Wednesday, November 18, 2009


It is getting dark earlier, around 5:30, but it is oh so different than the shortening days are in Seattle. Our balcony looks out over red tile roofs toward the central square. We can see the Mombacho volcano to the South. I have promised myself that I will pause and take a few moments to enjoy the sunset whenever I am home because even though there are still many days left, it is still a finite number. After the sun sinks behind the cathedral domes, my neighbor’s mango trees fill with birds. Right now there are enormous numbers of these scissor tailed swifts that are called tijeretas swooping around. Probably because of the large number of mosquitoes and gnats. They fill the sky for a few moments and then settle into trees all at once and you can hardly see them. Then a wind comes or a firecracker goes off and they become a cloud on the wind currents. Smaller flocks of little green parrots, chocoyos fly by making a racket. Yellow guïs sit on the roof ridge and make their distinctive sound, which is guïs. About this time, the neighbor’s yellow cat usually walks by on the roofs.

Just as the swifts are settling, the bats start to fly out. At first there are just a few zigzagging silhouettes among the graceful birds, but then they start to pour out of the roof peaks of the adjoining houses and are eventually lost in the approaching darkness. Cathedral bells ring and church bells answer. Dinner smells drift up to the balcony. We sit for a little longer and then Moni calls us to eat.

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