Saturday, August 23, 2008

Revisiting Nicaragua: Part 5

Monday 18 August 2008

We decided to leave Mérida on the 10:15 bus and head to Moyogalpa, where we’d take a day trip to the beach at Punta Jésus Maria (only 5km away) and then have Indío Viejo Vegetariano at Hospedaje Central for dinner.

The first glitch in our plan came around 9:30, when Conny told us that they’d just found out that the 10:15 bus was broken down and the next bus out of Mérida wouldn’t be until Tuesday morning.

Rob and I sat on a hammock for a while, trying to figure out what to do for the day. Reina looked slightly pleased about our situation. “No te vayas, Meli,” she said.

So Rob and I went over to teach the English class—the kids had shown up, either not remembering or not understanding that they were currently on “vacation” because their teacher had left the day before. It was a beginner class of very small children, and what made the whole situation hilarious was that when we arrived, 3 slightly older children (Horation, Darwin, and Eugenio) were attempting to teach it. But mainly there was a lot of screaming and running around, even rom the supposed teachers (who were probably only 11-12 years old themselves). For some reason, Horatio had decided to teach possessive pronouns, so we went over sentences such as: “The book is hers. These are their things. Is this your bag?”

Around 10:30, I saw a big van pull up and I thought it was dropping off a load of tourists. But Reina told me it was full of tourists who were leaving and I should ask if there was room for Rob and me. The van looked fully loaded, but they said okay. The driver told us it was 85 córdovas per person, which was about 3 times as much as the bus, but still less than $4 each, so not completely outrageous.

We quickly threw some money at Conny to pay for our stay, gave Reina one last hug, and climbed aboard the van.

It was a bumpy ride and I was unfortunately facing backwards, which meant that by 20 minutes into it, I was green and near death with car sickness. I managed to hang on until we made it to Moyogalpa. We ended up getting a room at Hospedaje Central, simply because we had been there before and couldn’t remember how awful it was.

We got something fairly disgusting and greasy for lunch, and then regrouped to take our trip to Punta Jésus Maria. We boarded a bus going in that direction and then walked 1km down a dirt path to get there. It was lovely. We swam and relaxed by the beach and then ended up walking the rest of the way back to town.

When we got back to Moyogalpa it was just before dark. We quickly noticed that there was no electricity anywhere in town. We also discovered that there was no running water. These things happen in Nicaragua. You just have to wait them out.

We relaxed in some hammocks and waited for the water and power to come back on, so we could order Indío Viejo—the whole reason why we’d come to Moyogalpa in the first place. We waited and waited. We were really hungry, so Don Alberto’s tiny bananas and Rob’s stash of junk-food came in handy.

In the darkness, Rob was sound asleep before 8pm. I was way too hungry, hot, and dirty (from swimming in the lake and walking 5km on dusty roads) to sleep. It wasn’t the first time I’d ever spent a night like that in Moyogalpa. And I knew I couldn’t complain too much—plenty of people were going to bed hungry all over Nicaragua. Without even Don Alberto’s tiny bananas to get by.

Tuesday 19th August 2008
We made it through the night and in the morning everything seemed to be working again. We found a place that opened at 7am to serve breakfast—it was new since we’d left, and run by a very nice American/Caribbean couple.

After having breakfast, we got our stuff and waited for the ferry to leave the island. Once we reached the mainland, we hopped on a minibus to Managua. Everything was going fine until the mini-bus broke down. I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on, but when a Managua-bound chicken bus came by, we all got on it. The thing about this chicken bus is that it was already quite full when it got to us. I still do not understand how the laws of physics permitted our entire bus-load of people to fit on it, but somehow we all managed to crowd on. I assumed we’d have to pay again after we got on the chicken bus, but the ayudante explained that us refugees from the broken down bus didn’t have to pay.

We finally made it to Managua and took a taxi the rest of the way to our (posh) hotel by the airport. My original plan had been to drop off our bags at the hotel and then hop another bus to go to Masaya for some souvenir shopping, but by that point I was beyond car sick and totally done with transportation. We ended up just relaxing and swimming a bit in the hotel pool.

In all, I can’t believe how great the trip went. We accomplished so much in so little time. Before we left, I hadn’t been sure if we’d really get to see anybody, and (Wrinkle Belly aside) we pretty much saw them all. Of course, I still have lingering sadness about Eduardo, but I’ve got to believe that he is with people who will take care of him and that he will have a lovely life regardless of whether we meet again.

Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

oh, lissie ... that photo is worth a million words ... you did a beautiful job capturing the highlights of your trip including many of the emotions experienced as you encountered the various changes ... thank you for writing!! hugs, auntie

Anonymous said...

I agree with your AUNTIE,,,,,,,, that picture says it all!!!!!!!! from beginning to END , your trip was FULL of adventure and MEMORIES!!!!! these will be with you forever and as your life takes other journeys, Nicaragua and the People and "monkey's" will remain in your heart forever!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing and taking us along with you and rob......... May your future hold many more adventures, and wherever you go, keep your pen , paper,and camera ready.... we don't want to miss any part of it!!!!!!! luv you both, foxymama

Jodi said...

I've been waiting for your Nicaragua updates! Glad you saw Eduardo, I hope you're feeling OK about how it played out. Let's get together this week; Nico is back and I've barely seen you, Carolina, or Nico at all this summer! I'm going to send out an email about this right now.

Anonymous said...

Liss: What a wonderful journal, is there another book coming? Maybe you can go back often, teaching classes. Then when people say they are Meli's students, that will cause natives to be very impressed and attentive.