I’ve written before about the sounds of Nicaragua. The constant barrage of cars beeping, horse hooves clopping, vendors calling and dogs barking are as much a part of the fabric of Nicaragua as the volcanoes that loom over every horizon and the natural lakes that bring the cool breezes at night. One of my favorite things about getting to know a new culture has been an exposure to new varieties of music. I love that you don’t need language to appreciate music. It transcends culture and time. It’s also very incestuous – one style of music pulling inspiration from and incorporating others, and it’s fun to follow this evolution across history and culture. I’ve found quite a few favorites since I started exploring latin music, from the soulful sounds of romantic salsa music to the beats of Calle 13. This caught my eyes and ears this week. Enjoy!
I don’t have a teevee at my house, so I haven’t spent much time watching the boob tube. I am caring for a friend’s perro y casa while she’s out of town, so I’ve had a opportunity lately to check out the local stations.
One thing that amazed me is that there are so many language offerings! While in the States we are lucky to have a few stations in Spanish, here there are stations in English, Spanish, French, German, and more languages still. It’s a reflection of the number of tourists and extranjeros visiting and living in Granada. The programing matches, with popular programs from the States presented in original language and many other languages, sometimes with subtitles in yet another language. The news, though, is 100% Nicaraguense.
It is so common, in yoga and in life, to fly through transitions. I find it a very human reaction to be so focused on what is to come next that one neglects to consider the process of getting from here to there. As Steven Tyler said, “Life’s a journey not a destination.”
It’s easier to focus on the transitions in Nicaragua because they take longer. When you’re on foot and on a bus, your transition differs greatly than when you’re in a car of your own speeding from destination to destination. I traveled this weekend to Esteli in Northern Nicaragua. Below are some notes from the ride…
Romantic Latin music plays, accompanied by video, from the front of the bus. Vendors carrying plastic bags of tomatoes and green peppers squeeze up and down the central aisle to sing-song calls of “Tomate, tomate, tomate! Chiltoma, chiltoma, chiltoma!” No need to travel all the way to el mercado for tonight’s meal. The aire here is cooler , three hours North of Granada. “Fresco, no frio,” I’m told when I mention the coolness to fellow travelers. Fresh, not cold.
I’ve mentioned before that I think a lot about what I say in a yoga class. I’m sure I put more emphasis on it than there needs to be. After all, who hasn’t tuned out their yoga teachers at times just to sink into their practice? However, you never know who’s listening at any time, and when that one word or phrase you say will sink in and make a difference in your students’ practice.
It’s fun to get poetical when I teach. Read the rest of this entry
Small, white geckos are prevalent here in Nicaragua. Due to the open floor plan of most houses, they are a frequent sight running up walls into small corners or climbing beams in search of insects. Their official name is in fact the House Gecko. They leave behind them tiny piles of poop, which I have the unfortunate luck of attracting. Is that good luck, perhaps, being blessed by gecko poo bouncing off my head and slipping down the front of my shirt? No se, pero it is a source of amusement. Read the rest of this entry
Once upon a time, the majestic mountain Mombacho exploded raining down ash and earth into the surrounding lake. Earth took root, as earth will do, and formed 365 isletas en el lago. As the name isleta implies, the islands are small – sometimes only large enough for a single house.
I’ve had some interesting experiences as I work with students here in Nicaragua that have presented as challenges. I view a challenge as an opportunity to learn something new about the world and something new about myself, so I welcome these learning experiences. I also welcome your feedback on how you work with students who throw curveballs.
The first challenging experience came when I was teaching a class with only two students. This isn’t unusual for classes here at the gym. Las turistas wax and wane, so our classes at the gym can go from a full house to unexpected private lessons within a day. On this particular day, I had two students who were friends with each other. One student was a long time yoga practitioner, and the other was new to yoga. Read the rest of this entry