For those of you who just want to see the gorgeous flowers and buildings photos and want only to hear about the joys of a warm winter paradise, you might want
to bury your head in the sand to not read today’s post. 🙂 I have decided to show all sides of this adventure.
In keeping with this theme, perhaps I underestimated the amount of Immodium I needed to bring and placed too much trust in the pre-trip Dukoral treatment. 🙂
One of the things which we experience daily is the presence of beggars. They are mostly older women who stand on the street (sidewalk) with hands out and children who are constantly approaching you with small origami type ‘flowers’ made of palm fronds. They will take no for an answer but there are always more to take their place every few minutes. I have read that there is a good social network for the children and that the ones begging are being exploited by adults or are looking for easy money and not going to school where they should be. This helps me to continually say “no gracias”.
It was SO refreshing while at the market in Masaya yesterday to have 3 little girls not selling anything to come up to me as I was waiting in the shade for one of our group to make a purchase. They were just intrigued with the gringo. I told them my “nombre” and they giggled and told me theirs and they told me their mama was working at one of the stalls…. at least that is what I think they said. It may have been ” you are a funny looking stupid tourist”….hahaha!
Another less than perfect postcard sight is that of people sleeping in the streets. It is often young men/boys, a number of whom are there passed out from glue sniffing. I hope you don’t see this as ‘oh, what a terrible place’ and remember that we in North America are not without our problems… just walk down Spring Garden Road in Halifax or many places in other cities of Canada and USA. I just wanted to present a balanced picture.
Of course everyone wants to draw attention to their stand, cart, etc. where they are selling ‘stuff’… often fresh fruit or candy. This woman accomplished this by having two parakeets with their wings clipped so that they can’t fly but they remain very vocal. I would be too if my wings were clipped!!
In case you think she is the only one practicing animal cruelty, we have joined the ranks. Fruit Bats have been coming into our open air living areas at night and leaving big mango pits… not a problem. They have also been leaving vast quantities of bat
shit droppings… big problem! It is huge splats which land on our books, tables, chairs, and anything else in the flight path. It will scrub off hard surfaces but soaks into and stains fabric. So we developed a strategy with the casa owners which involves certain fans running at night. Unfortunately, last night the fans while very successful at discouraging the hordes, claimed a victim. 😦
Bat saga continued… this just happened. “People”, presumably called by our sweet maid, Sandra (yes, maid.. another story for another time) came to take care of the removal of the bat.
While there are certainly sections where there is a lot of garbage strewn about, for the most part there is a very concerted effort both on the part of individual home and shop owners and the garbage collectors to keep things tidy and clean… a monumental task with the dust and plastic! Just look at the garbage collectors’ carts…
Another thing which is different from our culture that some may find hard is the fact that dogs are all communal dogs that roam anywhere. Some look well fed and others not so much but they never seem to be aggressive and I have become quite used to them hanging out everywhere we go. Here is one having a nap at the Irish Pub (yup, complete with Guinness… not the dog… the pub).
I will continue to report the good, bad and ugly… the reality as I see it. It has been just over a week since we arrived and I am loving the warmth both of the climate and the people. I feel like a sponge every time I go out… soaking up the sights, smell, and sounds. What a privilege!