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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Only in Central America

Had I been at home this week, I probably (though I can´t say for certain) would not have...
  • Thought it okay for three people to ride a motorcycle together, one being a tiny baby held by the second passenger
  • Seen a man walking the streets each day selling mattresses, with four of his finest strapped to his shoulders
  • Greeted Troy when he was dropped off by immigration, having been picked up for not carrying his passport with him
  • Spent a day with FUNARTE, a locally run organization that organizes human rights and mural art education workshops for children and young adults with disabilities from some of the poorest neighborhoods around

  • Eaten gallo pinto (rice and beans) three times a day
  • Witnessed a fire in a wood stove being started by using plastic bottles as kindling
  • Been subjected to music and propaganda blaring from giant speakers affixed to the top of a car
  • Skipped rope, danced the hokey pokey, or reviewed my times tables

  • Watched two grown men routinely, and seemingly comfortably, navigate the streets on the same bicycle (one on the seat and one on the top tube)
  • Thought it routine for there to be both a toyota and a horse ´parked´ outside my house
  • Been intrigued by the work of ERSLA, an NGO working to improve emergency services by bringing much-needed firefighting equipment and first responder education to Nicaragua
  • Smiled at the sight of tables and chairs being brought out onto the sidewalk at dinner time as homes are transformed into mini-cafes
  • Tried my hand at making paper with las Mujeres Ambientalistas (the association of Women Environmentalists), a local cooperative intent on recycling and composting and who make recycled paper out of food waste such as banana leaves and onions.

I mean, I can´t say for sure, but I probably would not have done these things.

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