You look forward to moving to a new country to meet new people and learn a new culture. Your child, meanwhile, is really just looking forward to having her own pool.
So it goes when you raise a good old fashioned rebel; they tend to surprise you.
For years I have been kicking the tires on the idea of taking Raising a Revolutionary -- with its resident revolutionary -- on the road. Now that the tickets are in my hot little hands, i guess it's time to announce it!
We are moving to Nicaragua at the end of the month. We are not sure when we'll be back, but we have a pool and a guest house and that means we want visitors...
I've probably written a time or two about how important bilingual education is to me. Before kindergarten i bugged and bugged our target school's principal to take us off the waiting list and enroll my RebelAngel. A few sighs and a lot of emails later, we were in. This next step, then, is to go beyond the Spanish-immersion-by-day experience and into an all-day, all-night kind of immersion, for me and for her.
Why Nicaragua? You'll probably chuckle at the short answer: they have tacos. When i am in the midst of a Zumba session or riding my bike for way too long, the first thoughts i have are of my deep love for that most simple of street foods. I started reading blogs -- which included detailed budgets -- from people who are doing the expat thing in Nicaragua, and found that most of them were spending money at taco stands on a regular basis. With that kind of access to tacos, i knew i could survive. Perhaps they won't be the same as they are in Mexico, but i'll survive.
The second, and deeper, reasons are more complex. South America seemed too expensive to fly back and forth. Costa Rica has too many Norteamericanos for my taste. Panama -- been there, wasn't overly impressed. Mexico is always on the list of places to live, work, and play, but i wanted to go somewhere new. That left Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to consider... but with a young beauty in tow and the news rife with talk of human trafficking and refugees piling up in U.S. detention centers, i thought those places were best left as a trip for a brave solo journalist at a later date. (By the way, these trips are always about telling stories, and there will be many to tell!)
That, then, left Nicaragua, with its promises of surfing beaches, monkey jungles, treehouses, brightly-colored colonial towns, and houses that were cheap enough for this solo mama to afford one with a pool. And i've told you how well that one went over. Also, there's the fact that my child needs to live among people who aren't mostly liberal and generally entitled for a while. It's good for our characters.
So now it's time for packing, saying the long goodbyes to friends and loved ones, and leaving our beloved Pacific Northwest behind for a while. We know it is not forever, but with no end date in sight, we are careening toward our new home with little time to look back. We love you. We can't believe how you've supported us all, and how you've helped us grow.
Now join us here for a new journey -- starting right now...
Photo of Granada, Nicaragua courtesy Adalberto H. Vega, Flickr