Matt and I are doing a homestay for 3 weeks while we take badly needed Spanish lessons. Do you know how awkward it is to live in a stranger’s house, with her massive extended family, and have her cook your every meal, and not be able to understand what anyone is saying!? I can hardly think of many more awkward situations.
But that’s just part of it, the whole exerpeince of travelling, isn’t it? You get to get out of your comfort zone, and the more times you do that and the more uncomfortable you are, the faster you grow. I know that tomorrow will be less awkward than today was. And today was less akward than yesterday was. It’s just how it goes. You get used to stuff.
I mentioned that we badly need Spanish lessons. Basically, our first day in Managua, Nicaragua invovled us taking a taxi around town, trying to figure out how to get the bus to San Juan Del Sur.
We never figured it out, by the way. We paid $70USD to have our Spanish school pick us up (it’s a 2 – 3 hour trip).
After our bus station fiassco, we got our taxi driver to take us up some military guarded hill to Loma de Tiscapa so that we could get a panaoramic view of Managua, see Laguna de Tiscapa — a lake in an extinct volcano, and visit the momument to Sandino.
Okay, so she got us up there. Matt just pointed at where we wanted to go and she took us there. But then things got complicated.
We wanted her to wait for us for about 20 minutes. She was our only way down that armed hill. We literally had no idea how to tell her to wait for us while we walked around.
We pointed at her…pointed at the car…made a stop sign with our hands…then pointed at us….made walking fingers…all while one of us was frantically flipping and sweating through our phrase book…then we wrote 20 minutes on a piece of paper and the verb for “to wait”. You’d think that would be clear. (LOL, btw).
It wasn’t. She kept repeating VIENTI DOLLARES. We didn’t want to pay her because we didn’t want her to leave. Our lives felt like they were dependent on her.
So we helplessly continued our mime routine. And she continued to repeat VIENTI DOLLARES. Then she added para gasolina. At that point, Matt looked at the gas gauge and it was on empty. So he forked over $20.
At this point, our choice was basically, continue sitting in the car miming and run out of gas and not see the sights. Or give her money for gas and hope to god she comes back for us. We got out of the car and maybe said a little prayer for her return.
She came back about 20 minutes later – woowhoo! Our miming/prayers worked.
And not only did she come back, she brought a translator with her. Ha!
That’s when we knew that our Spanish lessons would be the best investment we make on this trip.
Sorry, this guy got in the way of the nice view of the Laguna…