For the past two and a half weeks we have been living in Granada, going to language school five days a week, for four hours each morning. And while that may not sound like much time at all, let me tell you that I don’t believe we could do much more. See, its April. And in April, Nicaragua turns from a pleasantly warm (though some say hot) country, to a fiery furnace from which there is no escaping. And electricity is RIDICULOUSLY expensive here, which means that the only places to find air conditioning are places like grocery stores, and maybe Tip Top (which is basically the Nica version of KFC). But everywhere else, it is hot. And by hot, I mean you feel like you’re melting into a puddle within seconds of being here. In fact, just today Landon said to me, “I am sweating so much right now. I know it doesn’t look like it, but the sweat is rolling down my back as I speak.” (And he honestly hardly ever sweats.)
But I wrote the following in my notebook a few days ago and it still rings true:
I think living in Granada has been very good for us. Sure, we are here to learn Spanish, but it has also granted us a very unique view into every day life and reality for middle class Nicaraguan families. We have learned more about life and family culture here in the last two weeks than I think we could have learned any other way. And this is even specific to an economic class in a specific city. I’ve heard that each city in Nica is like each state in the U.S. Each has its own culture, its own food it is famous for, and its own place in the overall economy of Nicaragua. We’re learning how to speak, but also how to communicate. how to show respect and to whom. How to avoid egregious errors that would most likely do immense damage. (Not saying we still won’t make them, but hopefully we’ve kept ourselves from some.) Even though it is hot, and the water gets shut off, and every day is exhausting in an utter and complete way, I know I wouldn’t trade this time. I know it is good for us, in numerous ways.