of the words is often swallowed, the inhabitants tend to mumble, and once again we were met with new expressions and new words.

The country ofNicaraguahas proven to be an adventure, and, as you can hear, the language has as well.

After more than two months inNicaraguaI have collected quite a lot of words and expressions, some more useful than others. Here is a little homemade dictionary with Nicaraguan slang and expressions – to consult before visitingNicaraguaand to understand the nica-slang that might pop up in my blog. More words to be added throughout the rest of the trip! J

Words and expressions only used in the pueblo are marked with (P) and those only used in the city are marked with (C)

Chele                            white person – Gringo or European

→ is also used as a nickname for light-skinned Nicaraguans

Chela                               feminine version of chele – shouted on the streets at white

girls by Nicaraguan men, along with words like

“bonita/linda” (beautiful), “I love you”…

(They surely have misunderstood something, ‘caus that really isn’t the way of getting to talk to us!!)

Chavalo(-a) (C)           lad and lass

Hembra                          the animal female – used as a synonym of girls (P)

Varón                               boy/lad

Charrangachanga    thingy/stuff

Chereque                       thingy/stuff

Chunche/chuncha                         thingy/stuff   (–> be careful! Can also be used as a man’s “thing” (chunche) or a woman’s “thing” (chuncha))

¡Tuani!                             Cool!

¡Deacachimba!           Cool! – mostly used by young people, (slight annotation to

women’s private parts…)

¡Deaca!                              Cool! (short version of “deacachimba”)

¡Púchica!                         neutral expression – used as “damn it!””Ouch” “Whoops..”

and the like

Bastante                           lots of/many

Dale                                     okay (same as Castillan expression “Vale”)

Dale pues                         different meanings, according to the context… You’ll have

to  figure  that one out yourself

Entonces                         then…, so… – used a lot!

¡No hombre!                  No man! Hell no!

¡Como no!                       As if! Of course yes!

Chiclar                              funny buisiness of men and women

Tronar                              funny buisiness of men and women

Fornicar                           funny buisiness of men and women

Moler                                  funny buisiness of men and women

¡Ideay!                               What happened?! What the heck?!

¿Qué honda?                  What’s up?

¿Qué tal?                           What’s up?

Buena onda                     good wave

Buen coco/cabeza de coco

Good head, smart one

Finca                                    farm/ranch

Palo (P)                                 tree

Carro                                     car

Chinela                                sandal

Chapa                                    earring

Palmear tortillas          to clap tortillas

Acá                                          here (same as aquí)

Allá                                         over there (further away than “allí”)

Huerto                                  vegetable garden

Cedula                                   ID

Joder                                      to bug

Basura                                   garbage/litter

Guaro     – liquor

Bolo     – drunk man / to be drunk

Borracho     – drunk man / to be drunk

Piruca     – drunk man / to be drunk

Guarosqui     – drunk man / to be drunk

Tapirul     – drunk man / to be drunk

Chiguina     – girl

Chiguin     – boy

Moizo     – boyfriend

Jaño     – boyfriend

Chivo     – boyfriend

Tombo     – police

Jurra     – police

¡Hijo de puta!      – well, best if you don’t use that too much…. And if you really want to know: Son of a bitch!

Chimoso     – gossip

Lengua larga     – big tongue –> gossiper

“Tengo la cabeza saber como…”     – I’m forgetful, I forgot

Hay nos vidrios     – see you soon

Aqui no mas     – right over there (talking about directions)

Va pues     – go ahead (-ish…)

“Que le vaya bien”     – that you will travel well (used when saying goodbye to a person, even when that person is just going to work or the like)

“A saber…”     – who knows…

Simon     – yes

Nelson     – no

Roco / roca     – dad/mom

Cumiche     – youngest sister/brother

Chicle     – chewing gum

Prensar     – to hurry

¡Que barbaridad!     – how stupid! –> how barbaric!

Lluvia en la cabeza     – SOOO many thoughts/ideas just raining down on you

¡Tronco!     – the top! Great!

