Come to the Edge

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.

They came.

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…

Jungle Law

Jungle Law: Nothing is sacred

“Ron!” I yelled, “An owl passed out on our kitchen counter. What should I do?” It was late at night and Ron was sound asleep, while I was checking Facebook. Stunned and dazed, the little screech owl stared at me, unable to move anything except his big, moon-shaped eyes.  Stunned and dazed, Ron came to our rescue.  He gently lifted the little intruder and we checked him or her (How do you identify the sex of an owl?) for broken wings, abrasions, and head wounds. All appeared to be in working order, but then again, we are not vets, nor accustomed to owls dropping in or making house calls in the middle of the night.

Ron carried the dazed and confused owl outside. He tried to perch him on the homemade ladder leaning against the back of our house.  The poor little fellow fell off the perch and plopped to the ground with a barely audible ‘thud’ cushioned by downy feathers.  After much discussion on the best way to position an injured owl, we decided to prop him up on the ground leaning against the back wall of the house.

Returning to the scene of the accident, we noticed a cloud of downy feathers swirling around the ceiling fan in the kitchen.  Tropical living is an open-air concept. We find it impossible to screen out all of the intruders, so we have learned to live with Jungle Law: Nothing is sacred. Nothing is out-of-bounds.  The evidence led us to surmise that the screech owl flew into the ceiling fan.

Meanwhile, back at the temporary owl hospital under the ladder, we found a large toad guarding the screech owl. Our dazed house guest appeared to be more alert. He was shaking his wings and twirling his head around in an Exorcist kind of way. To me, that seemed like progress!

Fifteen minutes later, our dazed and confused intruder had totally recovered. He flew off silently into the moon shadows, while his new toad friend hopped after him. I love a happy ending.

Jungle Law

November 5, 2004

              After four months of tropical living, I am beginning to understand the laws of the jungle.  Attempting to live a high tech lifestyle in a low-tech world has inundated us with many challenges.  Sometimes, I wonder if it’s worth the effort because it’s a never ending battle that requires persistence, awareness, patience, and constant vigilance.     But, wait there’s more…