Category Archives: Nicaragua

Rainforest Lullaby

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Have you ever slept in the jungle? With the rhythm of nocturnal animals and the hum of insects soothing you to sleep? It might not be the soundless night you are familiar with, but there is a reason they make CDs of rainforest sounds with the purpose of lulling babies to sleep. It’s no secret that the noise of the jungle can be calming.

monkey in rainforestHowever, the best part of sleeping in the jungle might not be the sleeping at all. It might be waking up, to the mysterious sounds of the early risers, frolicking in the trees all around you. What will first cause you to stir? Will it be the high-pitched bird songs, the low cry of the howler monkey, the splashing of pelicans diving into the ocean for breakfast, or all of the above? You might be up early, but that’s okay. You need to set off in pursuit of those sounds.

Thinking of all this, caused me to modify one of my favorite poems:

 

 

“If Once You’ve Slept in the Jungle” {Adapted from the poem “If Once You’ve Slept on an Island” by Rachel Lyman Field}

If once you have slept in the jungle
You’ll never be quite the same;
You may look as you looked the day before
And go by the same old name, rainforest drops
You may bustle about in street and shop
You may sit at home and sew,
But you’ll see leaves of green and colorful birds
Wherever your feet may go.
You may chat with the neighbors of this and that
And close to your fire keep,
But you’ll hear birds whistle and monkeys howl
And rain beat through your sleep.
Oh! you won’t know why and you can’t say how
Such a change upon you came,
But once you have slept in the jungle,
You’ll never be quite the same.

Teach a Man to Say Fish

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Ceviche can also be bought as street food. Here we are in Zarcero, shopping for a snack.

 

The same rule about not judging a book by the cover applies to food.

Tackling another language is tricky, so it’s smart to start with survival words. Teach a man to say fish, and voila! He has dinner. Well, technically he has to say the right word for fish otherwise he may be served something that’s still swimming. In Spanish the word for fish that is still breathing is pez and the word for the fish you probably prefer to have on your plate is pescado. It’s like pig and pork.

 

 

 

 

Pescado is one of the most memorable foods you’ll experience in Central America. It’s fresh, cheap, plentiful, and delicious. Menus everywhere feature fantastic fish dishes ranging from the appetizer of ceviche (like a cold fish soup/salsa) to the most epic of entrees, the pescado frito entero. It’s a mouthful all right! A mouthful of mind-blowingly tasty fresh fish which is fried to perfection and served on a plate alongside accompaniments like succulent tomato salsa, tostones that will make you forget all about french fries, and a slice of lime if your tongue takes pleasure in an added tang.

 

 

Family style is always a fun way to have a feast when you’re on vacation~

 

Eating it is labor intensive, but that doesn’t seem to stop the locals or the tourists who discover how much flavor is packed into each piece of meat that must be picked off the bone. Yes, picked. First timers may approach the dish with their fork, but it quickly becomes clear that fingers work best. Pescado frito entero can be prepared with a variety of fish—the only requirement is that it must be fresh, and in Central America, lack of fresh fish isn’t an issue.

 

At any beachfront restaurant in San Juan Del Sur, this dish featuring an entire fish will set you back about $10. You’ll have plenty of money left to souvenir shop in town and just enough room left for dessert. Maybe next week we’ll share our favorite Central American dessert. Well, not the dessert itself because that we do not share!

Tip: order this at the upstairs section of Henry’s Iguana in San Juan Del Sur to take in the closest thing to an aerial view in town.

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