Sunday, May 8, 2016

Fresh deliveries and Granada's clean sidewalks

This is Mike...
   I am slowly starting to feel up to writing blog posts again. I have been really wiped out because of my rib pain and the medication which puts me to sleep after taking a pill. My bedroom has been nothing more than a prison cell for me for the last 10 days. Thankfully though, I am feeling much better even if persistent pain lingers.
   Today is Mother's Day and have to admit it was nice being taken care of recently by such a caring woman. Elise has been doing everything on her own for nearly two weeks and quite nicely might I add. Like most mothers she is a multitasking machine. I am looking forward to being able to pull my weight around a little more as I recover.

Two sneaky kids with their Mother's day flowers.

The big reveal.

Pretty nice ensemble from two kids and an achy father.

   Being stuck in my room over the last week and a half gave me a deeper appreciation for the amount of deliveries that occur in a Nicaraguan neighborhood. Granted we are staying in the higher end of town but the themes are the same. People are quite industrious when given an opportunity. People want to better themselves, of this I am sure. Yeah, the numbers are much smaller here than in the industrialized world but honest pay for honest work makes the world go round.
   The milk man, carrying minutes old milk in the canister rides his bike though the barrios shouting "Leche de vaca." People who want milk open their front doors to wait their turn for sweet, warm, fresh, unpasteurized milk. This is as close to drinking from the cow as it gets. We had this type of milk before in Ecuador and when we put it into our coffee the milk disappeared, not changing the color of  the coffee that much. The minutes-old milk we had in Ecuador was sweet is flavor, not sugary sweet, rather like a carrot juice sweet.

Enjoying fresh milk delivered to your door.
       The shaved ice man comes along in hotter parts of the day to cool off the young and young at heart. To be honest, I only noticed this guy since I have been bedridden. He pushed his cart all along and I never noticed, makes me wonder about how many other things I haven't noticed. Life is strange in this regard, we can be in a place but not really there in our minds. Elise was right in wanting to return to Nicaragua, to relive the time we spent and to see what we missed. Giving anything worth living the opportunity for a second chance is an important trait I want to encourage.

Cool treats delivered to your door.

   The sidewalks in front of each house are kept clean by the homeowners. Everyday the women are outside with soap and water cleaning the sidewalks. The women use brushes, mops and brooms to clean the pathways in front of their homes. Speaking with our maid, she explained that neighbors will judge the Amas de casa (Housewives) for unkempt exteriors. I have to say that peer pressure works and the women polish their sidewalks as part of their daily ritual. During the daytime the women are mostly visible as the men are off, presumably working. In this regard, it reminds me of suburban U.S. where the traditional family unit is still largely intact. Yeah, there are women who are employed here as well, divorced etc. but what one observes here is a rather stable, traditional neighborhood. The Nicaraguans take great pride in maintaining great communities and snuff out bad characters quickly. This partially explains why Nicaragua is so much safer than its immediate neighbors to the north regarding gangs and crimes. They just don't put up with it here. To be sure, Nicaragua has issues but they overcome them with their pragmatic, get it done, attitudes. Elise and I have often remarked that this place is perfectly imperfect.  

Ama de casa doing her final rinse of the sidewalk.

Our immediate neighbor spends 30 minutes a day washing the sidewalk in front of her home.

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