Friday, November 1, 2013

More Managua, a bit of San Ramon, and a bit of randoms

{More Managua}
{Volcano crater that is now a lake, but is still active}
{Piggy in San Ramon}
{More San Ramon}
{My house while I lived in San Ramon, Nicaragua)
{My little niece and a neighbor friend}
{The kitchen table where I ate most days}
{The kitchen!}
{The snake hunt always with David (it's dead FYI)}
{Annnndddd then our bus got a flat tire in the middle of no where}
{And the mechanic had a pet monkey, which was a sad learning opportunity}

          More pictures up today. The first few are still of our visit to Managua. We visited the new park area put in by the government on the water front as well as some of the monuments and old palaces in the center of Managua. The park was rather strange because it was a holiday weekend so a lot of people were at home or with family so it was completely empty. It was very colorful and pretty, but also somehow artificial. One thing I can't get used to is all of the political material all over Nicaragua. Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua's president, is plastered on billboards and posters all over, in the schools, streets, clinics, etc. Also the Sandinista political party colors (black and red) are painted everywhere. Politics in general in Nicaragua is very different and you could write a whole book (as many have) on it. I don't want to go too far into it, but Nicaragua's history is so rich in terms of political movements and struggles, but it is also riddled with corruption and injustice, something that is still around today. 
           The other pictures I have are of San Ramon and of our traveling adventures. On our way to San Ramon we ended up getting a flat tire in the middle of no where. We later discovered that some street kids had put nails in our tires from when we stopped for lunch. This is another aspect of Nicaragua that is hard. There are kids on the streets and they are very blatant with asking for money, and sometimes if you don't give money the kids will do things like put nails in your tires. I personally don't believe in giving money, because I would like to fix the problem on a bigger scale, and I think giving money doesn't do that. I'll get off my soap box now though. Anyways, luckily we found a local mechanic not too far away and were able to get a new tire. While we were at the mechanics house we discovered his pet monkey. This was also a new learning experience. It was very cool to see the monkey, but we also learned from David (our professor of environmental science, "snake guy") how horrible it is for the monkeys to be taken from the wild and then kept as pets. Many times when the monkeys grow into adulthood the families cannot handle them anymore and have to give them away. However, the monkeys are no longer able to survive in the wild by themselves, so many die or have to go live in special homes (which there are few of). In general, Nicaragua has a problem with taking wild parrots, monkeys, and lizards out of the wild to sell, and it is very unsustainable and dangerous for the species. 
         After a while we finally made it to San Ramon and I got to meet my host family for the next 3 days. They were such a sweet family. I had a mom, 2 brothers, 2 sisters, and one little niece. The house was small, the showers were cold, and there were quite a few cockroaches, but I loved every minute with my family. The house felt homey even just after 3 days and I felt super close to my family. We watched local soccer games in the evenings and my brother showed me around the little town. I have a special place in my heart for San Ramon. 

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