I once read in an issue of Travel & Leisure magazine that Nicaragua “is not flawless but it is perfect”. Judging by the photos that ran with the article I wasn’t too convinced by the statement, but now, after my first week in the country I realized that no photo could adequately present the beauty of the region since Nicaragua’s magic doesn’t only pertain to the exceptional nature and eco treasures, but also to the way Nicaraguans are.
From what I’ve had the chance to observe, this is a nation of friendly, happy, authentic and humble people who are inviting and hospitable. They have an incredible tolerance for heat and long-distances and what someone coming from the States for example, would call extreme discomfort. I was amazed by an older woman, who was given a ride by us recently in the back of our pick up truck where we had space, who despite the storm and severe downpour after reaching her destination instead of looking miserable after having ridden in the rain for around 45 minutes, thanked us saying that the rain is “muy rica!” (lovely!).
Despite the surprising correllation I found between Nicaragua and Poland, where I’m from, I am shocked on a daily basis by sights and curiosities that could easily make the covers of travel magazines. I’ve even decided to keep a list of “culture shocks” of the day, some of which include:
– seeing a jaw-dropping 12 people in a 5-door car,
– a group of 5 vultures casually crossing the street (“why did the vulture cross the road?”) and
– seeing a multitude of objects from enormous ladders to helium tanks being transported on bicycles.
I’ve been discovering something new and beautiful each day, especially thanks to Peta and Ben who as connoisseurs of the region know exactly what direction to point me in to find the best Nica specialties and the most interesting sites to complete my Central American experience.