The colonial-style houses here hold secrets. From the outside, they are as attractive and colorful as a box of crayons, but size-wise they don't look like much. Walking past the exterior, you'd never know what was inside. In our house, for example, you enter the front door and walk into an open air living room, kitchen, and sitting area, all of which surround a green courtyard, filled with plants, blue sky, a fountain, and some cats lazing in the sun. There are four bedrooms, and an indoor/outdoor pool, but you'd never know it from the outside. Other houses on the street hold even more members of the family. You can tell because at night they ditch the shady common areas and hang out on the sidewalks outside their front doors. Family time and ties are essential here.
I'm glad to be staying with the hotel owner, Eloisa, and her boyfriend, Danilo, so I can enjoy a peek into what Nicaraguan life is like (for the financially well-off, at least). I've always found trips where I stayed with a host family to be a little more special than backpacking through hostels, even though each method can be rewarding in its own way.
When I was interviewing for the job, Eloisa kept warning how hot it is here. I can assure you that she's never been to Texas in the summer. It's really only hot hot here at midday. The morning brings a refreshing breeze that blows through the outdoor yoga shala at the hotel and everything chills back out by 4pm. In the meantime, there's plenty of shade and no shortage of places to keep cool.
The shower is cold, shocking, and handheld but it's a nice way to lower your temperature before bedtime. There's no A/C anywhere, so I may have to give up my granola crunching stance against anti-perspirant, but for now, I'll just be slathering myself in essential oils and making sure no one comes too close.