August 2, 2005

En Managua

I arrived in Managua yesterday to a holiday, Dia de Santo Domingo, and Hansell (a woman my age I met at Miranda's wedding who used to work at Bridges to Community, and now works at the US Embassy) took me along with her friends Ericka (a Nicaraguan guard at the Embassy), Etienne (a med student from Quebec), and Jaime (a Nicaraguan body guard to the US Ambassador) to the parade of horses. Over a thousand pure-bred horses with crazy complicated dance-like stepping are the supposed attraction, and while that was pretty neat, I think the real attraction was simply the excuse for thousands of Managuans to go out, be seen (if rich), sell trinkets or vend food (if not rich), and GET DRUNK (everyone). I had an amazing time people watching! Lemme tell you though, the combination of the heat, the sun, the crowd and the cerveza made me more than a little loopy. Whoooo! But, wonderfully, Hansell has been provided with a pool at her posh US Embassy house, so we lazed in the water when we returned. AND.... (I can't believe it still...) we ordered pizza, took warm showers, FLUSHED our toilets, went to bed in AIR CONDITIONED rooms. Very very posh. I am so amazed that all these things EXIST in Nicaragua.
In fact, yesterday I was just psyched about it. But today, I have ventured to a mall to use the internet, and I am rather perturbed by the fact that nearly everything that is available in the States is available in Nicaragua, but only if you have the money. The lifestyles and incomes of the people in Nicaragua are too vastly extreme to be fair. While it is funny to see the food court filled with business men and women in dapper suits rather than teenagers and rednecks, it's sad to me that the prices are expensive american prices, and that no one else could even dream of even walking into a place like this mall. Sad. I am getting ready to spend the next little while in places decidedly more touristy, and I wonder how this seed of insight will mature before I leave.

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