“The road from appearance to reality is often very hard and long, and many people make only very poor travelers. We must forgive them when they stagger against us as if against a brick wall.” —Franz Kafka

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Notes on the fly



Granada, Nicaragua

We've been in Nicaragua for about a week and are finally getting adjusted to the heat, humidity and pace. Very very poor country; second only to Haiti in the region. There is no opportunity. Fifty percent unemployment. Bright, personable, able-bodied young people everywhere with zero opportunity. It's heartbreaking.

Usually, markets are the colorful heart of the city. Unfortunately Granada's dark market is an explosion of filth and chaos. The place is jarring, death's presence is so intimate and the suffering so tangible that I feel grossly irreverent, sacrilegious, being there as an outsider, an observer. I don't see how this town will ever attain the coveted status of tourist attraction until they somehow manage to change it. Apparently the town has been trying to get people to move to a new location but nobody wants to go.

Sorry. Gotta go. Time's up here. Tomorrow we leave for Ometepe, an island in Lake Cocibolca with dual volcanoes, one living and one dead. More later.

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