I will say this once or twice in this post, so I thought it best to be upfront with people what would be the most repeated phrase in this post by naming the post: Mucho Calor.
As much as I love to see new places, nothing beats American central A/C. I’ve got to admit, it’s a weakness of mine. Managua is hotter than most places in Nicaragua, because it’s inland but not in the mountains. Lots of metal roofs don’t help matters. I wake up often in the middle of the night because the fan is not cool enough, and I have taken to showering when I do. So it’s not unusual for me to shower at midnight or 2 in the morning, then crawl back in bed and wrap a cold cloth around my feet and over my face. I think I will adjust quickly, however. My body needs to grow stronger. Ha. Talking with other students, I’ve learned that it is common for Nicaraguans to shower multiple times a day, and they tend to think Americans and Europeans are gross for sweating so much and only showering once a day.
Despite the heat, the place is beautiful. I am in a neighborhood with colorful houses and decorative rod iron gates. Everyone is very friendly, and one of the best things about Nicaraguans is how forgiving they are of bad Spanish. They patiently wait for me to thumb through my dictionary, they correct me when I’m wrong (gently), and they don’t laugh at me. Not many Nicaraguans speak English, compared to Costa Rica or Panama.
I work in Bartahola Norte three hours in the mornings, return to my homestay for lunch, then have four hours of Spanish lessons all in a row. My brain feels like it will explode by 5 pm, and I am always exhausted afterward. This also, I think, is common. I have been going to bed at around 9:30 every night since I arrived, and everyone in my family always comment on how tired I look. I hope I will improve on that, also. As my Spanish gets better, I believe my brain will stretch and I will regain my energy.
A couple of people in my homestay family say that my Spanish has improved in the past three days, which I’m grateful for, but I’m not sure I believe them. There is still so much I don’t know. I have to tell Dona Adilia’s grandchildren that I can’t understand them when they talk with food in their mouth, and I have to tell others to face me when they talk.
More on my homestay family in el futuro!