Le Iglesia de San Felipe

Le Iglesia de San Felipe

I´ve arrived in the city where I will be for the next ten months. I´m staying at the University Guesthouse, where I have a private room and there is a common kitchen.  It´s perfectly decent and clean, the only thing is everyone here is foreign (therefore speak german or english more than spanish), there are very strict policies about guests and they lock the kitchen at night.  So for now, it´s fine – tranquilo – and a very good place to stay while I work things out at the University and CEPRODEL.

The first thing you notice when you get here is that León has a church every four blocks.  Most of the addresses are in relation to churches – el Merced, San José, San Juan, Guadelupe, Sutiaba, San Francisco, el Calvario, Laborio.  The church above is San Felipe, it´s right next to the guesthouse, so all I say when I take a taxi home at night is “el hospedaje al lado de San Felipe por favor” and they know exactly which one.

This city is cute and colorful and absolutely the opposite of Managua.  Easy to navigate and walk around.  The people are super friendly.  Last night a graduate from the Agro Ecology program at the University took me out on the town with his brother to show me the nightlife.  It was a hilarious adventure, and I think he may have learned as much as I did.  First he took me to the supermarket.  I said thanks but we have too many of those in the states.  Then he proceeded to show me Payless Shoes, the mall, the movie theater, and Tip Top, the fast food joint where he said we could get dinner – the best fried chicken and fries in town.  Finally I said I really wasn´t interested in going to a movie, and wasn´t there somewhere to get Nicaraguan food?

That´s how we ended up at a billiards hall slash cafeteria, ordering tostones, platanos, and gallo pinto.  The girl serving us tried to ask Freddy if I was his girlfriend without me hearing, and before he could answer I told her no, he was my guide.  She gave me a huge smile and laughed, obviously not expecting me to understand her quick side comment.

We ended up at a club, with Theda, a german girl also staying at the guesthouse with me, and some of her Nicaraguan friends.  The music was too loud, strobe lights annoy me, and it wasn´t really my scene.  But we had paid a cover to get in, and I ended up having fun joking with Freddy, Maurice, and their friends (all guys of course….), and dancing every fifteen minutes or so when they played a merengue in between the electronic crap.  I´m sure I´ll find better places to go dancing, but it was a good start.