Jenny’s first week in Granada

After Chris has described his routine here in Granada, it’s time for me to do the same and tell you a little bit about how my life looks like in Nicaragua. As we have mentioned before, I take Spanish classes at Casa Xalteva which last from 8 to 12 every day apart from weekends.

In the mornings after a great breakfast with amazing fruit and some good coffee, we are always a little bit late so we hurry for the school which is about 5 minutes from our house. There, I meet my teacher María who is one of about 6 teachers at the school. María is a really nice and funny woman in her thirties who has four kids between 5 and 13 and has been a teacher at the school for the last 11 years.

Chris and María at the Plaza Central
Chris and María at the Plaza Central

Actually, I have booked group classes at the school but this week, I was lucky: I had individual classes with her, even if there are around 10 different students at the school at the moment.

We always start with conversation for about an hour. The topics range from what we did the day before in the afternoon to the refugee crisis in Europe, Nicaraguan politics, María’s various family members or even national pride in Germany. It is very surprising that is possible to actually talk about all these things for me but María is a very patient teacher and my Spanish has already improved dramatically. María does not speak English but fortunately she knows many words. This is very helpful as she can translate things if I do not understand the description. After conversation, we do some grammar and she revises my homework from the day before. She decided on which grammar we do in the beginning of the week after the first conversation. Noticing that I cannot really do the past tense very well and also confuse “por” and “para” which are two similar words roughly meaning “for”, she decided that this is what we are doing in the first week.

The classes are very interesting and we had a lot of fun together so far. I just wonder how well we will know each other after four weeks, as we talk about so many things in the classes every day. Today I even told her my whole Turkey exchange student story. On Wednesday and also on Friday, we did some little excursions during the class. On Wednesday we went to a town called Catarina together with two other students and teachers. The town is placed above the so-called “Laguna de Apoyo” which is a volcanic lake close to Granada. The view was really great and we walked around there a little.

The Laguna from above
The Laguna from above

Laguna and volcano

One of the teacher also picked fresh guavas from a tree there for us. The excursion was really nice. We took the bus for about 40 minutes. DSC_0259It felt like I was in a movie because all the buses here are old school buses from the US, so just like the one in Forrest Gump for example!

On Friday, there was a celebration in Granada, again probably because of the independence month.

A corn tortilla with cheese, served in a banana leaf
A corn tortilla with cheese, served in a banana leaf
A different type of litchi
A different type of litchi

On the Plaza Central, there was a marching band playing and some school kids danced and played the drums. In addition, there were many booths offering traditional Nicaraguan food in addition to places selling vegetables and fruit. Chris came along as well and we got weird-looking litchis and something called rellenita which is a little tortilla made of corn with cheese inside. Delicious!

Here you see an overview of Plaza Central.Plaza Central

In the afternoon on Friday, we did something else to make you jealous, namely climbing the tower of the Merced Church. From the top of the tower, you can see all of Granada plus some of the volcanoes close by as well as the lake. It’s amazing and also very interesting because you see how all the houses are built around a little garden in the middle, same as Thelma’s house. From above, this makes for some beautiful pictures.

Granada Jenny Chris Granada 2The weekend is already over and I haven’t posted this blog entry before because we were so busy on the weekend that there was no time to go to some place with internet. We will write about the weekend activities soon. So watch out for the next post and read about our excursions during the weekend!

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