Here we go, on my way back to Nicaragua. Goodbyes are said again. We basically developed a way of doing this now. My friends and I just pretend we see each other again next week, say a quick casual goodbye and then walk into different directions. With family it’s different.
I’m thinking back of my first travels. An 8 month journey seemed so long and goodbyes used to be a big thing. Now we try to downplay the goodbyes because ‘we will see each other at Christmas already again anyway’.
And so I walk through the gate, walking out of a world where everything is producible. I’m passing a bookstore containing one complete corner dedicated to ‘how to’ books: how to be a leader, how to win friends and influence people, how to be a career tiger and super mommy at once, and on and on it went. It find it ridiculous, and I’m happy to go back to a place that can be so confronting because of all the things that are simply NOT there neither producible.
So here we go. Back to challenges. Back to ‘mañana mañana‘ and ‘everything will work out’, even though Nica life suprises you daily with new challenges.
In the plane I find out I lost my Nicaraguan sim card. At my stop over my friend who had been taking care of my house tells me that my car won’t start anymore, and is stuck on a dirt road somewhere in the hills. All good so far, nothing unexpected happened yet. I’m arriving late and next morning I arrive at Playa Maderas, my home. So here I am, without car, without phone. Without internet at the house because I couldn’t pay the bill when I was away (automatic bank transfers do not exist here yet). I’m asking my guard to make a phone call with his phone but he’s out of credit. I’m inspecting the house, finding a broken door lock, and some bent wood work. But, my guard has surprised me by making me some bar stools, planting some greens and by building some walls around the terrace. So sweet!! Untill I find out that he had himself paid double those weeks I was gone because of it.
When the cat is away from home…
A friend drives by the house to pick me up, and my first morning back starts with a dip in their infinity pool and a typical Nicaragua breakfast served. I’m borrowing a car to run some errands in town, bribe the internet guy to come reinstall my connection today instead of mañana. Being back here is a new chapter. After working so hard on building a house the past 6 months, being totally overworked and not having had time for surf or yoga, I’m finally about to sail some quiter waters.
So let’s start this new episode well! I’m closing my day with a yoga session at my own rooftop overlooking the ocean. Watching the sun setting slowly into the ocean. When I open my eyes after practice it’s dark, relatively cool, and I feel like I’m settled back into the real world again.
The next morning I wake up early, ready for a surf! Unfortunately, my favorite board is at my friends place up the hill, too far to walk, my car isn’t fixed yet. I take an old board, pass by a surf shop and borrow a leash. Only to find messy waves. Some beginners struggling to get out there. A little sceptical and with a frown on my head I’m walking into the water. Still a little cold. But after 3 steps, that frown disappears and a big grin breaks my face open. Sure you know what I’m talking about. This happens to me All The Time. As soon as I’m in the ocean, I feel so happy. So calm. Every stress disappears and I feel like an idiot the way I’m there on my own smiling like crazy.
However, the fun doesn’t last so long as with my very first wave my leash breaks. So far my first surf session in weeks. I go back home and start to feel miserable. I can’t go anywhere without my car, rain is coming so I need to finish my roof but I’m out of money, I need to get stuff done. The humid, intense heat is killing me. And so I end up on the couch watching Netflix. I’m telling myself that it’s all good. I just got back, missed a lot of sleep, and might have a jetlag. Let’s not be too hard on myself. Nothing lasts for long, not even the bad moods.
And so later that day I meet up with a local friend at the beach, and I’m spending the first hour hugging and joking around with all the local guys cause I was ‘away for so long’. It’s one of the things I love most about here. It is such a small community, and even though you might not wanna call everyone a ‘friend’, you sure can have a hell of a good time with everyone, running into each other every day at the beach and local restaurants. My friend comes home with me and cooks another delicious Nicaraguan dinner. It seems like it’s gonna rain, and I hardly can’t believe it. Last year it basically hadn’t rained until September. And it is so so dry here. All the wells are dry, and buying water is about 70 times the price as it is in Holland.
I wake up in the middle of the night, soaking wet of sweating. The electricity went out again and the heat is unbearable. I slide open all the doors of my apartment to get a little breeze, and I’m smelling rain. Yes. I fall asleep to wake up a few hours later in one of the most beautiful settings I could imagine. A big bed with fresh white linen, sounds of roosters and birds, no people to be seen, a foggy ocean and trees. Wet trees that super quickly now will become green. The most delicious smell of rain. As cheesy as it is this sure wakes up the yogi in me. I’m feeling calm, at peace, ready for an early morning yoga practice followed by meditation. I better enjoy this early morning peacefulness. You never know how long it will last with the intensity of the heat in combination with the still ongoing power outage.
As happy as the rain made me this first night, so much stress it gives me the next day. I wake up to find a little pool of water in my apartment under the house. Water that must have passed through two floors. This must be bad. Real bad. My natural response by now: no panic. This is all gonna pass. So I walk outside, talk to my friend who is trying to tow a cabdriver out of the mud who has been stuck there since 3 at night. Why not enjoy the last 5 minutes of peacefulness, after all I know what’s coming. So when I enter the house above the apartment, I find two clients sleeping on their mattress in the living room. On a floor covered in water. As is the ENTIRE house. I spend the rest of the morning with sponges and towels getting the roof dry (big thanks to my workers who thought it’d be smart to build a circle of building blocks around the roof, so the water had nowhere to go except through the roof). Thank god it’s custom in Nicaragua to have a cleaner working for you, so I don’t have to bother too much about the mess inside the house.
Later that day I pick up my friend Elize from the boarder who’s visiting me for 6 weeks. I do it Nica style: there’s a nail in my tire leaking air. The first days I show her my typical life here: sunset beers, driving backwards down a hill in a half broken car without backlights after drinking too much rum&ginger, the weekly pizza night with friends. Two days later, her boyfriend arrives. Ofcourse, Nica style. The nail in my tire is replaced by a loose hood, preventing us to go any faster than 50km an hour. I guess, after all the velocity meter doesn’t work. As we enter the boarder, a guy walks up to us to return me my car license, which I apparently lost on the same spot 2 days ago. My friend is laughing; there’s a lot to complain, but definitely also a lot to appreciate about the Nicaraguans.
The rest of the week? We built a plastic roof, but unfortunately not yet well enough to prevent me having to go onto the roof every single night of the week to clean away the water as soon as it starts raining.
Nicaragua, the land where good and bad follows each other up so rapidly I hardly can keep track.
The first week took a bit to settle back into Nica life again, but for next week I’m prepared..
Next week: Mother Ocean strikes again
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