Trolear     – to walk

“Hacer ____ al trol”     – to do ____ fast

-isimo/a     – strengthens a word, ex: ¡Tuanisimo! = Really great! Aburridisimo = soooo boring

Mofa     – a joke

Timar     – to cheat

Bella     – beautiful

Nicañol     – Nicaraguan Spanish (Nicaragüense + Español)

León!

Last sunday we left El Tigre and went for León – the first capitol of Nicaragua. A guide said on the first day: “In León we are very close to God because of all the churches (one church every block!!), but at the same time the heat makes us feel we re in Hell!” And sure, here is so. Extrordinarily. HOT!!! Taking a shower three times a day is far from enough to keep you cooled. We are almost spending more money on cold water than on food because the water heats up so fast! But well, except for that León is a nice and very interesting town.

The beginning was very tough, though. We left El Tigre at 7 o’clock in the morning with the bus down to Pradera. My mother was crying. Chumbo was crying. Yarelis was crying. My dad had been drinking the whole day before because he was so sad of letting me go. I was crying. My mother went with me in the bus to Pradera, along with family members of all the other families in order to give us a decent farewell. The usual bus had broken down the day before, so we overloaded a smaller truck instead with family members, huge bagpacks and crying Danes. Half way down we heard a “Pfoouitt!! Pfoouiii__pfooouiiiiiiiii__pfoooouiiiiiiiiii__pssht..” and realised that one of the right tires had broken. We got out of the bus, Anne slightly paniking realising that we wouldn´t make the bus from Pradera to Jinotega, and all of us waiting for the problem to get solved somehow. Rescue came, and 20 minutes later we climbed aboard another even more truck-like bus, no seats this time and the bottom filled with saw-dust, and went all the way to the next stop on the journey. In Pradera we sat down and waited for the next bus to come, having missed the first one. The bus came, and once again tears were flooding. After 10 hours of sighing, sweating and sleeping we finally made it to León.

And wow…! Try to imagine the pìcture: we hadm just left the village in the mountains were we had been almost non-stop the past six weeks, seeing no other cheles than ourselves, living a life back to basics and ¡¡BOOOM!! there we are, sitting foot in a hostal filled with only white mojito-drunk people, to the sound of heavy music, white skin flashing from every side.
Just imagine…………

Guys in Nicaragua!

My friend Mikkel asked me the other day on facebook: ”How are you doing over there?” “Great!!” I answered. “Kind people everywhere, splendid nature, good beers… And nice guys!” “Uh oh, nice guys, huh? That sounds interesting 😉 “ Really, the guys I’ve met here are nice. Really nice! Funny, humoristic, curious, kind. Some are into nature, some are into religion, some are into theater and dancing. And the Nicaraguan guys are really good looking, too! 😉 It made me think a little. What about the Nicaraguan girls? Well, when it comes down to it, I haven’t really met any. In Matagalpa there were the Spanish teachers of course. Really nice girls (women!), so cool, but they don’t really count. We had a professional relationship, friendly and all, but not as friends. In El Tigre there weren’t any girls in my family. My sister is two years old, and even though my mother is 22 we didn’t really develop a friend-like relationship. I guess we just are at two quite different stages in our lives. The other girls, ladies, I met in the village were friendly, sure, but we didn’t really have any occasion to chat, in opposition to the boys, with whom I got to talk building the office and playing soccer. And besides, if I did have a sister my age in my family I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed painting my fingernails in their company as much as the other girls in the group did. Here in Leon I simply haven’t met any. The theater group with, whom we are working, consists of ten boys and only three girls. Having a conversation with one of the girls I asked her why so few girls are in the group. “Well” she said, “knowing there are mainly boys in the theater groups many mothers don’t feel secure sending their girls over there. And since a lot of the pieces are presented in the night time, it’s basically a no-go. You know, girls in Nicaragua in the age of 17 to 22 years old, living at home, simply don’t have as many possibilities, as many rights, as boys do.”
I guess her answer applies to every layer of the Nicaraguan society. Girls simply don’t have as much freedom, as much spare time as the boys do. Sure, girls do go out and have fun, but not as much, not in the same way. And less when living in the countryside than in town. Religion plays a big part too, deciding of the dos and don’ts.

So yeah, conclusion is that I have gotten a bunch of new friends, guys all of them. Sure my appealing and rather charming appearence and mentality has played a role, but clearly culture has as well.
And I guess this simply is one of many differences between DK and Nicaragua.

