Tuesday, July 7, 2009

First day in Granada

At Newark, the red cap was really helpful as I tried to self reliantly get my own cart. It costs the same he said, so we piled our many bags, more than we have ever travelled with onto his cart. The line was long and after I paid him he said, maam, when is your flight. When I said 11:30 he said come with me. And I did. He took me over to the first class counter and checked in all my bags and threw them on the conveyor belt. I made sure they were going to Managua, but still, I was very relieved to see them all tumble off the baggage carousel soon after we passed through immigration. Thank you Mr. Red Cap. I hope someone is helping your family somewhere.

Swine flu seems to have brought a new level of public concern about communicable disease to Nicaragua. There is a new form to fill out about your health in the last few days, no of course my nose has not been running. They have a fancy infrared machine that scans your temperature when you stand on the pad. Not only that, at Kathy's this morning, there were no less than 5 signs posted in the bathroom telling you how to wash your hands.

But last night, our temperatures were all fine and no one asked to see any documentation that it was alright for me to bring an unrelated child into the country without his parents. Going through immigration here I always think about how different the experience is for outsiders coming into our country. It is so easy for us. Doesn't seem fair. Hector was there with Jonathan to pick us up. The night was very quiet and full of wood smoke when we drove in from the airport last night. Full moon and we could see the smoke from Masaya Volcano

So happy to be back in La Perla. It still hasn't sunk in that we will be here for a whole year. Feels like usual, except that I don't feel like I have to rush to do anything. I am completely disoriented. Speaking Spanish like the befuddled gringa that I am. I'm just going to ease into it.

When I walked out to my balcony this morning with my coffee (it was touch and go but the expobar is working!) I could see all of the big volcano Mombacho because our neighbor's cut down their mango tree to build another room in their courtyard. Now we have one of the best views in the city.

I brought too much stuff. Leaving the US I was caught between the impulses to simplify and the impulse to bring everything down that will make me feel comfortable for the year. But this house was planned as a transient place with very little storage. I'm going to have to get someone to make some bamboo shelves pretty quick.

Cristina (the housekeeper) was happy to see us and I am glorying in the luxury of smooth beds and clean floors I didn't have to do myself.

Jonathan has gone to Managua to buy a car from a doctor. Every used car for sale is because people are leaving the country and it makes me alittle worried about the brain drain here. He took a mechanic and a lawyer with him. I bet he comes back with the car and many stories of the bureaucracy when he gets back.

The church bells are ringing and firecrackers are going off at the same time. I have a feeling I am missing a procession. I think we will go get ice cream and see.

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