Going from my big city modern condo to a very simplistic family centred basic home gave me a bit of culture shock, but the simple life grew on me, and I fell in love with it. Have a peek into how my homestay family lives in Nicaragua.
The winter in Toronto started off with such a vengeance that I couldn’t wait to book a hot getaway! Where to go? Dominican Republic last year was awesome, but I was feeling something a little different. I decided on Granada, Nicaragua. I had heard only good things about it. I contacted a Spanish language school where I would take half day classes, and they connected with with a homestay to really immerse myself in the Spanish language. The drive from Managua to Granada was about an hour, and when my driver pulled up to this very basic and simple home, took his seat belt off and said, “This is your house.” I thought, where am I?? The street was dusty, but one of the first things I noticed was how brightly coloured the homes were and how beautiful their front doors are.
I was instantly greeted by this loving family who instantly made me feel like their own. In this house lives a mom and dad, their 5 adult children, 2 son in laws, 2 grandchildren and a dog. They kindly gave me a private room where I had a shower and toilet all in the same space. Lighting wasn’t great throughout the home, and they didn’t have windows really. I noticed this was also common in other buildings I visited.
The kitchen was very simple, but did my host mom ever cook the best food! Nacatamal, maduro, gallo pinto. Anything she put in front of me, I ate!
We would spend our evenings in the living room playing with the grandchildren, lounging in the rocking chairs, practicing my Spanish and learning about Nicaraguan culture.
Over time, it was obvious to see, that what is most important in Nicaraguan culture is family. They have the basics of what they need and they are truly happy people. They showed me the best time I could have ever imagined on my vacation. Sometimes the simple life is better!