The Decay of Dignity


          “Life is not a matter of place, things or comfort; rather, it concerns the basic human rights of family, country, justice and human dignity.~Imelda Marcos

 I’ve been musing about the decay of human dignity in the United States. I can’t open a website or newspaper without reading about the lack of respect given to President Obama, the life and death of Eric Garner, and other enraged incidents that demonstrate the decay of human dignity in the United States.

However, the decline of human dignity is not isolated to the United States. It’s like a cancer spreading worldwide, eating away at the crumbling foundation of respect for our human race.

When I opened my Facebook page on Black Friday, I saw this post from Lucha Libro Bookstore in Granada, Nicaragua.

homeless boy copy

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Travel Theme: Life is like a Box of Crayons


“Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8 color boxes, but what you’re really looking for are the 64 color boxes with the sharpeners on the back. I fancy myself to be a 64 color box, though I’ve got a few missing. It’s okay though, because I’ve got some more vibrant colors like periwinkle at my disposal. I have a bit of a problem though in that I can only meet the 8 color boxes. Does anyone else have that problem? I mean there are so many different colors of life, of feeling, of articulation. So when I meet someone who’s an 8 color type…I’m like, hey girl, Magenta! and she’s like, oh, you mean purple! and she goes off on her purple thing, and I’m like, no I want Magenta!”
― John Mayer

I love this quote. :-) Ailsa’s travel theme this week is colorful. So, I’m digging through the 64 color box for my most colorful travel photos.

Lourdita and Julio waiting for the party to begin in Nicaragua.
Lourdita and Julio

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Sharpening Machetes


 Our hands will not tremble when we bring out sharp machetes to protect our families, our
land, and our basic human rights. ~ The Nicaraguan people

                                 
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I was going to write a post about the many uses of the machete in Nicaragua, but with recent protests and lack of transparency about the Nicaraguan Canal Project, I foresee many Nicaraguans sharpening their machetes. The comments below represent the alarming anger, mistrust, and nervousness of the Nicaraguan people.


Thousands of locals along the route have begun protesting against their impending expropriations with several demonstrations having taken place in just the last few weeks. Many of the signs they carry read: “No Chinos!” The anger has become so intense that police have begun patrolling outside of the Chinese engineers’ headquarters in the provincial city of Tola.
The Red Canal Continue reading

Los Ramos Says Many Thanks!


The Help Los Ramos Rebuild donation website has been extremely successful. Thanks to YOUR support for this lovely indigenous community, you have given them hope and encouragement to rebuild their community of 125 families who were affected by the October 8th landslides on Ometepe Island.

 

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Goodie Bags for Los Ramos


It’s not often that one gets to see immediate results of their donations or knows that all of the money received goes directly to those who need it the most. For $800 we bought over 1,000 pounds of food for 125 families. That averages out to be $6 for each goodie bag.  Thanks, Kris, for figuring that one out for me. :-) No overhead costs, no administrative costs…all the money goes directly to these lovely families of Los Ramos.

On Saturday, Ron and I walked…and sometimes climbed, scooted, and tramped over boulders to get into Los Ramos to help distribute the food bags to each family. See my earlier post.

When we arrived, Ever’s family was busy scooping rice, pouring cooking oil into small plastic bags, and packing the bags for 125 families living in Los Ramos. Landslides destroyed their community.

"Say Pizza," I say as I snap a photo. "Pizza? Where's the pizza?" they all laugh.

“Say Pizza,” I say as I snap a photo. “Pizza? Where’s the pizza?” they all laugh.

Ever's uncle has the slippery job of scooping the cooking oil and pouring it into plastic bags.

Ever’s uncle has the slippery job of scooping the cooking oil and pouring it into plastic bags.

Ever's mother organizes all the bags, and says "Hello world. Thank you for everything."

Ever’s mother organizes all the bags, and says “Hello world. Thank you for everything.”

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Help Los Ramos Rebuild


I talked with Ever Potoy today about his lovely community of Los Ramos on Ometepe Island. Because of 5-6 landslides, their community was destroyed. I am sick with worry for this community and I want to help them rebuild.

“Ever, what can we do to help?” I asked.

“We need candles and food,” he responded while on his motorcycle going to get some supplies.

That’s just like these humble, hardworking people to respond with such simple needs.

So, if you can find it within your loving hearts…let’s buy these people lots of candles and food within the next two weeks. Thanks for your help!

Help Los Ramos Rebuild

If you would like to learn more about this amazing community, here is their website.
Los Ramos

An Open Letter to the Chinese


Ometepe and the ChineseThree weeks ago, a Chinese delegation representing the proposed Nicaraguan Canal came to Ometepe Island. They measured land south of our new airport in La Paloma, including Punta Jesus Maria, a sacred and lovely point of land, which served as an indigenous trading port thousands of years ago, and now, is a must-see tourism locality.

Wang Jing has complete sovereignty and power to exercise dominion over all areas along the proposed canal route. He does not have to ask permission of any mayor, the expropriation of land is at his whim, and he will not have to pay taxes.
Please read on and SPREAD the WORD!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Signs of Nicaragua


You know you’re in Nicaragua, when you see signs like this….

Gotta find the baño quickly?
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You can take your cell phone with you to the women’s room.

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Maybe you need a haircut?

IMG_4777Or some really HOT new-to-you American clothes?
IMG_4743Looking for a hotel?
IMG_4695Or, maybe a bad girl?
IMG_5365Need to find a restaurant on a surfing beach?
IMG_5358Sorry Swindlers! This house is NOT for sale! Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Night Lights


We just returned to Ometepe Island from a marathon of airports…18 to be exact. In two weeks! I enjoy taking night photos, and I had plenty of time riding red eye flights across the U.S. to snap a few good shots. Let’s light up the night sky together.

Leaving Los Angeles at midnight, the lights in the city of angels were mesmerizing.
IMG_4774IMG_4788 More Night Lights ahead.

Weekly Photo Challenge: True Grit


Our visit to Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, and Reno has been a vacation of  endurance.
Arriving in Yosemite National Park to visit our son and his fiancé, firefighters used natural barriers of granite walls to help contain 4,500 fire affected acres. Yosemite has backbone!

IMG_4315 We will endure.Read more.