To vote or not to vote

It’s dark outside and I’m sitting in the kitchen with my nica-family, gathering the last rice and beans in my plate for a last spoonful. The cicadas have begun their nightly singing and the conversation turns to politics. They tell me a little about how it works here, I tell them a little about how it works at home, they ask questions about our political system, I ask about theirs, and in unison we laugh about all the stupidities of politicians. My nica-mom asks me a question. Abortion in Denmark? Well, let me tell you! And then I’m on: first I tell her that it is legal to get an abortion in Denmark, that it’s free. That women don’t need any special authorization to get one. Before I know of it I am talking about women’s rights, criticizing Daniel Ortega and his government, almost calling them jerks, for making the law that makes abortions completely prohibited. I raise my voice, feeling the politician inside of me. My cheeks are getting red! I make a small pause in my political speech to make my point, and take a look at my audience. Silence. Three pairs of eyes are looking at me, questioning. They are not following, I’m guessing.(The train must have derailed somewhere around the way. “Well, you know, pregnant. When the mom has a baby in her stomach?… Aren’t we speaking about abortions?” I ask. More silence. “We aren’t speaking about the same thing at all. Right?” And then they start laughing. It turned out that my mom asked me a question about “votar”, to vote, and I was convinced that she had asked a question about “abortar”, to get an abortion. Apparently I was the one not following. We laugh and laugh, and that was the end of our conversation about politics.

My nicaraguan family

I now have the pleasure of being abble to add yet another family to my already quite impressive list of families (containing so far three families: my Danish familien Rasmussen, my French famille Desportes, my American LaMark-Merrill family): my nicaraguan familia Blandón-Blandón.

My little nicaraguan family!

In the bus on our way to Pradera, last stop before El Tigre, Anne turned to me and said: MYR, I have placed you in a small family of only three members. The parrents are quite young and only have one daughter. I hope you won’t mind that I placed you in a family with few kids, with your level in Spanish you should be able to have pretty good conversations with the parrents instead.
Oh well, I thought, why not. And so, here I am, with the smallest family in El Tigre: Harbín, 25, Vilma, 22, and Jurelys, 2.(And Maximiliano, also known as “Chumbo”, 40+)

At first I was a little disapointed not to have more brothers and sisters. I looove kids, love to fool around with them, go on adventure, and it really is a whole lot easier to communicate with kids when you have a poor level of El Tigre-Spanish vocabulary (I had the feeling I was doing quite good in Matagalpa, being placed in an advanced class in Spanish school, but oh no! In El Tigre they speek a whole lot faster, a whole lot more mumblingly, with a whole lot different accent, and on top of that they have another vocabulary and they don’t pronounce the s’s!!!). So yeah, the beginning was quite tough… But now I must say that I really am quite fund of my family! My father Harbín (it really is quite odd to think of them as parrents when they have the same age as me..!) always asks a lot of questions about my family, about Denmark, about the world, about the stars, about my language, my religion and my culture – he is so curious about that world outside of El Tigre that he doesn’t now. And best of all he is easy to understand when he speaks.

Jurelys!

My mother, the ever tortilla-clapping Vilma, is little a little  harder to understand. She speaks less, asks hardly any other question than “do you have any dirty laundry?” or “do you like your food this way?” and is a whole lot shier tha her husband. But I must say that she is the best looking nica-mom in the village, with muscly legs, a well-shaped butt, strong arms and back and very firm-looking breasts (her belly, though, does point out quite a lot, and as far as I know it is not due to a pregnancy… But I guess she’s just following the Nicaraguan female big belly-tendency). She does the whole housekeeping by herself – cooking, cleaning, feeding pig and hens, … – she’s a tough one. I have, though, so far had smaller conversations with her about Danish and Nicaraguan cooking and a conversation about contraceptives in Denmark, so there’s still hope!
My little sister Jurelys really is a-do-ra-ble!! The cutest little girl with big bouncy cheeks and sparkling eyes. She is very talkative, and one day I exclaimed in utter amazement: what is she saying?? Oh, we don’t understand that language either, said her mom smiling. Jurely’ and I have our very special game: I raise a hand – she raises her hand. She sits down – I sit down. I blink – she blinks… She will end the game by going over to her favorite “palo” (tree), placing her little hands around the trunk with a radiant smile, and sha-a-a-ake the tree! Every evening at her bed time, she will sit in her mothers lap, quietly falling asleep. The first days I was her she really kept her eyes on my every move, observing this odd, white creature invading her home,not

