Wednesday, June 3, 2015

4/12/86, Saturday

4/12/86, Saturday

Last night at Lobo Jack I talked to a lot of people. Many of us have reached a point in this journey where we understand that it’s time to move past learning the truth, it’s time to start acting on it. I feel more in tune with humanity down here. Talking to the internationalists, hearing about their work, makes me appreciate the courage of those who take action. I realize that I spend a lot of time in my head, exploring ideas instead of doing anything. Ideas should be utilized, they shouldn't rot in your head like uneaten fruit on a vine. I have to stop being stupid, thinking that planting tomatoes on an agricultural cooperative is going to make any great change in those people’s lives; it probably only made a difference in mine.

I've been offered a teaching job in the mountains just north of Esteli. It’s dangerous territory. The closer you get to Honduras, the closer you get to the fighting, but the children have been in desperate need of teachers for a while. I’m considering it. I could be happy here. I've fallen in love with this country and these people, despite the poverty and the hardship.

Photo of Nicaraguan people via Chaya Shepard

I still remember my first night, scooping paper out of the toilet with my hand for fear of screwing up the whole neighborhood’s plumbing. Hearing the roosters crow even at night, being exposed to third world living conditions for the first time in my life, finding out that it wasn't uncommon for people to live in boarded up shacks with little or no plumbing; in fact, it was the norm. I remember the first week, getting used to the unannounced water shutoffs, seeing people riding horses on the streets right next to cars, getting used to not having a refrigerator or washing machine, learning to use a scrub board, learning to take bucket baths, learning to tuck the mosquito netting so the little suckers couldn't sneak in under the net; learning what it means to be Nicaraguan. God, I love this place.

I love my own country too, and I miss home and my loved ones and my band. I could also make a difference there; it’s just not as easy to see what needs to be done. There are children who need a bilingual teacher like me in Los Angeles but I can’t abandon Nicaragua. I don’t know what to do.

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