Monday, January 16, 2006

Ferry Sinks!

Well, it's just about all over the island, i.e. Isla de Ometepe - my story probably comes fourth hand.

News Flash: Ometepe Ferry sinks in dock at San Jorge. Late Saturday, actually 2:30am Sunday morning, one of the large Ometepe ferries was making an unscheduled late night run with two large banana trucks from Ometepe. Upon arriving at San Jorge, the first truck unloaded with its usual fanfare. When the second, very heavily loaded truck, attempted to debark (disembark, get off) the ferry tipped, or the truck tipped, and subsequently the ferry listed beyond the control point (there is a navigational word for this which I can't remember).

As far as this reporter knows the ferry is still, at least partially, under water. According to someone who spoke to someone who spoke to someone who was purported to be an eyewitness, the ferry is likely to be unsalvageable. As you can tell I really know little of what happened and the current situation. David M. and Peter A. are due back this afternoon or this evening from Managua and may bring more information. I will followup with hopefully a more accurate story.
See the photo of Ferry #1, from last year's trip (don't know if it was #1 or #2 that sank). As you can see there is vehicle space on the ferry for the two ever present banana trucks and maybe one or two additional cars. It was quite amazing that two of these trucks can actually get on the ferry - I have watched the boarding and unboarding processes, there is literally three inches of space between the trucks and between the trucks and the sides of the boat when onboard. The truck drivers, usually, do this with surprising speed and great finesse.

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Caracól Reflections

Above the drying patios, in Red Libre central, I am sitting enjoying a cup of Finca Magdalena selected peaberry (caracól). I roasted this two days ago and it is even better than the sample cup yesterday. David M. and I have asked for a small lot of these beans, maybe a bag or two (66 kilos/bag) to be shipped up north and we will try to market. On day two of rest it is fabulous, a light to medium body, in the island profile - I think it easily compares to a great Kona but with more body and more complexity. It will be interesting to see what folks with more educated palates think.

Down on the veranda it is a roasting day - Cristina is teaching two new roasters about the machine and it is so rewarding for me not to have to participate - Cristina and Aura are now maestras del nuevo tostador. Tourists clutching their bags of beans to take home leave the finca everyday. Wow, such success - this is the most rewarding project I have ever worked on, seeing the pride and satisfaction in the faces of las tostadoras - and the impact on individual lives, especially health wise. I am so priveledged to receive such grace.


You can meet the most interesting folk at Finca Magdalena. The journey to this place is like a filter, a chromatograpy for people - the ones that climb the stairs to the veranda seem to share some bond. Many conversations, covering many topics. Juliet, a brave, young Australian traveling alone in Central America, with an interest in the fair trade movement. A sympatico Dutch couple, Rainer and Fenneke, leaving this morning and feeling like I have know them forever. And Stepan, from the Czech Republic, learning English by ear and half way through a three year trip around the world. Stepan told us and showed photos of his travels thus far, how he ate "hopper greases" in Indonesia - it took several of us rotating the lettters around and the photos to finally realize he meant grasshoppers. It is fascinating to watch his language process - unique in my experience. He is a little crazy, just like the rest of us, with a huge, kind heart. He tells us how if we want our coffee or lunch quicker you must use "big smile". Someday he will open a guest house in the Czech countryside and we are all invited - I am ready to sample his cooking and hospitality in his home country.


A couple of catch up photos, the tile floor in one of the old churches in Granada and Wes' feet in the sand, Pacific Ocean, at San Juan del Sur, on his birthday.

It's past lunch time so headed down for espagueti con carne y una pepsi. Will return later for more posting.
hasta pronto.

--> big thanks to Domenick and Andrew for checking in on the blog and commenting - it is good to hear from my friends in the North, and their odd desire for it to stop raining up there :) - I wish you were here too.

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