As of tomorrow it will have been a week since all my guests have left, meaning that I have been slightly negligent in keeping up with my blogging. I will try to add in a few extra pictures to this post to make up for lack in reading material over these past couple weeks. My mom and a good friend of mine from Calgary came to visit as I mentioned in my last post. My mom stayed for 10 days; whereas my friend Toni was here for a week before continuing on to meet another friend of hers in Costa Rica. I was hoping to surprise them the morning after they arrived at their hotel to join them on their journey to the island, but circumstances came up which allowed me to be at the airport ‘patiently’ waiting for them to land. I think that I may have ended up there no matter what as I was likely driving the entire office crazy in my excitement to see them!
It was great to see them both, especially my mom as I think this is the longest I have been away without one or the other coming for a visit. We stayed over in Managua and came back to the island the next day. I had originally thought of taking them over to the other side of the island right away, but due to the amount of travel they already had we decided to stay in Moyogalpa and get settled. In other words time for me to unpack and sort through all the wonderful goodies my mother brought down for me. I was extremely spoiled by her, which seems a little unjust as she was already spoiling me by coming to visit for both Mothers Day and her birthday. I may have been a little lacking in celebrating both events, although I did try my hand at making her some chocolate that turned out far darker and in much need of a little sweetness for it to be overly edible. We spent the next day on the island, I introduced them to Laura and Gary who showed them the Cornerhouse and won them over with great food, coffee, conversation and a tour of the rooms. I think Toni was so taken that if she comes down here again may opt to stay at the Cornerhouse rather than with me, which I am trying to take as not an affront on my hosting skills! I thought I had a great plan to bring them to al Ojo del Agua, the fresh water spring, but unfortunately it fell through. I was unable to reach my moto-taxi contact, had flagged away all our other options while I was calling another taxi and traffic was too slow for us to get picked up. So after making my guests walk for 2 km I swallowed my pride and called the family for a number for another taxi. It turned out that it worked in our favour as we were driven there, allowed to swim and have a few drinks, and then had a ride back when closing time came as our driver stayed with us the entire time. That night Ashley and Rubenia joined us for dancing at Jonny’s bar, which to my mother’s dismay did not host the Gallo’s that night even though everything was set up for the event.
Our next adventure was to go to San Juan del Sur where we stayed at a very nice little Bed and Breakfast – the Secret Cove. We spent much of the time relaxing at the beach, having delicious meals out, drinking coffee or the occasional mojito and really not doing much of anything. I found it very relaxing, but am still determined to take my mother surfing somewhere! We came back to town in time for me to work a few days – one at the hospital and one at the clinic so that both remained open. It was extremely busy, which is likely what happens when one starts taking time off and once again I needed some help in setting boundaries to allow myself some time to eat lunch. Also the day I worked in the clinic Mom decided to come with me in the morning to see where it was and meet those I talk about all the time and so we walked there. In the heat, with my giant bag for 6 km. Which will most certainly be the last time I try that game, and then Mom ran and walked the way back as well! She amazes me and makes me continue to promise myself I will be more athletic just so I can keep up with her!
The day Toni left I thought it would be a good idea to take my mom to climb Maderas, the inactive volcano, as I figured I should try my hand at being a proper hostess or tour guide. We managed to convince the guide to pick us up later than normal and arrived at the Volcano about 8 am. We arrived back down about 5 pm, which means than whenever anyone in the future asks me if it really takes as long as the guides say to climb Maderas I actually know the answer, and yes, yes it does! It was no walk in the park, especially near the top where it was slippery, muddy and wet – some of my mom’s least favorite conditions for outdoor activities. We both fell a few times on the way down and I honestly believe if I hadn’t been following her up I would have decided on staying at a lookout point lower down and not continuing on! The next day I spent hobbling about as mom worked on continuing to refurnish my little home. She is just so good to me I can hardly believe it! We also made a surprise, for my Mom, visit to Los Angeles as Angela and her mom had wanted to make her a birthday soup. As is typical for soup it was likely one of the hottest days, sorry Mom! The next day we left the island with Tabby and family during the first real downpour. They were on their way to get plants for the garden and we were on our way to Granada for the night before Mom had to leave. We had a wonderful time in Granada, filled with a spa day and a lovely dinner. Saying goodbye at the airport was likely the hardest, it was made a little easier knowing that Mom was coming back at the end of July and that I would get to see her, and my Aunt, very soon.
This week was back to business as usual. Busy days in the hospital, working on compiling information in the office and a very busy day in the clinic on Friday. Also there was a little more celebrating this week, as it was Tony’s birthday on Wednesday. I was going to join them for a birthday pizza dinner, but in true Nicaragua fashion plans had to be re-arranged as a Nicaraguan feast was prepared for him and so he couldn’t actually make it in for the pizza. In other words I had an extra piece for him. Friday was a little different in clinic, as my lovely co-workers are trying to help me stay firm with my patients and take care of myself and so are helping me work out a system so that patients are seen in a more orderly and private manner. As well the entire office and some were helping in the dispensary to re-organize and clean everything up. It made the clinic quite busy, which was nice as when there are no brigades it can be mighty quiet at times. Yesterday I spent literally the entire day at Laura and Gary’s. As my mom says if I keep this up I will either have to pay them rent or they are going to have to put me to work at the Cornerhouse and I am unsure if my rusty barista skills will do them any justice. Winter seems to have arrived here just as Tony has been predicting for weeks now, as the rains have been deafening at night with the rain hitting the tin roof and last night was quite the thunderstorm. Now I just need to re-evaluate my tour guide skills as I have another opportunity to try them out this weekend as I have more friends coming to visit! Hopefully it will be an improvement from the last round, although I believe everyone had fun and I think all might be interested in future trips down this way.