February 4, 2017
The transition back to Minnesota has had its ups and downs. There have been many joys and challenges; moments that we have cherished and things about life here that we had seemed to forgotten about. Above all it has been a time of transition and a search for a new normal that cherishes the memories and friends we currently hold at a distance in Nicaragua.
One thing that keeps us connected to Nicaragua is a sizable latino population in Minnesota. It was my goal to find a job where I could speak Spanish everyday, that has happened. It was my goal to connect Estela to peers and role models that share her background, that is happening. And it was my goal to continue to cook and eat foods that were familiar to us in Nicaragua.
Likewise, Kevin speaks just as much Spanish in his teaching position as he did in Nicaragua and he has loved finding Nicaragua-like foods here in MN. His searching has been very similar to the ways in which he sought out U.S. delicacies while we were in Nicaragua.
Earlier this week we met our friend Jacquelyn, who is Nicaraguan, at the market for coffee and reposteria. We enjoyed chatting with one another, eating our dulces and catching up on life. She then suggested that we go to the supermarket across the street to pick up some groceries. There we found Nicaraguan cheese, she helped us to find the ingredients to make bistec and we purchased some fresh mangoes, plantains and chicharrones.
It was good to be back in the mercado. The sights and smells are very different, more kempt and clean. There are prices and nutritional facts on everything. But the people are the same. The smile across the counter when we spoke in Spanish was priceless and we were introduced to everyone there as we shared our story and learned about those who were working at the market. It felt like we were back in Nica until we walked back out into 10 degree weather.
January 16, 2017
January 9, 2017
The time of holiday cheer and Christmas celebration has come and gone. This year we began some new traditions as we celebrated our first December 25th with Estela here in Minnesota. Sinterklaas left mandarins and chocolate in our shoes on December 5th and Estela enjoyed dressing up for Santa Lucia on the 13th as we brought Christmas treats to neighbors and friends. The culmination was of course the celebration of a little baby’s birth which was marked with a morning of sleeping in, eating mocha chocolate stout cake in bed and the sharing of gifts and well wishes as we look to the year to come.
It was great to be with friends and with family and to also spend time, just the three of us during our break from school. Some of the many highlights included Estela learning how to ski and roller skate with the help of her uncle and aunt, going swimming on a regular basis, welcoming in the new year and reading oh so many books together over the break. We hope that you and yours all enjoyed a blessed holiday season as well.
Estela hosted a gingerbread house making party for her friends. It was a fun and hectic afternoon!
Happy Santa Lucia!
We went one last time to the Macy’s 8th floor holiday display. This longstanding Minnesota tradition celebrated it’s last year.
We went to La Natividad, an incredible community production by the Heart of the Beast Theater. We walked from house to house, looking for a room. It was a powerful presentation, presented in both English and Spanish and will definitely become a holiday tradition.
Estela with her favorite Christmas gift, a cellphone.
Her second snowman!
Estela and her Lane cousins on Christmas morning.
Santa came for a visit on Christmas afternoon, these girls must have been extra good this year!
Estela’s first time downhill skiing. Uncle Tommy showed her just how to do it!
While Estela has settled well into MN winter, she still loves the water and being warm. She enjoyed many outings to the pool, this one was extra special with her Van Stryland cousins.
Thanks for reading! XOXO