“Time marches on and waits for no one.” Heather’s Dad Bruce was a very genuine fellow and would discreetly share this type of wisdom with us. We all lived together at Hillridge – the family homestead on the Fraser River north of Quesnel, BC. In 1974 as two young “back-to-the-land-ers” we moved north to Quesnel with Bruce and Heather’s Mum Sheila, and we looked up to Bruce to ration his life’s insight with us. Thanks Bruce…..
Yes, the past month has gone by very quickly, indeed.
Some photos from our stay in Granada:
The experience at the language school, Spanish Dale was both rewarding and exhausting. Starting every day at 8:00 AM, we’d typically start the day’s lesson with a conversation around the table with our instructor, Arleen. All sorts of topics were covered in the 15 days we were with her. Weather, characteristics of food in Nicaragua and in Canada, living in British Columbia, living in Nicaragua, how we live with bears and she lives with scorpions, religion, politics, etc.. oh, and the major differences between the English and Spanish languages. During the ‘conversations’ if we didn’t know or understand a word, we’d stop, Arleen would write it out and we’d record it for future use… X 1000.
After the morning discussion, we’d start into structured lesson plans covering the basics of every necessary combination of verbs – regular/irregular – even the ones that end in irse-erse or arse, feminine/masculine nouns, adjectives, idioms, prepositions and all the exceptions to the primary rules. In the first week we made major progress with common introductions and questions. By the third week it settled into a fairly intense info storm. As the linguistic wave crashed over us we felt a little overwhelmed but willing to push on through this chunky bit. It paid off. Without being totally aware, our brains WERE storing some of the hundreds of words and structural rules we were taught. So, now it’s up to us to continue to practice with the tools we’ve been given. We ARE conversing and we ARE understanding. Wow.
The three weeks did something else for us. They allowed us to become good friends with our homestay family in Granada. The head of the household was a warm and welcoming woman, Rosita. Maria, Rosita’s daughter and their housekeeper Esperanza made us feel like part of the family. Their place was very close to the Parque Central and the incredible Calle Commercio. We had the keys to the main gate at the front entrance so we could come and go as we pleased. However, with the day’s schooling wearing us down, we were typically in bed no later than 9:00 PM! Leaving the family was sad… hugs were exchanged and a few tears shed. Rosita’s final words asked us to not to forget “Mi casa es tu casa”. Anytime we’re in Granada…
Today, we’re enjoying the tropical luxury of Laguna de Apoyo 18km outside of Granada. It’s a remarkable place. The 175m deep lake occupies the caldera of an extinct volcano. The bottom of the lake is reportedly the lowest point in Central America. We’re staying at the Hostel Paraiso perched on the edge of the laguna. Wonderful.
Nicaragua is a magnet for world travelers. Apart from many, many Canadians we’ve met, we’ve had the good fortune to chat with folks from Germany, Holland, Norway, France and the USA. I’m sure we’ll meet more trekkers from other parts of the globe as we noodle our way around the country.
Next stop? The island of Ometepe – “an island formed by two volcanoes rising out of Lake Nicaragua. Its name derives from the Nahuatl words ome (two) and tepetl (mountain), meaning “two mountains”. – Wikipedia … Sure to be an adventure.