Over the past three weeks our house has been filled with visits from friends and family. Our visitors brought with them a curiosity that infused our day to day routine with excitement and adventure. Each visitor came with different interests and questions, bringing a fresh perspective to what was becoming 'normal'. Caity, our first friend to visit, took advantage of every opportunity to learn Spanish and wanted to know as much as possible about her new surroundings. Caity bravely went for a three day home stay in the campo during her first week to learn about lives of campesinos in Nicaragua. Maeve and Alisa arrived the following week. We set them up with some of the local tours guides that I work with at the foundation. Maeve and Alisa had much more fun with these guys than they would have with me and Brad (read: old farts). Each day, in addition to the planned excursion, they were riding on tops of buses, learning some Tarzan moves (like swinging from vines in the forest), and showcasing their knowledge of 80's music. Everyday they returned to the house with funny stories about their adventures and giggling about all that was lost in translation during the days conversation.
Our last weekend together, with some friends from San Ramon, we explored a town in the North called San Rafael del Norte, home to one of Nicaragua's legendary figures Augusto Sandino. In this quiet, mountain town we visited a beautiful cathedral and a dust covered museum for Sandino where we were introduced to an old man who met Sandino in his childhood. At sunset we headed back south and because of rain we all squeezed into the cab of the truck. We passed the hour-long ride singing our favorite 80's songs at top volume. It was good prep for our night of dancing at Matagalpa's hotspot Venancia which hosted an odd mix of salsa, cumba, and forgotten 80's tracks. We spent Sunday morning with our friend Jimmie (also a local guide) who taught us how to make jewellery with seeds. When we dropped off Caity, Maeve and Alisa at the bus station on Sunday afternoon my throat was sore from all the laughing and singing over the weekend!