It is hard to imagine not being here anymore. One always feels needed, if one is lucky, and imagines a small hole ripped out of the fabric of the community upon departure. I know it closes up soon. But I feel a little uprooted.
These are in the order of the pictures on the camera.
Angel, very aptly named, showed up everyday at an ungodly hour to drive my kids safely back and forth to school in Managua. The Carretera Masaya was the thing I worried most about my whole time here. He crossed himself and said a prayer before each trip and it always made me feel better. He proactively avoided riots and demonstrations. I have never owned a cleaner car. He was genuinely horrified when I told him I wash my car at home only once or twice a year.
He will be doing some independent tourist driving for other operators and hopes to buy a car with his brother and have his own business soon. He and his wife are expecting a baby in July.
Moni was our personal chef for the year. She cooked delicious meals and did all my shopping. I was so happy not to have to go to the store and to have a whole year off of cooking. I learned how to cook Nicaraguan food and crepes from her. She made it possible for me to enjoy sunsets with a drink in my hand or to keep working right up to the moment dinner was ready. She showed up for work the day her father died and the day she was in labor. She is planning on starting a small cafe in her house across from the bus stop.
Cristina is the keeper of Perla del Norte and has taken care of us and the house since we started coming down here. She is the best housekeeper in town. I know because we had a few substitutes while she was on maternity leave and they were frightening. I can pick up from here and return back to my other life, knowing that everything will be taken care of.
Avi has been a great friend this year. He is such a mensch. I've loved having him as one of the family. Always ready to help with anything, he has been a great Torah reading, basketball playing example for my boys. He takes his work (peace corps) very seriously and I've loved getting to know lots of committed but realistic young folks through him. He will start the next phase of his life when he leaves Nicaragua at the end of the summer. But until then, where will he eat, where will he do his laundry, where will he surf the internet?
Laurence and Thelma are the folks we have known the longest in Granada. They have included us in all the fun from day one and shared innumerable tips. It's been great raising (ha!) our kids together for the year. They also hooked us up with great people including Moni and Angel. And the other third of the Wednesday night supper club Melodi and Jeremy and the girls. They are just starting their expat life in Nicaragua.
Good bye to the beloved neighbors al frente, across the street. I so enjoyed the long evenings drinking wine in this rum and coke life. Their danish/chilean house was always an oasis of graciousness. And their kids are damn cute.
And of course, the Lopez-Rodriguez family who welcomed us into their family and shared everything. The pig business is going great. Omar is setting up a jewelry workshop. Lucia and Silvia are continuing their studies
There are more, but I have to go pack and I'm afraid I can't find all the pictures of everyone at the moment due to an i photo issue