Hanging around Granada with a Peace Corps. volunteer

From Leon we drove to Managua, the capital, and spent a night there. We kinda got bad vibes from Managua (not that anything is particularly was wrong) and didn’t even feel like wandering around there, so we ended up leaving the next day for Granada.

Granada is the biggest tourist trap in Nicaragua, we’ve been told. It’s beautiful, right on a lake, has lots of restaurants and hotels for any budget and therefore – lots and lots of tourists.

We really enjoyed our time in Granada, but as always, it’s the people that make the difference, and our personal US Peace Corps. volunteer has lot to do with it..

When we got to Granada from Managua, we had almost a whole day to pass before we were scheduled to meet with Avi, who is a Peace Corps. volunteer here in the city.
We walked around the center a bit, and wandered around in search of a not-so-hot place where we could just hang out till the afternoon. There’s a park near the lake where we slung the hammock and lounged for a couple of hours.
Avi is from Florida (not Israel, despite the name), and he’s been in Nicaragua for over a year, for his Peace Corps. service, and still has a year to go. He’s actually the first Peace Corps. volunteer we’ve ever met, and it’s fascinating to hear all about it from him and his friends.
We went to his lovely little apartment and he took us to eat Pollo Frito, a traditional Nica dish. It’s a grilled chicken, served with fried plantains (the big bananas) – plantain fried from the green one, and deep-fried chunks from the ripe ones. It also comes with a spicy cabbage salad, and it’s all stuffed into a huge banana leaf for the take-away. We also got some Gallo Pinto, another Nica specialty, which is rice with red beans. It was all really good…

The next day we helped Avi with a seemingly strange task. There’s a former Peace Corps. volunteer that’s living here, and she arranges different projects with volunteers from around the world. She has veterinarians, fresh out of school, who come here for two-three weeks and neuter cats and dogs. Avi had just convinced his neighbors to get their dog, Tom, fixed, and we took him to the clinic where they do the operation. Tom was returned that evening and he is doing fine.

For the rest of the day we just hung out around Granada, getting into random conversations and walking around in the rain, which relieved the heat a little. In the evening we made a huge hummus-shakshuka dinner with Avi and Regina, his girlfriend, who came to join us from Managua. It was fun preparing everything together, and seemed like they really enjoyed the food.

(hummus pics courtesey of Avi)

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