We lay in our mosquito net looking at blue paneled walls, surf boards leaning against all corners, and an adopted cat nicknamed Finca (Farm cat in Spanish) is licking herself clean in her self claimed chair by the window. We play the gecko TV game of betting what gecko will eat the most bugs on the lamp above. The fan blows humid, slightly cooler air through the net. Beyond the porch, the night is filled with an orchestra of sounds, bugs of the tropics, locals blasting tunes and the odd cat yowling. Above stretches a canopy of stars that reach horizon to horizon, palms whispering and dancing In the shadows.

How do we explain days that drift by here in Nicaragua? For many the reality is a harsh existence of hand to mouth living, yet these beautiful people have an eye-shining sense of humor, a resourceful and proud spirit, and pride for their stunning country.

As time rolls by we begin to see the inevitable balance of good and ill within a country. Our car was broken into and pilfered the other day at the beach, leaving us with a broken window and a stolen IPhone and local cell.

Or when I wake one morning to a tale of my husband helping protect some local boys from a bad fight, driving a truck with two big guys armed with guns in the back, all having a stand off in the street in the midnight hours the night before.

Yet…this afternoon we had lunch with some of the highest connected politicians and family in Central America. An afternoon filled with laughter in many languages, heart felt talks and discussions on the fine balance.

We witness so many different ways of life, like a guy with a full wedding cake riding second on a motor cycle facing backwards, no hands on anything but the cake. Oh how we wanted to get him to wave! Or rush hour on the streets around our place, consists of a major cow jam; these beautiful beasts being moved from pasture to pasture in the early hours of day.

Time is spent surfing and laying in hammocks or going to hang in the VIP section or the total opposite locals floor seats of the most rowdy Central American top baseball league.

Drinking cokes out of bags, or sipping rums on an incredible patio.  Eating chips and drinking beers on the beach with locals, Latin tunes blasting out of the trunk of a car, or buying homemade cowboy boots and dancing in an affluent Tabaco town.

Showering with spiders, scorpions and frogs, or laying in clean linen sheets in a fancy hotel. This place is such a crazy cross section of life.

Hand dug water wells lifted with bike tires, to the best rums in the world. The opposites are endless, yet the beauty is unparalleled. From dry stretching farm lands to lush cloud forests, to amazing marine and surf culture. This country has captured our hearts and our future.

Mornings are an orchestra of music. A plethora of birds greet the day, as peach hues bleed across the dawn. Farms sounds fill the air, cows, and horses call to one another. Our adopted cat anticipates our awakening and trolls the outside of the mosquito net, mewling and clawing, wanting to play. The sky lightens and the kiss of offshore wind breathes downslope across the hills to the sea.

We often paddle out at sunrise. Pelicans skim the glassy water, as frigates catch thermals building high above. The tide ebbs and flows, and dogs frolic and tussle on the shore, harrying the approaching passerby. Pigs snuffle, chickens peck and new chicks peep behind their mothers along the dusty roads. San Cristobal, one of the prominent volcanos in the area, reaches up adding to the perfect backdrop of the rising rising sun.

I have taken to watering my favourite tree as we drive to the surf each morning, which happens to be the national flower. My hopes in getting the tree to bloom long into the dry season is working. As we pass by I harvest blooms that have fallen on the ground and tell my trees to “Grow grow grow!”

To our grateful surprise when we went to hang in a very rustic and thrashed cop shop on the advice of everyone we asked, we were received with sincerity and concern for our stolen things and broken into car. This morning the troubled kid and his whole slew of males in the family showed up to give us back our stuff and make an apology. A rare site to see in a third world country.

We have surfed less on this trip than any other but our time has been filled with getting to know our new community, to improve our language skills and fall deeply in love with this incredible country.

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