I don’t really send mail in Nicaragua – the post office is this great corner building in RIVAS – an old colonial building with the entrance sliced diagonally across the corner closest to the street, exposing the two foot thick adobe mud walls. Inside its dark and cool with just a small glass case of colorful stamps bearing the images of Nicaraguan birds, and insects and fauna and a dark, worn, wooden counter flanked by numbered post boxes. Our number was 28, the key was on a plastic keychain with an old 50s pinup photo, but it has been years since the box has received any mail. When we first moved to Nicaragua my mother-in-law would send newspaper articles and birthday cards. The boys would receive letters covered in hearts from girls at the school they were no longer attending in the states. I would get postcards from friends travelling other far flung places with postmarks that went back weeks even months. After a couple of years the mail stopped coming or just got more irregular. We stopped checking for mail and we most likely neglected the rent on the box. I should check for mail, maybe there’s something in there waiting to be picked up. There is nothing better than a handwritten note, postmarked from a far-flung location with an exotic stamp!
Besos y Abrazos de Nicaragua,
Susan, Two Brothers Surf Resort
So yesterday was Dia de Padre, Father’s Day in Nicaragua – very close to our own Fathers’s Day in the US last week. We gave our Chef Henry a very badly needed day off since he’s been cooking nonstop for guests at Two Brothers Surf since March – this week has been our first lull. Henry helped me prepare a feast of pizza last weekend for Robert’s celebration of Father’s Day and we wanted him to enjoy the day with his own clan. I think he probably worked on his motorcycle all weekend, because he’s had to huff it up our hill to Casa Loma for the past month on foot. Our grounds keeper Enrique did work for a couple of hours in the morning to pump water from the well on the farm in the valley below to our property and the holding tank on the top of the hill – an almost daily chore when we have guests.
I made sure to wish Enrique a happy fathers day, as he is a somewhat new father, having had his first child just last year. When I wished him a happy day he replied with a comment that translated roughly into something like “Fathers day is the day that the children show happiness to their father” – this sweet man who lives in a very modest home with a clay tiled roof and immaculately clean mud floor, really hit the nail on the head – gift giving in Nicaragua is so simple – you give yourself, your smile, your laughter, your love, your time.
It goes so far beyond the big dollar hallmark holidays where cards cost $5 and roses that normally cost $30/dozen rise to $90/dozen on Mothers Day. Life truly is that simple and I am so happy to live in Nicaragua and be reminded of the small things that really matter and the big things that don’t!
Yesterday Auggie and Robert took the boat out fishing while the rest of the gang and guests surfed via land at Popoyo. Many times the boat trolls for fish, doing double duty while bound for Playgrounds surf break to the north or Colorados surf break to the south – but yesterday the boat went straight out with the intent of bringing back fish – and that they did – an impressive cooler full in less than two hours!
It’s quite possible it took Henry more time to clean and fillet the fish into sashimi, ceviche, and fillets for dinner that it took Robert and Auggie to catch them! We had an amazing dinner with five captains at our table – South African captain Kippa with his lovely partner Katie, St Auggie captain Brian Holloway and his lovely new bride Kelsey, and of course our three resident Two Brothers Surf captains Robert, Marsh and Auggie.
Henry our chef and his chef-in-training younger brother Gerry rocked an amazing meal of cero mackerel that swam in the pacific only hours earlier. Gracias!
The sun in Nicaragua is intense, and we are living out in it from 6 o’clock in the morning until 6 o’clock at night most days. Being good parents (or so we thought) we have our boys in the habit of putting sunscreen on in the morning when they wake up and brush their teeth. Not just on their face, and not just once, multiple layers and multiple brands. Then last week I saw on CNN that most sunscreens contain hormone-altering chemicals! So quite possibly in an effort to protect our kids from skin cancer we are slathering on them toxic gender-bending chemicals that may, in the long run, actually increase the incidence of cancer!! Not a good thing and it now has me reading labels I should have paid attention to long ago…
Check out what skin Biology has to say about toxic sunscreens:
And you can access the CNN study at:
…from one well meaning mom that will pay more attention to what goes on and in her surfers!
Susan, Two Brothers Surf Resort, Popoyo, Nicaragua
While some foodies love to shop rural markets for local flavor, others like to be served on vacation… And for those of you that fall in the later of the two categories, we have decided to feature some of the best local flavors available along Playa Guasacate in the surf zone of Popoyo, Nicaragua. So surf hard, get hungry, and relax to a good Nicaraguan meal. First up is the garden restaurant of Dona Delores, Amores del Sol, and if the attention she pays to her garden is any indication to the efforts she puts into preparing your food, you should be in for a real satisfying meal …
Amores del Sol, which translates to “Lover of the Sun”, sits at the end of the long dirt road that leads to the southern end of Playa Guasacate and the infamous surf breaks of Popoyo and the Outer Reef. Family owned, the restaurant has been open now for almost 7 years, and you are guaranteed some of the friendliest service and freshest food on the beach. The key to their business is Dolores Mena, the owner of the restaurant, who puts a lot of effort in the kitchen, but even more love into her garden where you will find her every morning! One of the main attractions is Max, a white face monkey from the northern Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua and Brenda and Roy, the two crazy “lapas” parrots. Most likely you will also see, Scooby, the house dog that is always around. Manager and family member Angel says, “If you come, you will enjoy good food, good services and friendly people. Don’t worry if you do not speak Spanish, you can always count with me to translate for you and help you with anything you may need. So come on… surf, swim, eat and relax at the Amores del Sol!”
Two Brothers Surf Resort
Las Salinas, Popoyo, Nicaragua
Yes, there may be some things that are worth giving up today – five dollar cups of coffee, two hundred dollar designer jeans, ten dollar movies… But as families are finding ways to save, they are also finding better ways to spend their money and spend time together. When was the last time you had breakfast, lunch, and dinner with your family? For that matter, when was the last time you caught your dinner! I have to admit, my family is quite lucky… We live in Nicaragua for 6 months out of the year and every day feels like vacation. We wake every morning without an alarm clock to the sun rising over the volcano. The first order of the day is simply walking out on the porch and checking the waves. I make a fresh pot of Nicaraguan coffee (which costs less than 5 dollars for the entire bag of beans!) The family spends the largest portion of the day TOGETHER, usually surfing, swimming or hiking – but most importantly, whatever is it, even if it is nothing or simply reading – we are doing it together.
We invite you to bring your family to Two Brothers Surf Resort on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast. It is a short flight from the United States and you will probably spend less on your vacation than the money you would spend at home during the same time!
Susan Gregory (and Robert, Marsh and Auggie)
Two Brothers Surf Resort
Las Salinas, Popoyo, Nicaragua