Central America | Nicaragua – The roller coaster ride continues
Its been a good week and a bad week. Carlota and I just had breakfast with the project director, Donna Tabor. She has been robbed for the third time in 2 months and suspects one of the boys from the Cafe. Not good. Its pretty much like a stab directly to her heart and it appeared she was losing her appetite for helping these people branding them ‘thieves and cheats’. In fact the young guy who she has pretty much adopted and who has written content for the magazine in London for me left town for his former ‘barrio’ a few nights ago. This is where he spent years in a gang and we’re hoping he sees sense and comes back to Granada before he gets involved in any of his old tricks. We will see. As resilient as ever though Donna is sticking it out and staying put. After 8 years of getting these projects off the ground it would be a tough decision to let them go.
On a more positive note last weekend was amazing. We pulled off our day trip to one of the islands without any cuts or grazes, just lots of smiling faces and full bellies! There were 25 kids in total and 11 volunteers – including the wonderful Paddy from England and Iain from Australia who literally carried the kids on their shoulders for most of the day. I think it has to go down as one of my favourite days so far. On the boat on the way to the island these kids were literally bursting with excitement and some of them with fear of the water! The following day they were also treated to pizzas. Almost spoilt. Next Tuesday, I can’t quite believe, is my last day at the school. I will make one more appearance on Friday afternoon as I will be taking all 30 kids to a restaurant for a burger with patatas fritas. Not the healthiest I know but they rarely eat this kind of stuff and apparently it’s their favourite dish after pizza. I am currently in talks with one of the restaurants. I haven’t mentioned that many of the kids are ‘street’ for fear of being turrned away.
Luis and his family are back in the park. It was amazing to see them. They’d obviously got showers etc in Managua cos they looked in top condition. I will be handing over some money to them just before I leave Nicaragua. Probably around 25 dollars which for them is many many months of work. Unfortunately Luis had to sell the shoes I bought him in Managua to buy more plant pots for the family business. Oh well..not overly surprised.
This week has been a party week and the consequences of this are very dramatic in Central America. Many people have lost their lives to the lakes and the ocean, been killed in car accidents and general theft has been high. The lake right next to Granada has been crammed with people partying till all hours. I met some great girls from Costa Rica one evening. Most of them studying advertising and PR. The Costa Ricans are such a contrast to the Nicas. They have 85% literacy and a great awareness of the rest of the world. Many Costa Ricans dislike Nicaragua and its people but these girls understand how you can’t brand everyone here a sleaze ball thieving ‘******’. They were bursting to tell us their views and I was very happy to listen to them! Last night was also a top evening – few tequilas, very unlike me but good fun.
Well, not much else to report. Had a very lazy weekend spent mostly in the pool. We treated Bellen (the Nicaraguan teacher from our school) to a weekend of luxury – swimming in the pool and eating at her favourite restaurants. She deserves it – without her there is no project…..