Today is the first day of 2019. It is obviously a public holiday. Almost everything is closed, it's a family day. I take this opportunity to visit the community center of Nandaime. I had the chance to accompany three groups of students in 2012, 2014 and 2016. The community center has undergone many changes over the past three years. Here is the second floor above the administrative offices.
Since the crisis that has shaken the country since April 2018, no school group can come here. All facilities are on standby for the situation in the country to improve.
It's sad to see that this place, which used to be full of life, is currently dormant.
A brand new kitchen was fitted, but it was only used once, as the last group to leave left just before the big protests in April 2018.
A garden has been laid out on the roof of the building.
The political situation in the country is difficult to grasp. Some say the protests were orchestrated by Americans to destabilize the government. Others say these are spontaneous demonstrations. One thing is certain is that the repression against the people has been bloody and that is why it is not recommended to visit the country according to several countries including the Canadian government. I would like to send a message to travelers from all countries, Nicaragua is a wonderful place. This country should not be avoided, on the contrary it should be visited. I feel at home here and the people of Nicaragua are very welcoming and generous. The country's economy needs tourists to thrive. I am also aware that the government must improve relations with its people. On another note, I went to visit the former community center cook who is now a seamstress. She tries to accumulate $60 to buy a new sewing machine. This would allow her to get help from her daughter and thus respond more quickly to the requests of her customers.
I enjoy taking before
pictures. Here is a photo taken in 2012. I am looking for this baby...
Now here is the photo of 2019. The child is now very big. Unfortunately I the dog did not survive. Animals also have a very difficult life.
Another example, 5 years ago. This nice lady owning a small convenience store.
And now in 2018.
I walk around the barrio (neighborhood) and I see my little Paola and Chepe in a swimming pool at the grandmother's on the father's side. The parents are separated. The father now lives in Costa Rica. Here are his brother and sister.
I meet people in the neighborhood who are at first sight hostile towards me. Often these are people who drink a lot of alcohol and have difficulty relating to people. The leader of a group approaches me by calling me "Chele" which means if we reverse the syllables " Leche
" (milk). The real meaning is "Hey the white comes herettttte" I didn't like the way he approached me and told him my way of thinking. In addition, he asked me 10 cordobas (40 cents) before even knowing my name. I told him that was no way to approach people... Finally, he changed his tone and we talked. It was very rewarding. I learned that a man who was in the group had just undergone open heart surgery 23 days ago, he showed me his huge scar, you can see it also in the photo below. People are good, just be nice. We chatted for a few minutes and I immortalized this unusual encounter.
We must seize every opportunity to enter into a relationship with someone.
Later, I came back to see them and gave them a small bottle of alcohol to numb the pain inside that was eating away at them. Later, I meet Carlos, who was our guide on the last trip with the students in 2016. I also meet Kevin a very nice young man who works in an Apple call center in Managua, he does very well since he speaks very good English. His salary is just as interesting for this friendly human being. Kevin appears on the left with families. I give two Fast123.ca jerseys to Magaly and Marvin for the wonderful welcome they gave me during the 5 days I spent with them. I was housed, fed and almost whitewashed. I have the pleasure of eating a dish called: Baho. The ingredients are: onions, yuca, plantains, tomatoes and meat. That was delicious. The only sad moment of the day was when I went to take a photo from 2016 to a family whose mom I learned had passed away a few months ago. It was with wet cheeks that people thanked me for this little souvenir. Thank you for all these beautiful encounters that fill my heart with kindness and sometimes sorrow.