August 5, 2005

En Granada

I am in the oldest settled town of the mainland Americas! Granada dates back to 1524 and the conquistador Hernandez de Cordoba. Whoo hoo! Somehow, though it fails to elicit such grandeur...I just can't feel the oldness of it like I could in old places in Europe. Maybe because things just get rebuilt here?
My Spanish is finally feeling comfortable. I have been just sitting in the park, people watching most of the day with the occasional walk to another park, and I have had long conversations with 5 people! (a shoe-shine boy of 14, an old man proud to be Granadisto, a guard on the waterfront (the only freshwater lake to have sharks. Yes! It used to be connected to the ocean, but when the land filled in, the sharks were stuck.), and two hammock-sellers.) They're MUCH easier to understand than the Campesinos out in Siuna and beyond, and they tell me while I need practice, my pronunciation is good, I can speak well, understand well, and they're excited that I spend the time to talk to people one-on-one. Instead of being bothered by the hammock people, for instance, I engaged them in a conversation, which ended in joking and a mini english lesson (they asked how to say, "Would you like a hammock? No thank you, I already have one."). That seems like a much more reasonable interaction.

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