Nicaragua: Part III

So, more -itos:

Amazingly enough, it’s in Managua too!!! And also amazing, it isn’t just graffitti, it’s propaganda. Everything from the youth comments in red, black, or whatever color, to the pink and yellow posters of Daniel Ortega’s face, with slogans like “With God, we can overcome” and “You see, Sandino? We’ve made it this far!” While I don’t oppose a personal faith, many Nicas think that Ortega is only using God to get a leg-up. Apparently, his beliefs weren’t so prevalent the first time he ran for the presidency. But no joke, the propaganda is everywhere. The posters were starting to remind me of George Orwell’s 1984 and “Big Brother”. It was creepy.

Illegal in this country too, but unlike Costa Rica, there are no provisions for rape or in cases where the mother’s or baby’s life is at stake. Critics say Ortega implemented this new law to get more support from the Catholic Church.

None that I saw, except for a Catholic church we visited. The shape of the church was circular, and in the 80s the church leaders wanted to express the history of Nicaragua through a faith perspective, so they had two artists paint a mural on every panel of the circular walls. Fascinating stuff.

After staying in the Centro Nehemias until Wed. 4 March, our group was splitting up to go on the home stay trips. I was with a group leaving at 4 a.m. for one of the most remote parts of the Nicaraguan campo where we would most likely be cut off from all modernization. I’m not exactly sure how I was arranged in that group; I remember saying I would rather a town, or something in between the two… Either way, I made sure my things were packed. I must clarify: the entire LASP population of 47-some students was split into “town” or “campo” home stays. Among those, we were 12 smaller groups, based on the proximity of the families with whom we were living. For example, I was in group #1 with three other students whose families lived near mine and went to the same church.
I woke up at the right time, took my shower, ate breakfast, and left with the group to go to the bus station. I started to feel nauseous on the school bus though, which is weird for me because I usually only get motion-sickness during the day. As soon as we got to the bus yard, and I got off of the bus, I felt instantly fine, which is also weird. We crossed the yard, and no sooner had I put my foot on the bottom step of the bus taking us to the campo, I felt oddly sick again. I thought it would go away, so I climbed up slowely with the other students who were busy finding their seats. I got half-way down the aisle, when I realized that I wasn’t going to make it. I was somehow able to communicate this to one of our teachers who was standing right next to me, and she ushered me off the bus through the back door, where I promptly lost my breakfast next to a small palm tree. The teachers were going to send me back, but I didn’t want cop out, so I insisted I was fine. I re-boarded, but all the seats were taken except for the front. I sat there while we waited for the bus to leave (it was still boarding passengers). That’s when I started feeling jabs of pain inside of me. They would come and go, and although I really wanted to go on the trip, the mounting sharpness scared me: I did not want to be infected with some sort of bacteria and not know about it! I admitted defeat. My teachers took me off the bus and called another to come pick me up at the bus yard so I could go with the last group of students leaving for the “town”. Once off, I felt instantly better again, although that feeling was quickly replaced with shame and terror. Shame because it made me think I could have made it, and I was unwilling to try, and terror because I would be sitting in the public waiting area before dawn while everyone I knew left me behind them.

It turned out all right though, but this is where I stop (it’s like a chapter book, isn’t it?) because this post is long enough : )


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