The Dog Days of Summer


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Published: July 22nd 2008
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Jordy and Jeferson carry Tati
I left from Managua to Terrabona around mid day and arrived into Terrabona around Seven at night. I got off the bus in the town where everyone know I am a stranger. I walk the half a block to the hospedaje and start to knock on the door. Before I get ther the boy across the street who I recognised from being there before shook his head at me. "There not there" he said. Okay that´s fine I can wait. "They are in Matagalpa" he says. Oh Shoot! I felt my heart rate rise a bit Matagalpa is about a five hour bus ride away! Maybe I would be waiting a long while! Maybe they wouldn´t be back tonight! Maybe they were on vacation!?! Shoot what am I going to do now. As I am thinking all of this I hear the boys mother on her cell phone " Sandra" she says "the Gringa is here" Then she invited me into her home to wait and told me that Sandra and Alvaro would be home around midnight. We watched TV for a while and then Luis and I went to the park with some other kids and hug out for a while. Around ten we were all fading and before I know they have brought a cot into their small living room and fixed it with a blanket and pillow for me to rest. Just after midnight we heard the hord of the bus rolling into town. I thanked them, gathered my stuff, and Sandra and Alvaro welcomed me into the hospedaje. They were so welcoming and ready to make me feel comfortable and relaxed. This was just a glimpse of what I would see all week long is how connected they are as vecinos, as neighbors. It doesn´t just mean that they live next to each other but they work together and take care of each other.

My time in Terrabona was very relaxing. It was great to really spend time in the community. When we had been there before with the group we were really only there in the evening. We had aquick breakfast in the morning at the comedor then we were off to work in Monte Grande and we didn´t return until late afternoon. This time I was able to see what life was like all day everyday. I spent alot of time out on the
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Tati and her new do
street people watching and soaking up the culture. On my first day there I had an absolutely incredible meal at one of the local comedors. First of all the portions were incredible. When I arrived they asked it I wanted pollo or carne and I went for the pollo. I didn´t know that I would be recieving half of a chicken for dinner. Then they asked it I would like fried plantain with my dinner. That was a definate yes! I LOVE fried plantains and usually they are cut into slices, like a bannan and then fried and you get two or three slices on you plate with a meal. They pulled out a whole fried plantain and set it on my plate! I was in heaven. But I have to say I don´t know if I have ever been soooo full in my life! Everything was so good the chicken, gallo pinto, fried guajara, and a whole fried plantain that I practically licked the plate clean. I ate almost all my meals with the family who owned the hospedaje. They invided me into their home to share every meal with them. Sandra is an amazing cook and thanks to
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Bryan and I with our best frog impression
her I found one of my new favorites, Repochetas. It is a fresh corn tortilla filled with guajara and then, thats right you guessed it, FRIED. It is fantastic!

I spent much of my time in Terrabona hanging out with the kids. There were many a long hours of photo shoots, every kid wanting to see themselves reflected in the small little screen. In the late afternoon after everyone was out of school we would climb Matopalo, which is a hill that overlooks Terrabona. The town is set in a valley among some very incredible hillsides. The nights were filled with games in the street. There are no gameboys, or leapfrogs, or minerature waterparks in the backyard. The kids are left to their imaginations and it is so much fun to watch them argue the rules of a game that they all invented. We would run the streets at night playing a version of hide and seek and it was so much pure fun. There was no worry about unknown neighbors or cars in the street. Sometimes we would stay out in front ot the hospedaje and play under the street light. All the parents would bring out their
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Us ontop of the hill overlooking Terrabona
chairs and watch the kids play in the warm summer night.

A few days before I left the kids decided that we should have a despedida. A farewell party. They were all so excited and they ran around planning and gathering food, drinks, and friends. On the night before I left we gathered together one last time. The night was full with dancing, and food, and games. It was a great way to spend my last night there laughing and singing together.


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The farewell party
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Trailblazing

The kids lead the way up to Matopalo


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