Photo courtesy of Ruslan Antonov
While on the verge of reading myself to sleep in Boquete, I heard a constant pecking sound. At least that’s what it sounded like.
The steady tapping caused me to think of a miniature woodpecker. It just wouldn’t stop.
I knew there was no such thing as a tiny woodpecker. As I’d already seen huge flying cockroaches in that room, I thought: Do I have to pulverize yet another one of these repulsive insects? I’d seen a couple of huge ones flying chaotically around that temporary dwelling.
Getting veggies into your diet in Central America can be an elusive endeavor. But, like anything, with proper focus and motivation, it’s doable.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, we should get nine servings of veggies daily. That’s a lofty goal for anyone at home or abroad. Most of us, including myself, don’t often reach it. I’d like to try to change that.
I like to read signs, especially in new places. Signs can add character to a country, neighborhood, eatery or place.
While strolling around the different places I visit, and when traveling from dwelling to dwelling, I usually have my simple point-steady-click-focus-click camera handy, snapping pictures of graffiti, road signs, food stuff, advertising and whatever else pops out in front of me.
On the dark León avenue behind the gigantic cathedral, a taxi man called out to me while driving by:
This man had a conditioned political view, and couldn’t refrain from generalizing. Perhaps, in his eyes, I could have been a modern-day William Walker. That’s a scary thought. Mr. Walker was a confederate southerner who declared himself president of Nicaragua. He was eventually killed when plotting to dictate and enslave all of Central America.
I went out of curiosity, to see the natural splendor of San Juan, my final destination in Nicaragua.
Upon witnessing this natural jewel firsthand, I understood how a resort came about. Geographical evolution delicately formed a beach-shaped horseshoe, with hills shrouded on either side and behind.
Upon hopping in a cab that took 10 minutes from San Jorge, where the ferry drops cars and people, to Rivas, the taxi man confirmed that there was indeed a Liga Nicaragüense de Beisbol Profesional (LNBP) game between Frente Sur Rivas and Matagalpa that particular evening.
“. . . as they looked out on the great expanse of green, the banks of Lake Nicaragua, and Concepción and Maderas, twin volcanoes, with their peaks shrouded in clouds. . . “ –Gioconda Belli
“When we ignore the body we are more easily victimized by it”
It was last weekend at some stage, at some point, at some time. The memory of the discovery is vague. I can’t recall whether it was Saturday or Sunday when I noticed something stuck in my skin, under my chest, right on the outside of my right ribcage.
Maduros (Sweet Fried Plantains) and Gallo Pinto (Rice and Beans) are ubiquitous to this land and almost impossible to not eat daily.
I may exaggerate a tad but I’m not gonna lie, nor will I be Pollyannaish about it. Generally, Nicaraguan cuisine has less gastrointestinal goodness than Iberian, Mexican, Peruvian, or Venezuelan fare. This shouldn’t be surprising as Nicaragua lies at a great economic disadvantage to almost all of its Latin counterparts. This country actually ranks as one of the top three poorest lands in the entire western hemisphere. This means that a huge chunk of the population lives hand to mouth and needs to focus on sustenance as opposed to fancy food.
“Mira, los frenos no funcione.”
I said to the man who gave me a daily bicycle rental rate of 100 Cordobas (less than $5).
We took the bike to his mechanic buddy next door. He made some adjustments. I tested the brakes and deemed them to be at about a 75% working order. This felt like perfection in comparison to the 10% the rental man erroneously assumed that I’d venture out with. I was a bit shocked that he thought I could make it with those brakes as he had helped me map my route.
I wasn’t asked for my name or for identification. He just took the money and asked that I had the bike back by five or six pm.