Meet Monica (left) and Doña Leticia (right) my two beautiful host family members who have graciously let me move in with them. Monica is Doña Leticia's daughter and is quirky, fun and is always complaining about her aches and pains (with a smile) and is always making me laugh. The best way to describe Doña Leticia is lovely and hard working also funny and has so much faith. A little saying they have here is "Si los Dios quieren..." "If God wants it..." and she always says it when she tells me goodnight. Such a faithful saying, that we aren't in control.
They have been nothing short of welcoming, feeding me various types of traditional Nicaraguan foods and always greeting me as I come and go during the day.
Their family comes over everyday which is Doña Leticia son with his kids Pedro (8) and Arianna (10) who love to play and are always asking when I'm coming back to the house. His wife comes in the evenings, the family sits in their rocking chairs and spends time talking before they head home, only to start their day again at 5am.
The funniest best things that have happened is one day Doña Leticia knocked on my bedroom door one morning holding 5 mangoes from their garden and offered to me...they know how much I love fruit.
Another day I set my laundry to soak in a bucket (no washer, be thankful for yours!) I told Doña Leticia, you DON'T have to do my laundry, I'll be back in an hour. I came home and while we were talking I looked up and thought "those look like my shorts...oh wait, they are." She had done ALL of my laundry, she said it was just there...haha.
Every Friday Monica and Doña Leticia makes Nactamales which is masa (corn meal) with meat, tomato, chile, mint, potato and bacon fat cooked, tied up in a banana leaf for 6 hours...these women are incredible cooks. Last week I helped them tie 200 Nactamales for a birthday party. It was so fun to get to help them (and that they let me) because it's such an experience to be able to live and see how differently Nicaraguans live day to day.
They also have a mini farm in their backyard that includes 20 pigs, some ducks, a parrot, some other little birds, chickens, roosters, 4 dogs and apparently have a farm elsewhere, too. I didn't know about the pigs until after being there a week and after having a conversation with Doña Leticia about their farm. I was doing laundry and I heard "oink, oink." I walked to the back only to find Doña Leticia watering the pigs off. It's a noisy place but I think I've gotten used to it and can now sleep...finally.
Amongst this I've seen a fried Iguana in the fridge which was after Monica asked why I like beef and I opened the fridge and was like, "and you like Iguana?" haha As well has chicken feet in a pot of rice. Needless to say things are certainly different.
Living with Doña Leticia and Monica has been a blessing and I'm thankful for their hospitality and friendship. I'm only planned to be living with them until mid-March but I've already been asking to stay with them longer! :)