Jamaican Apples (aka Otaheiti Apple) remind me of a red pear with the core of an avocado and the texture of an apple. Our hostess, Neyda, had a tree of them in her backyard and her helper, David, obliged our request to try one. He scampered up the tree to fetch a few for us to try. In Nicaragua, the fruits are eaten ripe, with or without the skin. It is sometimes eaten unripe with salt and vinegar or lime juice.
Today we would also enjoy a day hike from San Ramon out into the country. It was a beautiful day for a hike. Everyone walks, uphill, downhill, all around. If you need to go far, you hop on a bus or hitch a ride. If you need to market or buy something, you carry it.
As we walked, we saw what appeared to be ordinary fences from local wood. The fascinating thing is the wood/branches are cut and simply put in the grow and they grow into trees/hedges for the property. (never would happen in Colorado!)
After our hike, local craft fair, and two more wonderful meals with Neyda, we were off to a farewell concert and dancing in the park. It was a wonderful week with many unforgettable, enriching moments. Now it was time to return to reality but with memories that I will cherish.
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man/woman healthy, wealthy (maybe) and wise. We were advised to bring ear plugs for our stay in San Ramon because truly the cocks crow at dawn…and sometimes in the middle of the night. I rather enjoyed it, reminding me of the many years on the Iowa farm. Neyda, again prepared a wonderful breakfast for us including fried plantains, pinto gallo, fresh avocado, watermelon, with fresh pineapple juice. It was sooo good.
Next we were off to Los Pipitos: Center for Children With Disabilities. My generous travel group delivered supplies for the center. Los Pipitos works to change local perceptions of children with disabilities and provide children with services. For more information on Los Pipitos as well as other health care initiatives from Sister Cities of San Ramon (SCSRN), visit http://san-ramon.org/what_we_do/health-care.
Next we were off to visit a local entrepreneurship supported by SCSRN, paper-making by local women. The women utilize discarded paper making beautiful paper and crafts for sale.
After our tour the women sold blank paper in addition to beautiful handmade books, bookmarks, and cards.
Guess what! It’s time to eat again. Neyda served fresh tortillas, beets, rice, yucca, peppers and onions. It’s so interesting to experience the local foods and traditions.
Next we were off to experience another entrepreneurship of jewelry making. The locals make gorgeous jewelry from the local seeds that are beautiful in their own right. We had the opportunity to design and make our own jewelry. My masterpiece is shown below. Tomorrow we will attend a local craft fair and be able to purchase pieces from local artisans.
Siesta! The hammock was calling me (although entry was not so graceful) and read Sarah’s Key, on the docket for my next book club discussion. While the storyline of the book is anything but relaxing, I thought it would be fun to take a picture reading the book in paradise to send to my book club buddies.
After my siesta, we were ready to experience Nacatamals, a Nicaraguan dish similar to a tamale. Can’t wait for another experience to make (and eat) a local delight!
We arrived in San Ramon around lunch. The FEV guides, walked us to our host family homes where we would stay for the next three days. The walk through the village of San Ramon was enlightening with people working, people walking, children playing, and the sound of music and nature everywhere.
Roommate, Sally, and I were the last stop, staying with our wonderful hostess Neyda and her daughter Gabriella. After a warm welcome and a quick opportunity to drop our bags in our own Cabana, we sat down for lunch. Neyda prepared a wonderful meal of chicken, cabbage salad, fresh tortillas, tomatoes, radishes and star fruit from her garden!
Neyda’s backyard was a haven for wonderful fruit, today showing the star fruit, passion fruit, and mango. I wish I could grow these in Colorado!
After lunch, it was time for our walking tour of San Ramon, visiting the church, parks, etc. After another wonderful dinner, we were off to the community library for a welcome ceremony with local dancers.
Another wonderful day and experience. Tomorrow we will observe paper making, jewelry making, and local cuisine.