Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Chamorro Family

This is an excellent article on recent Nicaraguan history told through the lens of one of the country's most famous families. If you like the article and are interested in learning more about Nicaragua, or are just looking for a good book, I'd suggest Stephen Kinzer's Blood of Brothers.

The only critique I have of the article is when in the second to last paragraph, the author describes the Chamorro neighborhood as "middle-class." I can assure you that anyone in Nicaragua dining on seafood paella and living in a "sprawling four bedroom" is much wealthier than "middle-class," and it's a disservice to the country to describe the neighborhood as such when my friends and the majority of the country struggle to get by on less than $2/day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Go Blue!

I probably won't be winning any tournament pools this year.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Bizarre Foods

Bizarre Foods' Andrew Zimmern was in Nicaragua a couple of weeks ago filming an episode for his show. I hope/wonder if he got giardia.

Once you get over the fear of parasites, I agree with Zimmern. The best way to understand a new country is by sharing a local meal with its people. And if you can help prepare it, even better.

Buen provecho!

Nicaraguan Vampires

I'm glad I didn't read this article while I was living in Nicaragua. My "shanty" had "gaps big enough for the flying mammals to sneak through during the night," and sneak through they did. Ten minutes after my lights would go off, I'd hear my visitor swoop in and fly around. But I thankfully had a mosquito net and besides the droppings I cleaned up every morning, the bats in my house weren't too much of a bother.

The night before this picture was taken, however, was a bit less comfortable (check out the bat hanging above me). I had to sleep with my sleeping bag over my head and awoke several times through the night when the bat would fly so close I could feel it's wings hit me. There's a lot of things I don't miss about Nicaragua.

The standard Nicaraguan technique for getting rid of bats involved wrapping a clove a garlic in a red cloth and hanging the cloth from the roof. I was also told to smash garlic into the roof in the form of a cross. Neither of these worked. Go figure.