I have never been one to jump off the edge recklessly. Heights scare me. Fear was a soldier I never wanted to defeat. But, there came a time in my life when I had to make friends with my fears, suck-it-up, and jump! For I learned that life began when I broke out of my comfort zone. Nicaragua has a magnetic quality that forced me out of my mundane life, attracted me to the vivacious people, and seduced me with its quirkiness. That’s why we returned to Nicaragua. I may be soaring with a broken wing, but, isn’t that what life is all about?
~ Come to the Edge ~
Come to the edge, he said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, he said.
He pushed them and they flew.
Guillaume Apollinaire (French Poet)
This Is Nicaragua
January 12, 2005 * Important, note the date!
Since Bill’s death, Ron and I have been questioning our purpose here. We sold a house, quit secure jobs, gave away winter clothes, and donated 20 years of school supplies in order to find ourselves. Bill said, “Leave Gringolandia before it’s too late” and “Once you get used to the litter, you’re going to love Nicaragua.” “It’s the land of opportunity.” We tried to fit into his world. We nodded politely at all of his wild conspiracy theories , we catered to spoiled backpackers, we chatted with all of the gringo baby boomers immigrating to Nicaragua on a pension, and we listened, watched, and waited. I guess we were as much as an enigma to Bill as he was to us. He could not understand that we didn’t leave Gringolandia for political reasons, that we didn’t want to become residents of a country we knew little about, and that we couldn’t conceive litter as something beautiful.
Bill loved the country. We love the people. There is a huge difference between the two. I wish I could separate the government from the people, for if I could do it successfully, I would live here permanently. However, Nicaragua is a politically corrupt, abusive, repressive, and impoverished country. I can’t tolerate the greed and uncompassionate power of those in control and it’s only getting worse. While the Sandinistas are plotting to restructure the constitution and increase the executive power of their President, Amente, my neighbor, was plotting, too. She came to our house today with pretenses of picking up the hedge clippers she lent us, but she really came because she was alone and frightened. She was shaking, pale, and vomiting. I told her I would walk with her to her mother’s house, but she was too weak to walk. Her mother doesn’t have a telephone, or a car, just like the majority of people in Nicaragua. She was afraid to go to the hospital because she didn’t have any money.. like all Nicaraguans. So, Ron took Julio on our bicycle to find Amente’s mother. Her mother arrived on a horse and I assumed that Amente went to the hospital, but, then again, she might have just taken her home. I’m worried about her because she was so sick. I hope she went to the hospital, but…. this is Nicaragua. Keep reading…