In Nicaragua, a current rushed through me like an undertow. I could feel it, but I couldn’t see it. It’s just over two weeks since returning and maybe now I am able to start making sense of it.
The hardest question to answer is: “How was your trip?!” During the first few days, I had to brush it off because my ideas were not fully sorted out.
I mean, we saw: Volcanoes, dirt roads, paved roads, markets, pigs, dogs, chickens, cats, sea turtles, banana trees, coffee plants, Sandinistas, scorpions, Somoza's fighters, latrines, sunrise, sunset, dilapidated houses, barbed wire fences, women washing clothes on stones, laundry drying on barbed wire, hillsides scarred by landslides, burning trash, vultures, compost, pine needle baskets, kids singing, kids playing instruments, kids sniffing glue, kids smashing piñatas, kids smiling, bedrooms with dirt floors, the darkness of a short circuited city, hardly any cellphones, people using every inch of the parks, soccer, basketball, fishing, the ocean, water sold in plastic bags, trash, more trash, people in need of a health clinic, wounds from a revolution, a school with no teachers, free trade zones, fireworks, a brass band, machetes, a man named Jim and his passion for the people of Nicaragua, and lots of happy people shouting “Adio!” to us.
A few lucky people have had the chance of hearing the story with some strokes of clarity, but there’s so much to share I’m still working on doing the story justice in just a few sentences. And that's just one of the reasons why this needs a bigger breath. It needs a photo gallery. It needs a documentary.
The story of PeaceWorks and this documentary project has since been covered by the local online news franchise (click). Although there are a few disputable bits of the story, it’s nice to see some buzz starting. Who knows where this project will go. Now the real ditch-digging begins, to raise the funds, organize a photo exhibit, and create a documentary with all that footage.
There will be a delegation report back dinner on Saturday, February 9th March 9th @ 6:30PM (click) if you’re interested in seeing more pictures and hearing more detailed stories of where we went and what we saw.
One sobering thought that sticks with me is....... In the end I could leave.
Those colorful people we visited were there to stay. This was their life. They couldn't leave. Our driver for the week told us he's never been on a plane, and he was there to stay. The plastic bags were there to stay, too, trampled into the ground. The dogs will keep scavenging and perhaps there will always be someone approaching you at a red light selling water in a blue plastic bag.
For now, the fundraising is still open (click)! Please help spread the word so we can tell this story. And THANK YOU to everyone who has been so generous to help out, so far.