By the end of the bus ride from Masaya, Jon had made friends with the young local guys in the back who help people loading and unloading their stuff inside and on the top of the bus. We got off at the last stop, which dropped us off right in front of Paradiso. We got out of the old American school bus from the back (what would be the emergency exit in the States is actually just an open door which people use to get on and off the bus) and as we did one of the guys offered us a mango from the basket that they were transporting to Masaya. We thanked him and we started eating it right away as we walked to Paradiso.
We rang the doorbell and Diego, Vincent’s partner who was also French, answered the door. He greeted us with a smile and walked us downstairs to grab some coffee and put our stuff down in one of the rooms. This time, we got a room with our own bathroom–moving on up! We were also in the overnight lounge area, which is one of my favorite places to hang out or relax at on the property. We were so excited to put our stuff away, get organized and not have to lug our home all around Nicaragua.
After we put our stuff down, we had a great cup of Nica coffee and then took a dip in the lake. The clear bright blue lake was so clean and refreshing on that hot day. The water in the Laguna so clean that you can open your eyes under water without any irritation and see everything–the fish, plants, rocks–your eyes are your natural snorkeling goggles.
We didn’t want to get out, but we knew we had to talk over some important business details with Diego upstairs. I liked Diego right away. He was a very smart guy and had a lot of depth to him. He was well-traveled, cultured and had a lot of wisdom behind his eyes. He was fluent in 3 languages (French, Spanish and English), something I envied very much as I’ve always wanted to be fluent in both French and Spanish. He was assertive, yet kind and laid back.
We also shared a passion for French culture, something I hadn’t exactly been able to really share with anyone here in Nicaragua. We had so much to talk about and share with each other, on top of everything he had to share with us about the property. I couldn’t wait to get to know him better. I knew we would grow to be good friends.
We went over some nitty-gritty stuff, but overall it was all relatively simple and easy to learn. Vincent and Diego had been here for 2 years and were leaving to go back home for the first time since they’d moved here. We had a couple of weeks before we took over completely, which we were thankful for because that gave us time to really get comfortable here and learn the ropes of the property well. We had an idea of what we were in for, but nothing could have really prepared us for what we were going to learn in the upcoming weeks before they left. And what we would learn had little to do with the hostel itself.
To check out/catch up on the moments in the months leading up to this move, check out our video Life Out of the Box Part 2!