Jurelys med sit LEGO ved sin "palo"

Jurelys at her "palo"

trusting me AT ALL. I promised myself that I would make friends with her, and I surely have! The other day she sat in MY lap falling asleep, while I quietly sang “Jens Vejmand” and “Hulde engel” as my father used to do to me when I was little. I even got to give her a bath the other day. Aaaaw!! 🙂 She can’t say my name yet, so I’ll work for that the last three weeks, to be sure she won’t forget who Yvonne is.
An other man lives with the family in the small house. He’s name is Maximiliano, and he is the very darkest of all the inhabitants of El Tigre. We asked him why he was staying with the small family, and he told us that he was a guest from Cuba, at first helping the cooperative to get started and liking the place he decided to settle down. We thought it was a little odd that a man all the way from Cuba would end up in such a small place as El Tigre, but oh well, everything is possible. Well, we found out the other day that it is one big joke made up by the entire village in unison! Great… He is the uncle of my father, and having no family of he’s own he’s moved into the little house to keep the family company. It’s probably his room I’m staying in, actually… He works as the vice-president of the cooperative in the village

"Chumbo" with our yuca-catch

and is also active in FSLN, the big nicaraguan sandinist party. He knows a little more to the world than the average El Tigre inhabitant, and we’ve had some quite interesting conversations on culture and politics. Christian and I have been yuca-hunting with him, and “Chumbo” has been very nice to take us in the nearby mountains to see the bean-fields and taste sugar cane, collect corn… What a nature!

So yes, as you can hear I have invaded a quite nice home after all. Christian lives next door and has allowed me to borrow his nica-brothers if I should get all too bored, and the other evening my parrents tought me a game and we had a lot of fun so really, I have all the possibilities to play around, so everything is good 🙂

Jurelys, and Christians two brothers and his sister and cousin Haron

Livets små problemer… (Danish)

Sjovt, hvordan man kan lande på et sted hvor de knap ved at jorden er rund, hvor deres lille verden ikke strækker sig meget længere end til landets grænser og i daglig bevidsthed holder sig inden for landsbyens markskel. Der er ikke strøm – i hvert fald ikke i det hus jeg bor i – og hvis der endelig er strøm i et hus, begrænser brugen sig til en skarp uafskærmet pære i det største af de tre rum i huset, foruden at holde liv i husets antikke model af et fjernsyn, som hver aften med uvejr på skærmen viser spanske soap-operaer eller engelske film med skrattende spansk voice-over, i helt ligeværdig konkurrence med de ”danske” toffifee-reklamer. Mobilsignal er der ikke meget af, og landsbyens indfødte må få sig et godt grin hver eftermiddag når en frustreret ”chelo” eller ”chela” (hvid dreng eller pige) sætter jagten ind mellem appelsintræerne, mobilen højt hævet og klar til kamp. Alle her i landsbyen er heldigvis yderst imødekommende. De kære kakerlakker udnytter til fulde en hver mulighed for at holde mig med selskab og deres raslende ben luller mig i søvn, smukt akkompagneret af fårekyllingernes og cikadernes sang (den lyd kan jeg faktisk godt lide), og klokken 3 hver morgen og igen kl. 6, har jeg den udsøgte glæde at blive vækket af et fortrinligt kor af haner, hver med sin klare stemme og på helt særlige morgener i melodiøst selskab med husets og nabohusenes energiske hunde. Heldigvis er min nica-mor klar med en brændende varm kop nica-kaffe (en tynd kaffe tilsat minimum spsk. fulde sukker for at tage smagen af de kaffebønner som ikke bestod teste om at blive eksporteret til det kræsne udland) en halv time senere, som jeg så skyller ned med en opvarmet variation af resterne af de kogte ris jeg fik til aftensmad i går – med lidt (alt er relativt!) ekstra salt og olie. Sjovt, at dét der så irriterer mig mest på det her sted er, at det aldrig lykkes mig at stikke et par helt rene fødder i soveposen om aftenen. Og så lige dét at appelsinerne på træerne omkrig huset sidder så pokkers højt. Nøøj, jeg kunne leve af de appelsiner! – hvis jeg ellers kunne nå dem, selvfølgelig…

