I´m putting this picture on here in case anyone is hiring a professional landscape photographer, even though it´s old from a Septiembre trip to Nicaragua.
Here´s another video from a friend with a pretty good representation of what Nicaragua really looks and feels like (and a dirty cameo at the 2:35)
Some media from Nicaragua is trickling out, but we´ve been super busy around here and most of the exciting parts require further editing before they make it into the blogosphere. Here´s some evidence of one of the many times we risked our lives –
In Nicaragua, there´s a joke, they say that when somebody goes to the barber, it´s a lot better if he`s a friend than an enemy
Día 53, 9/23/2010
I am back from Nicaragua and saw and did too many things to ever write about (maybe someday). The first half of this NYTimes article describes 75% of the trip. It´s amazing how different countries in Central America are despite being so close together, relative to distances in the United States. We took a lot of boats, met a lot of people, did the hardest volcano climb I will ever do for the rest of my life, swam in a crater, mastered the “chill on the curb for a long long time people watching” activity so common down here, surfed 8 ft waves in a strong gnarly rip, stayed up until the sun rose more than twice, fried a lot of fish, and made american-style guacamole. We also saw a lot of thought-provoking things, and heard a lot of inspiring stories.
Nike produced what I thought was a very good and eventually very popular video called The Girl Effect a few years ago. I have had a couple experiences recently that really pounded this idea home. They released a new one last week – I think both are powerful and pertinent.
Día 40, 9/10/2010
We´ve had a really busy end of the week. A lot is going on, including a few new programs, and today an Italian and Nicaraguan guy showed up to start a social impact audit for MicrofinanceRating. We´ve also had on and off power, some intense rainstorms, and gangs threatening to attack buses make things interesting.
The strike has actually been a really big deal, as many people depend on buses and pica´s (pick-ups) to get to work. I spent a lot of time driving to meetings the last few days, and it was incredible to see so many people walking or crowding way too many bodies into every last taxi or truck offering a ride.
Due to the gang threats, there´s a ton of policemen and army personel on every corner within Gotera, and roadblocks every few miles. At times over the last few days, El Salvador has felt like a police state. At the same time, I´m pretty far away from the action in the mountains of Morazán, and all of the extra security makes me feel secure.
Tomorrow morning, I´m taking a 10-hr bus to Nicaragua to meet up with other Kiva Fellows working in Central America and share stories. We´re all more or less half way done with our fellowships, and it will be fun to take a break. The timing of the trip is probably precipitous, and I´m very interested to see what El Salvador and Gotera feel like when we get back.