First steps in Nicaragua

More than 3 weeks I’ve been in Nicaragua, it’s time to give some news!

My first impression when I breathed for the first time the Nica air: it’s very hot, I will have to adapt myself!

After a few days in Managua, we went, my colleague and I in Somotillo on the northwest of the country, where we are going to spend the 5 following months.

Somotillo is a small city: about 10,000 people live in the urban area and more than 20,000 in rural ones. Somotillo is very close to the border with Honduras. Thanks to this particularity, the city could implement services and trade. That’s a very good point for the local economy. In rural zones, agriculture is the main resource of people.

Somotillo is celebrating from the 1st to the 10th of August, patron saint Lorenzo. Children enjoy eat toffee apples, merry-go-rounds and other attractions, while adults spend good time between friends and families around barbecues. Horses parade or Queen of the city election are also events that people really enjoy during these days. I had the opportunity to assist at the Horses parade and it was awesome to see as horses dancing and parading. But on the other side, they looked very thirsty, tired and suffered from heat.

For short distances, people use to move with tricycles. A man drives it and the passengers sit down in front of the vehicle. Of course there is like a roof to protect from the sun or the rain! It is a very practical and ecological mean of transportation for short distances and I’m sure it could find fans in Europe!

For longer distances, between cities, the famous yellow (and other colors by the way) old school buses are used. The good point number 1 is that we cannot starve as many sellers suggest food or some drinks. The good point number 2 is that it’s cheap. The bad point is it’s not very comfortable and it is very hot when it has not yet started!

Another very important point I want to share : the food. Rice and red beans are the two basic elements and are in almost each meal. Chicken, fried bananas are also very common. I´m lucky to be not vegetarian because meat is almost everywhere.
And I’m sad when I meet a chicken running in the street because I know that soon it will finish in a plate! Vegetables miss and fruits don’t seem very common as well, except watermelon: we can see in the streets big piles of them!

Bottles of water are going to be my best friends here. People prefer sodas or beers but for me, I’m still very attached to water and I have to develop a real strategy to have water with a good temperature: when you buy a bottle, it is frozen water and if you wait too long (I mean no more than one hour depending if it’s hot or very hot outside!) it becomes hot. So you have to be thirsty when the water is on a good temperature. That could be a challenge!

Last point but not least: music! Music is everywhere, in the houses, buses, restaurants, tricycles… The sound is often too strong but the melody makes you dance anyway. And people love dancing, singing, enjoying music!

 By Emmanuelle Legay

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