We just had the most lovely week and a half with dear friends from Oregon.
Since we arrived back in Nicaragua in January we really have been going non-stop. From buying furniture and fixing random issues at our house, to hosting a few teams and receiving our friends who just moved here, we hadn’t stopped. I tend to gauge our ‘busy-ness’ level by when the last time we were able to spend a few hours having ‘fun’ was. Like going to the beach for the evening, or having a slow morning at home. And up until twelve days ago, the last time was in November. 🙂 So when Tim and Jen arrived, we were just as ready to share this beautiful country with them as we were to share some time off together.
And we showed them the country! The awesome thing about the western side of Nicaragua is that *most* of the roads to major cities are well maintained and well paved, so going north to Esteli and then south to San Juan Del Sur in the same week is completely doable. And we’re from Oregon, with friends all over the state, so driving for a few hours is no big deal.
We began our time with the Hendricks in the north western part of Nicaragua. We made it up to Esteli to visit our friend Don Gonzalo and purchase some cigars (the area is known for their world-renowned cigars they produce) and then headed north east of Maltagalpa to visit a magical place called Finca Esperanza Verde. The north of Nicaragua is higher in elevation and consists of lush rainforest type land, plus cooler temperatures. (I was in jeans, a sweatshirt, my puffy coat and socks and shoes! It was heavenly!) The ecolodge is an hour away from any sort of big ‘town’ and the reprieve from all the hustle and bustle was very welcomed.
From Maltagalpa we returned to Managua for a night, and then out to Salinas Grande on Sunday afternoon to visit the Herrings. They had been in their home for only two weeks, but were already able to tell us the best waves to try to catch. We spent the afternoon and evening playing on the boogie boards, laughing, eating and sharing sweet conversations.
On Tuesday we headed south. San Juan Del Sur is a great tourist town, with awesome beaches close by, and we all wanted some sunshine time. We spent the next three days reading, talking, boogie boarding, surfing and relaxing. It was phenomenal!
Unfortunately, Friday and Saturday’s plans got canceled due to a food poisoning issue for Tim and Jen, but as we told them, that just means they have to come back to be able to visit the places we couldn’t get to. 🙂
I know visiting a developing country can be stressful, especially with a language barrier, but we are so grateful for our friends’ willingness and desire to come and see what we’re doing and try to understand what our life here is like a little more. And for the past week or so of a slow down. I didn’t realize how much we needed the break, too.