Nicaraguans are such wonderful people. Since we arrived almost a week ago, it’s been inspiring to get to know a few of them a little bit better every day. They are so welcoming, helpful, patient and most of all, full of life. (Lleno de vida)
You can see it in the way they celebrate even the little things – like the street vendor dama (lady) making Quesillos… A yummy treat typically made from a thick corn tortilla wrapped around soft cheese, pickled onions, and a sauce of sour cream or liquid cheese and vinegar. We had our taste of these Nica gems at the well-known little stand next to the Iglesia La Merced on the Calle (street) Real Xalteva. The lady’s whole family was there and the vibe was cool. She had a big smile and each quesillo was made with love and care.
And… HAPPILY we continue to sample other local fare. Muy sabroso! (Very tasty!) In Granada, it IS a veritable culinary feast. Ensalada fruitas top the list. The fruit here is fresh and full of rich flavor. Bananas definitely taste different here! The tasty Nicaraguan national side dish Gallo Pinto (rice and beans mixed) can accompany everything from a steak to eggs. This morning we had breakfast at the renown Garden Café. No Gallo Pinto but potatoes and carrots were fried together with mild chilies and then topped with two poached eggs, bacon with fruit salad on the side. (for those of you who love bacon, it’s incredible here!) Wow.
Yesterday evening we had “Vigaron” – another traditional dish. It’s quite a creation. Start with a banana leaf on a plate, pile on boiled yuca, deep fried pork rind called chicharrones and spicy shredded cabbage called curtido that includes tomatoes and onions tossed in pineapple vinegar. Safe to say, we ARE eating well. Mmmmm.
As you can see, we’re inserting the occasional word en espanol. We’ve completed our first three introductory lessons at La Escuela (school) One to One run by Roger Ramirez and his son Roger Jr. It’s been great to see how our slightly older brains deal with a huge download of info. Pretty well actually. Arg! The instructors were excelente! Muchas gracias Roger Jr, Rosa and Miyka. Tomorrow, we see the first of many planned changes during this adventure. Our second Spanish school is giving us a ride from Diego’s to the homestay folks in Granada where we’ll spend the next three weeks. We don’t know all the details yet so look for those updates in our next blog!
Till then, here’s some more pics from the last few days…