Surfing and Salsa.

I surfed and salsa’d my way through a weekend in Leon. I am an utter beginner at both of these, but do I EVER want to be an expert. Do you know how COOL surfers are? Or how SEXY salsa dancers are? Like, wipe-the-sweat off your forehead cool and sexy. And now that I’ve gotten an up-close look at both types of people, I want to be cool and sexy too.

Do you feel cool and sexy yet?
Do you feel cool and sexy yet?
How about now?
How about now?

So I put my insecurities on hold and just went for it; hopped on a board, got out on the dance floor. And it’s hard and I have bruises and I’m pretty gawky. But I did it. And I probably wasn’t as gawky as I thought.

Isn’t it ridiculous that I’m trying to learn salsa and to surf at the age of 23? I guess it depends on what direction you’re looking at it from. My surf teacher had been surfing since he was 12. My dance teacher had been gyrating to Latin music forever. And I feel like I’m starting 10 years too late.

But but but. This is exactly the type of vicious thought that paralyzes. It’s toxic and petty and all too common in my brain, and I WANT IT OUT.

So upon returning to Estelí, I went in search of salsa classes. And tonight I had my first class. It was in a gym, with about 20 local women of all ages, and an enthusiastic instructor who is the Nicaraguan Richard Simmons. I’ll try and take a photo of him for you all later. Today he was wearing lime-green spandex short-shorts, a tight grey singlet, and a matching green bandanna wrapped around his head. And oh can that man pop his hips.

So that’s in progress!

And in about 2 weeks, after I finish working at this hostel, I plan to move to the Pacific coast and start my life as a surf bum. I’ve found a good hostel that offers surf lessons, and I figure that if I practice hard for 2 weeks I might just be able to stand up on the board.

BECAUSE WHY NOT.

So, back to Leon: Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of those cool and sexy people, but I have some photos of my wanderings through Leon, particularly in the main square where the magnificent cathedral stands.

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The Cathedral.
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On their way to a masquerade/street party.
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This man disagreed with the church, and so instructed his statue be built in the main square with his back to the cathedral.
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A strange little man we met who is self-taught and speaks SEVEN LANGUAGES.
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A mural of central- and south-American cultural heroes in the revolutionary museum.
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