Central America | Nicaragua – Finding my feet
Right. It’s been two days and oddly I feel as though I’ve lived in Granada for a while. Due to my very poor orientation skills I’ve managed to get lost many many times already and therefore had to get unlost which has resulted in a good sound knowledge of the town. The strongest memory of my journey from London has to be the Somalian refugees on the plane to Miami. They were be resettled in Arizona – at least the climate will suit them but I’d imagine getting to know the locals may take the poor buggers a little more time. There were three families, lots of children and very wet floors in the aircraft toilets. They’d never used a sink before so they were filling cups of water and then tipping it over their hands to wash them…..hilarious. Their aim wasn’t that great either. A lovely woman from Bristol was my travel partner for that leg of the journey and she’s come up trumps. Her colleague in Miami is from Nicaragua and after a few email exchanges the upshot is her aunt and uncle have offered to show me around Managua. Planning to do that next weekend.
It’s been all go go go since arriving. I visited the projects this morning and will start working with the street kids on Monday. For the first two weeks we will be trying to pull off a theatrical production…not sure what it will be about but more on that next week. I’ve eaten a five course meal at the ‘Cafe Chavalos’ – this is the cafe run by ex-gang members aged between 15-20. They prepare, cook and serve the food in between the odd fight that breaks out in the kitchen. Many of them have very temperamental personalities but big dreams. One guy, Oscar, is apparently super bright. He’s 18 and goes to school cos he wants to catch up with his education. Donna, the lady who runs the projects, found him on the streets as a young boy and has pretty much brought him up as her own. His father’s dead, his two brothers are dead (one gang related)and his mom’s a drunk. I visited his teacher today to explain with Donna why he doesn’t like the idea of cutting his hair. Stubborn as they come! He still has the tatoos that represent a certain gang and apparently on a trip to Honduras recently (with Donna) he was pulled up by the police who wanted to take him in. The police in Honduras are currently arresting anyone with gang tatoos as there was a blood bath situation in one of the ‘barrios’ and they’re worried it will happen again. He’s an interesting lad and I plan to spend some time with him. I’m hoping to take a bunch of the Cafe workers to Leon, a neighbouring town, for a hiking adventure. One way of getting to know them better…
I’ve been staying at a posh hostel and have had enough. I move to another gaff on Monday and then maybe to a family. I’ve met a lady who wants me to live with her, her sister and their kids. I think, if they don’t suffocate me with their attention, it will be a very rewarding experience. Anyhow I’m a tad hungry so am off to the main square to pick up a bite and then it’s back to the hostel for some book worm action. Rarely do it in the UK and am looking forward to it here. Climbing a volano tomorrow, an active one as I understand, so that should be cool.