So we made it back from Nicaragua in one piece. It was our second trip there, but the first to the city of Grenada. It is the oldest city in the Continental Americas and absolutely beautiful, having been established and built by Spanish Conquistadors in the early 1500’s. It still boasts some buildings that existed more than 400 years ago. Which I think is pretty cool. The trip itself was very memorable and one that I hope my kids will continue to appreciate as they study world history in the future. We’ll see. There is one aspect of the trip that I’ve been thinking about a lot. I thought about it during the long bus ride back to Costa Rica as my two younger children scratched helplessly at a rash that was spreading along their torsos, and then again as I was running to the bathroom this morning. It goes something like this: We do things here, in Central America, that we would NEVER even consider in the states…..never ever ever. Here are a few examples:
A man approached us in the park, offering a “cheap tour” of the lake. “yew rilly gonna lub it.”, he said. So, we hopped in his car and off we went.
A wild monkey jumped in our boat. So we fed it bananas of course. Played with it and touched it.
When we got back we were hungry so we bought food poured out on banana leaves from a lady with an ice chest and a big bowl covered in plastic wrap in the park. Then we ate it. (We also ate in a families restaurant/living room, and we ordered food from a one armed/3 fingered guy.)
My kids bought ice cream from a dude pushing a cart with bells on it.
We all walked around in a little cave of a room as dried bat poo crunched below our flipflops.
Cold showers. We had cold showers.
We ate food from street vendors at the steamy, dust covered frontera (the border), including fried chicken and platanos, homemade cheese and tortillas, and I had a torta and a cup of coffee ( which I believe may be the source of this mornings tummy troubles).
So, you see, times have changed for us. I can remember, not so long ago, scolding my kids for touching a dog on a leash without first consulting carefully with the owner, and the stern warning that we do not eat food offered by strangers….ever. And now here we are, sucking down whatever is slopped onto our plate by whichever toothless transient we find on the street. And, as far as animals are concerned, I guess the new message we’re sending is “Hey, the more exotic the better – that’s what immunizations are for!” I just hope the boys don’t cross paths with a panther or a crocodile any time soon, since we have clearly done a terrible job of demonstrating that we should respect certain boundaries. I should mention here that the rash cleared right up. It was a heat rash….I think….
I know, it all sounds very irresponsible. But I would rather experience the world alongside them (while taking a few risks), than imagine it from the safety of home. To see pics of our walk on the wild side, click here. There are 2 albums. Enjoy.