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It’s been 25 days since I woke up in Las Cuarentas, Nicaragua, to the symphonic sounds of a small village wiping the sleep out of its eyes and rolling out of bed. An army of roosters crowing back and forth to each other across the misty hills and valleys–their calls vacillating between a salute and a one-upping competition. Balancing out the screechy soprano of the roosters’ calls is a bass beat that shows up slow, steady, and rhythmic: my host mother meets the dawn with a melody she knows by heart. Behind the heavy wooden door of the kitchen, she slaps and pounds the homemade tortilla dough into shape before anyone else in the house is even conscious enough to know that breakfast is approaching. Outside, the bullfrogs add to the melody of the morning with a chirpy belch that sounds like a synthesized backdrop. A horse neighs once, twice–and dogs bark here and there like a stray cymbal crash.

In the rural mountains of Nicaragua, there is no marimba-style phone alarm going off. No Al Roker telling you what the weather is like in your neck of the woods. No brakes screeching outside the window or early morning honks to illustrate that road rage does not discriminate against the dawn. But there is also no silky sigh–in and out–coming sweetly from my son’s crib like the breeze blowing through the trees. No complementary snores echoing back and forth ridiculously between my husband and my dog.

I guess every place has its music. You just have to tune in and listen to it.