El Tigre – long way from home

Nicaragua, where we have been for 1 month and 2 days today, is more or less across the earth from Denmark, and el pueblo El Tigre, where we have been for now three weeks = half the time, is even further away!

 

Placement:     El Tigre, Pantasma, Jinotega, Nicaragua

Stomach-status:     unstable…

Homesickness:     none (except for certain aspects of food…)

 

It’s hard, if not impossible, to imagine what a adventure this is – so different from home, so much less and yet so much more. (It may sound cheesy, but really!).

I don’t know how to write one looog text that describes it all in details, (and especially how to ride it in a way so you won’t give up half way through), so instead I’ll be writing smaller post, excerpts you might say, of thoughts and adventures in this place far far from home.

And, for all the danes (and others who understand English): go ahead and take a look at the shared blog of the “brigardister”, where you’ll find impressions (and ekspressions) from the whole group.
http://www.nicabrigaden2012.wordpress.com

Matagalpa!!

I promised to write a little more about my first impressions of Managua and Nicaragua in general. So here we go: Managua seems to me like Orange, California. A plane city, more suburban than city-like, concrete and dryness, cars everywhere (no hummers though), but more poor and dirty and with no obvious down town. Imagine

Anemone, MYR og Marie on the back of a truck through Managua - real Nicaraguan style!

Anemone, MYR and Marie on the back of a truck through Managua - real Nicaraguan style!

a grey-ish yellow bus, built to carry 30 people, with 52 pair of eyes staring at you as they drive by, young kids squeezing their way to you and a dirty face with begging eyes asking you for a dollar, and plenty of well-placed recommendations of not walking in the streets alone and not going out at all in the night time. That’s Managua. That was my first impression of Nicaragua.

Thue and anice view over Managua and a coffee farm

Thue and a nice view over Managua and a coffee farm

Then the bus arrived to Matagalpa and the Hostal de la Buena Honda – Hostel of The Good Wave. And that name turned out to be quite well-defining. This past week in Matagalpa we’ve studied Spanish prepositions and past tense from 8-12 a.m. every morning and then wandered off in the afternoon to explore this tranquila city and area of Nicaragua, with the mountains in the background and smiling people all around. Well, all right, maybe not everybody was smiling all day long and sure, there were poor kids asking for dollars, but the atmosphere and all – so much more inviting than Managua! This past week we’ve been on a guided tour at a local chocolate factory (even tasted the chocolate-paste in process!), been hiking in the surrounding mountains, wandered around the big outdoor market fee

Linn, Mathilde and Anemone tasting the chocolate paste at the factory

ling safe, visited the colorful cementery and, most important of all, met lots of friendly people!

Evening 1 we were greeted by the smiling  dreadlocked rasta-security guard Memo at the door after eating gallo pinto and quesadillas at a tavern on the street close to the church. And several  evenings afterwards I spend in his company on the porch of the hostal, listenening to music and chatting in the evening breeze – muy tranquilo! Very nice dude 🙂 Friday and Saturday the bar of the hostal oppened, with Memo behind the bar, and all the crazy Danes made a real party! Later we went into town and danced with more freindly people. -I love this place!
This morning,in an hour or two, we will be leaving for the small village of El Tigre in the mountains of the region of Jinotega. A small village with no electricity and no English for 6 weeks – speak about a new adventure!

En sympatisk profil paa bjerget ved Matagalpa

I dunno exactly what my plans will be once the planned part of the Nicaraguan adventure is over, but sure thing is I will try to get back to Matagalpa a few days. My first impression of Nicaragua sure wasn’t very positive, but the last week has changed that abrubtly, and now I can’t wait to move on and discover other parts of Nicaragua! …Even though I wouldn’t have minded staying here a little longer 🙂