Thursday, January 12, 2006

Chapter Who Knows

I have been away from the blog for too long now to do all the catch up - I will try and fill in Granada days later but I am going jump to the present and very recent past right now.

Yesterday was the group's departure from Nicaragua. We were all up at 4am at Don Alfredo's in Granada and Pablo with bus arrived a little late. We still managed to get everything loaded - including Enriqueta's "body bag", i.e. giant duffel, now holding Lee's must-have wood from Ometepe (apparently this caused some issues at customs later). It was sad to say goodbye to everyone but also exciting to begin part 2. So Diana, Manrique, Robertito and I were left eating some breakfast and then walked to the bus to Rivas at around 8am. I had talked a mother and daughter traveling pair to join us to Ometepe - they have no Spanish so they were happy to tag along. We left D, M and R in Moyogolpa to deal with Manrique's papers, and Joyce, Katy and I proceeded to Finca Magdalena. Well, it was a fill day of traveling, involving, bus, small boat lauch, we missed the "big" ferry, and more bus, hitching a ride and hiking the last little stretch. Walking up the hill from Balg├╝e gave me a strong sense of coming home, boy do I love this place and my friends here. We climbed the steps of the finca veranda at around 5:30 pm - that's about 9 hours from Granada to the finca - traveling here is a little different and slower. I headed to the very welcome cold shower.

Also, surprise, surprise, Peter A. had arrived the evening before, way ahead of David M.'s timetable - so good to see Peter again here and I am sure we will have some long chats and activities together. Had dinner with Peter, David and Lisa, good for my group separation blues and missing Kris.

And, it was really good to see the posts below from some of the returnees, i.e. the culture shocked.

Back to el proyecto de tostador - today, Thursday, was another roasting afternoon - Cristina did 13 kilos in about 4 hours, and the bags of coffee beans are being picked almost as fast as they can be filled. A young woman from Britain, near Scotland, had a plastic shopping bag with 8 bags she was taking home for gifts.

Also at dinner last night was a table of anthopologists doing field work on the Ometepe petroglyphs - they will be here till about the time I depart. Hope to get some stories out of them and curent information, thinking, science on the rock carvings.

Well, it's about 6pm up in "Red Libre" central and it's starting to get a little buggy so I will stop here and post more tomorrow with images that I have to work on a little first.
Buenas nochas todo.

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Back to "reality"

Culture Shock indeed.... "Back to the real world" we all said - I heard someone on the trip say at one point that we were in the real world, that "home" was somehow less real. I can understand that, and if you can't, you might need to go to Ometepe.
So, the trip was again an amazing experience of life, friendship, family, love, work, and nature. I had lots more group dynamic issues this time around, but they (and the cold I caught the last few days of the trip) didn't tarnish the overall experience. I got to see and do some different things this time (horseback riding, bull riding, canopy tour, Dona Lydia's), as well as visit and see some of the same places and people (petroglyphs, Dona Carmen and Santos, the monkeys and gardens). I can't wait to go again!
I'm spending the day inside (and alone), avoiding what's "out there": weather, work, life and everything else. I'm listening to latin music to ease the transition. Tomorrow I have to go to work!
David, I can't wait to see more pictures and hear how things go these next two weeks! Best of luck!
Maybe I'll post a couple pictures, if i can...

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Culture Shock Blues

The dogs were beside themselves with joy when I got home. My mom and Aunt Carol were in the middle of a cut throat cribbage game. The one thing I looked forward to MOST was a hot bath - BUT - I forgot to turn on the hot water. This morning I can't find anything, especially my shoes.

Emailed to Diane and David Wed night:

We made it home, wish we were still there

It is really cold and rainy. caught the 7:20 ferry and all the commuters looked miserable, grumpy and envious. Travel went smoothly. Houston is very organized, took no time at all to get through customs, though a few bags were rousted - Lee and his damn wood

Apparently the ride to Managua airport was quite exciting but I slept through the part where we played chicken with oncoming truck while passing another bus.

Lenny Vizsla was hysterical when he saw me. He looks so FAT and beautiful.

Jonathan met Celina at the airport and Ron met Genevieve and Kristi. The rest of us found a limo just hanging around. A few of us scrounged up enough money to pay and refused to play banker to settle the differences. Lee and Ilsa got stuck with the Bainbridge cab bill. What a scam that is! They try to make you pay at each stop thus collecting the fare several times over.

That's all for now, I'm about to crash. Send news updates when you have time.

reply email from Diane
Subject: RE: assorted rambling
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 07:47:51 -0800

Hi Kris, I came back to the island yeasterday with David and Manrrique, he went on to Balgue to pick up those papers I have been waiting for , back to managua today. David went on to BALGUE IN A DIFFERENT BUS THAN MANRRIQUE Because the bus was at the dock for Merida, I told him to take it to the corner where the road splits to go to Balgue, and then hitch a ride... hope he made it. Manrrique didnt leave til half hour later becasue he didn't know he would have to go to Balgue to get the papers til we went to the place where we stayed and they werent there. chat with you soon. love Diane and Roberto

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