I wish words were sufficient for the flood of emotions and thoughts swirling through me…
I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprized at how my experiences here feel like a home coming. I’ve taken enough courses in psychology to know to expect that. There are some things that defy the logical objectiveness that that knowledge should provide. Almost everything smells, tastes, sounds and even looks like the world of my childhood. There are moments of when the deep calm of coming home settles in – at times when I like should feel much less at peace.
a drunk grabs my hand at the market as we enter demanding money, drugs whatever… My dad final has to sternly push him off so we can keep going unmolested. My boys are scared. I feel comfortable – like somehow that is supposed to happen. I feel like a child I think.
we drive by the house where we used to live – it has changed but the street where we lived hasn’t changed all that much and as we drive past the corner where i used to play on the street with my friends, I am overwhelmed with the weirdest sense of exhilaration and powerful sense of belonging – I really am speechless.
The one thing that everyone here keeps asking me is how much Nicaragua has changed. It’s true it has changed – a lot. But in some ways it has not changed at all. When I talk to the people here – its almost as if they want me to reinforce the notion that Nicaragua has changed – especially for the better. It has gotten better – the way a good wine gets better with age. The most noticeable changes though are ones that I would not attribute to betterment but rather greedy lust of commercial pursuits. Development has occurred but I suspect it has only exasperated the distance between the relatively rich and the desperately poor. Yes it has changed.
But mostly for me so far it has not changed. The air is still always tinged with diesel. A deep breath is never bland. in the course of one breath you can smell the ripening mangos, dona celinas taceria cooking up goodies, the exhaust of the japoneras (the little Japanese trikes that serve as personal taxis, and earth. the next breath will be another set – distinct enough that you can taste everything you smell.
The sound of rain falling – horns always honking – birds, animals – but the most pleasant sound of all is Spanish. I was told by our driver that my Spanish was far too academic – I shouldn't be offended. To get more campesino I am going to have to drop all those hard “s” at the end of words like nosotros.
It tastes like home as well. ginger drinks, gallo pinto, mamones, nancites, roschia – its all there. Each bite a little bit more like the fall into deep cushiony bed.
It’s hard not to smile – after all el chocolatito beat the mexican in a convincing tko last night – vive nicaragua…