A first time for everything

Even though we are traveling to new places every couple of days, we don’t always feel like we’re experiencing new things at that same rate. For example, though we’d never ridden a ferry big enough to carry cars across a lake to an island formed by volcanoes, we have ridden lanchas (15-ft motor boats) across a stormy lake in the middle of a volcanic crater. So really, they’re pretty similar experiences.

This morning, we had ourselves a big ol pile of genuine firsts.

  1. It was the first time we had woken up in a very rustic guest room of an empty cafe, and were the only people in the building, and didn’t really know how to get out of the building.
  2. It was the first time we woke up to the sound of a pig being slaughtered.
  3. It was the first time Mike got out of bed to stand outside in his underpants and flip flops throwing stones at the unknown animal that was moving the roof tiles above our heads.
  4. It was the first time we used a latrine — that was inside our bathroom (awesome perk for rainy season).
  5. It was the first time we chased pigs out of the yard before breakfast — which was served to us privately by the owner of the cafe before he closed the cafe again and went on with his day.
  6. It was the first time we hiked up a long hill, into the woods, and found ourselves looking at ancient petroglyphs.
  7. It was the first time Mike stepped around a sizable (12″ long, 4″ high) anthill to get in the shower.

There are several other experiences that we’ve picked up along the way and have since gotten quite used to. For example, cold showers have been the norm for months (though honestly, they’re still shocking each time). Encountering people with machetes on the street is more common than encountering people without machetes. Seeing people riding 3 to a bike, helping people move their rebar or bags of fertilizer off the public bus, and making sure all of the stuff in our room is covered during a storm in case of roof leak are all things we don’t really think about anymore. Funny how that happens.

In a few days, we’ll be taking a bus south from Nicaragua to Costa Rica. It will be the first time we’ve crossed a border via bus and not through airport customs. We’ve heard it is quite an experience. I guess we’ll see…

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