Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nica High Contrast

We've been back a day and I still haven't gotten Nicaragua out of my system. It was such a real place. Real places mark you for life and when you leave you want to feel like you're an expert, because you feel connected to and changed by them. But I'm no expert, just someone who got a taste.

What struck me about Nicaragua was the high contrast. Not just in the bleached-out images I caught with my camera, but in everything. Deep poverty, high pride. Freezing cold beers and warm swimming water. The roads are jagged but the life can be smooth. So tranquilo. At night, when bats are flying through the kitchen and the stars are shivering over you, big as oranges, there's a bittersweet smell in the air: a mix of woodfires and burning trash.

We spent many long, lazy hours reclining in whatever chair, pool or hammock we could find, and yet it still feels like we saw a year's worth of sights in a week. We stared into the mouth of an active volcano, peed on the ruins of the revolution and, one night coming home from the bar, met the eyes of a pack of wild dogs.

I'm already thinking of ways to get back.

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