Huanchaco. Little fishing village turned surfer paradise. The vibe is mellow and friendly and we really like it here. A fell in love with Huanchaco instantly; she feels safe and welcome and we have lots of time to let life take its course.
We live with Simon and Valentin, two brothers. And their dog, Kika. All are really sweet. We love our room, our comfortable bed, our private bathroom and our shared kitchen. We love sleeping in, going for walks along the beach, swimming in the Pacific Ocean, making breakfast milk shakes, going to the market, and so on. We love being able to feel at home.
Huanchaco is layed back and very relaxed. I feel very safe here. It is almost like coming to any other beach town. All but for the lack of a crazy party vibe. And I am very thankful for that.
A has taken an interest in learning to read again. She will ask me for advice on it when she is sitting with her iPad or a book. She progresses little by little. She has expressed the need for a book that contains writing in solely capital letters, but such a book is hard to come upon. In Danish I am afraid there are none.
I don’t remember exactly when reading caught on with me, but I think I was about A’s age. About 8 or 9. Not an early reader, but the love for books has stayed with me ever since. A has a love for books as well, even though she doesn’t read them herself yet. She has always loved it when I read to her. She often expresses the wish to be read to and I comply as often as I can. However, on our journey so far, there hasn’t been much opportunity for me to read to her. We have been lacking books in Danish and we haven’t always been able to download new ones. So A has been enjoying her audio books. Harry Potter is still her all time favourite. But she has listened to quite a few other books. She is mostly into fantasy books.
I found a book in Sucre that I liked so much I brought it with me. It is “The Sandalwood Tree”, by Elle Newmark (hadn’t heard of her before I started reading the book). It is about a young woman and her family who move to India in the 1940s. She discovers the life stories of two young English women who also came to India, only a 100 years earlier. Well, one was born there. And she is so intrigued to know more about the women she embarks on an investigation. All the while, her life around her crumbles, as does British India.
The book is so well written I can’t put it down. I have read aloud to A and she is equally fond of it, even though my immediate translation of it from English into Danish I am sure leaves much to be desired.
But reading is not the only learning that takes place these days. Of course not, you might say, we are learning all the time. And yes, we are. No doubt. But just in terms of the hands on learning that obviously goes on; languages. A’s English is rapidly improving. And her Spanish is coming along too. Mine too, as a matter of fact. We are benefitting from the privilege of being able to small talk in Spanish in the streets, being able to use Spanish when we go to the market etc. All the little daily endeavours help our Spanish improve.
But we are also learning about the world. About the differences of places. The differences between people. And all the similarities. We are learning about ourselves. How we impact the world around us. Because of our choices, our actions, our words. How we can choose to impact the world around us.
We both miss being creative with our hands. A has started finger knitting again for that reason. She has knitted several necklacesses and som ankle chains. She has given most of them away to people we have met. She has also taught some people to do it. A loves it when she is able to teach people a skill she knows.
I am beginning to regret that I did not bring my knitting needles. And I truly miss being able to bake my own bread and cakes. I am wondering what I can take up that could replace my knitting and my baking while we are travelling. For now, all I have is writing.
A loves playing with Kika, the dog. And she especially enjoys talking to Simon, the older of the two brothers. She and him are embarking on a game of chess most evenings; A loves the challenge of chess. When she and I play, we can go on for a very long time until we have both lost almost all our chess pieces.
Our first time swimming in the ocean in Huanchaco was, admittedly, a bit of a disappointment. We couldn’t find a place to swim where the waves weren’t crashing down upon us like merciless hammers and even more to our dismay; we couldn’t find a place where the sea bed wasn’t full of sharp rocks and pointy mussels. However, our second time was much better. We went a little later in the day. And we went where all the locals were swimming. The tide was higher and it was easier to begin swimming closer to the shore so we didn’t have to wade a long way on sharp rocks and mussels.
Now that we have found the key to swimming in Huanchaco we go most days.
I also have work to do. I am working on translating a book, and that is actually the reason we decided to stay for a while in Huanchaco; so I could have internet access and work. It is nice to be able to stay in one place while I am doing this. And it is good for A too. She likes waking up in the same bed, knowing the way to the market, being able to go to the store next door on her own. And all that is possible because Huanchaco is so small and accessible.
We have found a very nice vegetarian restaurant where they also teach yoga classes and surfing. It’s family run and they have a 1 month old baby. A is very fond of the little girl, her name is Alliana. There is also a young boy who likes when we come, because then he gets a chance to play with A for a little while.
It is strange how things are put in perspective when you travel far away. It seems the rest of the world is occupied with worrying about how the world will make it for the next 4 years, what with a xenophobic psycopath winning the election in the US. And I must admit I’ve had trouble sleeping for that same reason. But everyone here seems utterly calm about it. When I lamented about the outcome of the election to Valentin he simply shook his head and said: ‘What can you do. Son Americanos…son locos…’. And Simon said: ‘We can’t do anything’. And so, life goes on, slowly but surely, here in Huanchaco.