Feliz Navidad!

‘Twas the night before Christmas and the streets of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua were rockin!

Tonight children and their families are out and about. They have on their best clothes as they stroll the streets and visit with friends and family.

A burro and horn section led a posadas parade. Children dressed as travelers and angels wore taffeta costumes. They stopped at a house where a teenager appeared as Mary with a Joseph by her side. Mary and Joseph sang to the travelers. Mary, with her crown of stars and flowing blue robes, mounted the burro side saddle and continued on to the church square.

Bells pealed and their noise filled the square. More people entered the church, made the sign of the cross, and sat for services. I chose to add to the offering and be on my way with my Chicas.

The square in front of the church is lit up–every palm tree, the crèche, the surrounding houses and shops. Little kids play in the playground, and wave sparklers, while older ones light fireworks. The bangs and pops fill the town. It will be a Christmas miracle if no child blows off their fingers or loses an eye. The fire trucks cruise the town slowly tonight. There will be little sleep for weary surfers I’m afraid.

Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!

Nica Style

So it’s 2am here in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua and the music is pumping! Okay, the music is pumping and I’m in bed not sleeping. I just shoved orange foam things in my ears and found a George Winston radio station on Apple Radio to try and get some shut eye. Chances that might happen? Doubtful.

This is unfortunate since I’m trying to rest up from the 28 hour journey that got me here. A 12:30pm bus from Portland to Boston Logan. A 5pm initial flight to Fort Lauderdale followed by a four hour lay over. The second flight left at midnight and arrived in Managua at 3 am. (Did I mention I won’t fly Spirit again if I can at all help it?) I got a few hours sleep and a great breakfast before I was in a very bouncy truck with two other young women and our intrepid driver Norman zooming through the Nicaraguan countryside. We zipped by a “chicken” bus (an old school bus now used to move everyone and all their stuff) and a tractor trailer that had dramatically driven off the road–probably due to the haphazard and reckless passing that goes on. That said, who wants to be behind a slow going donkey and cart, or truck with passengers jammed in the truck bed? Not Norman that’s for sure.

We stopped part way to pick up two of our surf instructors who had gone to market. They were so young and full of zest that I ignored my growing car sickness for another half hour or so. Finally though, I had to cry “uncle” and ask to pull over to get some lunch and a break.

The rest of the drive, was better with something in my belly. The land opened to numerous sorghum fields and a wind farm. A volcanic island rose majestically from the middle of a giant lake (I’ll get you names when it’s not 2:30 am). Skinny dogs, horses and cows continued to line the roads but we also saw a wedding and other celebrations.

In San Juan del Sur at last, we found our bedrooms in the Chica Brava Surf House, and had quick orientation so we wouldn’t miss sunset. Good thing too. It was absolutely beautiful. Coral skies over grey ocean with boats silhouetted black on the horizon. We toured the town, ate tostones (fried mashed plantains) and drank Mojitos with fresh mint, then had gelato. I fell into bed at 8:30.

The music has isn’t shaking my bed quite so much. Oh. Wait. I spoke too soon. Anyway, I’d better try to sleep again. We start early tomorrow with our surf board assignments and surf safety and theory. My goal? Get a consistent pop up by midweek. Pictures of the Board Room and surf house when it’s light. Hasta mañana.