Long Days and Epic Nights

(written last night)

Nights in El Campo de Nicaragua are certainly different. Families jabber outside my room much too fast for me to feel comfortable to join in. (hopefully in time) I feel an outsider made to feel at home. I could not ask for more. Dinner was fried plantains, a corn tortilla, beans and rice and a little spaghetti on the side. Very sabroso. I am always ready for bed after the sun goes down. There seems nothing else to do. Within 3 feet of my door the family talks happily together after dinner after Frederlinda’s novio (I guess) has brought bricks up in his Toyota 4 wheel drive truck which the children quickly unloaded, to build a shower stall or may be a full bathroom, I am not sure. I hope I am here to help with the work.

This is like camping for me. High up in green mountains. Marisela washed some of my clothes today. They may hang on the line a few days to dry, depending on the weather. I am not sure if she went to the stream or worked here with water from the well but I am very happy for her help. I needed something clean! Since I don’t wear shorts (they do around the home but no one does in public) I have two long pants.

It seems this place in conducive to dreaming. They go on all night. Strange (as usually dreams are) but enjoyable. Last night I was in a very large expensive house with many people. The weird thing is about 7 floors went straight up with an open rectangle where a dining table was suspended at each level. You figure that one out.

Tomorrow will be back to Ocotal to do more internet searching on making the installation of solar panel more secure, quite a challenge anywhere. It seems, these expensive commodities have inspired a new group of thieves. They are easily sold on the net, I guess. The industry will have to adapt. I read that to help with the problem of car theft they created “grand theft auto” which makes and car theft, even those worth almost nothing, is a felony. Funny how one thing always leads to another.

I looked for a baseball here for one of the sons, Maynor, in town. One place had one, $35 (US). I’ll have to check another town or could get lucky in Ocotal. I guess I could start a new business: selling used balls from games here. Clean um up and ask $5.

But then again, one thing leads to another….
Joy is surprised at the frequency of my notes. This is how I can talk to you all and in English! Hopefully I will pick up enough Spanish that it comes easy for me.

I am getting used to wood smoke. It fills my room often being close to the cocina. It fades with the outside conversation as the night gets late but returns just after the roosters cockadoodledooooo! This morning they were fewer, due to the rainy night. I guess they don’t like rain. Lora certainly does. She is the resident parrot, a yellow head (green with only a yellow spot). She talks up a storm when it rains. Many parrots fill these hills in flocks. Lora is content to stay close although she will fly to the top of the roof and they scold her and put out a pole and she hops on. I thinks she likes me. She did not bite and came to me quickly and didn’t want to leave my finger. I am glad the dog likes me too. They say he doesn’t like everyone. Sol, the cat, can smell food faster than anyone. I secretly opened a pack of plain cookie/crackers and he was at my door before I could chonk on one myself. I don’t feed either of them in fear on starting a habit. They don’t do it, their table being outside. I don’t see them get fed often. Nor the chickens. But they don’t beg or seem to have any problem getting fat. There are several houses near that have pigs but I haven’t seen one here or it is away from the house, a good thing. The ones I do see along the path/road really know how to relax. Give them some shade and a cool freshly upturned piece of ground and they will only move an ear now and then to shoo a fly, sprawled out and smiling. I don’t mention anything to them about bacon.

I am still curious about the yellow crystal I found on the floor the day I arrived. I know they clean these floors well, having the same quality as Joy (said to have been born with a broom in her hands). I suspect it was lodged in the thick tread of my hiking boot. So, I look for them but have not found another as yet.
Besides many types of birds and a rare small lizard there seems to be few other wild animals around here. Curious. But I forgot my recorder unfortunately because there are so many new and beautiful, interesting calls. I swear some sound to have a Spanish accent. Did they get that from the people or the people from the birds?

I guess these people go to the store but it seems all that we eat comes from their work. Corn, beans, tortillas, bananas (grown locally too), many fruits. I think they even make the white cheese. I guess many things are store bought but not the main staples. They all seem healthy and strong and happy.
I’m off to bed now. A few mosquitoes are showing up, drawn by the glow of my screen. So, even though I have mosquito netting some how bugs get through so I don’t work on it in bed any more.

It has occurred to me that the constant conversation, which I understand little of, is like a kind of music. It will go on for another hour and then only the hills alive at night continue to speak.

(written this morning, to Joy)
Oh. My dreams last night! An epic! I kept thinking : this is a book! So many vivid visions. One of the clouds forming as if a giant mushroom (like an atom bomb but not, more alive) with side tornado like sections coming out the sides. I was caught up in one and when I was let down I was on my back breathing with mouth wide open until I awoke (all this in a dream, not in reality).Lots of flying around.

But the main story could be titled “The Man Perched on the Porch Roof”. It was as if I was living a story that had already been written, and this seemed fantastic. (now, bear with me here, this is a dream). You had decided to leave me. I was distraught. You had developed a relationship with a black lesbian woman and her friends. I was expressing my anger but trying also to control it, knowing that if this is what made you happy then it was OK. All this took place in a neighborhood of townhome style houses with much larger ones near by.

Then on to being taken hostage by a group of drug dealers in a car but escaping. Lots of flying around. And oh so much more that I can not recall but it was a true epic. I would even wake up and go back to sleep and it would continue. Rich people were leaving huge grand houses (some that I had worked on in the past). Things were disintegrating all around. and then the big cloud. Children seemed to be around that were unafraid, in the ‘know’ somehow about what was going on. Chris and friends were there also with huge waves in the distance. Strange dreams. They seem to come every night. I must have been tired in the morning. I did not hear the rooster’s call.
Enough for now. I need to get to work.


  • Steve,

    Such good news to hear from you.

    Maybe (and hopefully) a beautiful canvas will some day be painted to tell the story of this time in your life.

    Love and prayers

  • You need to be staying at the table with the family, talking, in Spanish, instead of going to bed! That’s where you learn the best, with those that are patient. (you used to leave for bed too soon in Oaxaca too, as I recall) Pick up the beat and be a part of the band…

    Your camera has a video mode which you can use to record the bird calls. I wonder if the sound is good enough to be worth it.

    The night sounds make the night interesting. I’ll bet you can see a lot of stars there. Or are there too many clouds?

  • Steve,

    More adventures in your journey. It sounds great & I hope you enjoy every last moment. Take it all in (as much as possible) and gather the memories of a lifetime.

  • Hey there, wherever….Steve, I agree w/the above comments, & still encourage you to take more up-front & personal interaction photos/video (if you have the digital space). You should have Joy send more memory chips & batteries for this once in a lifetime adventure to document all that you witness/experience…..for fun & profit in the future. I know you’re keeping notes for your book…..& hope it’s a success…..”More Photos”! is my suggestion.
    I wish I could join u for a wk…….can’t conceive of a 3 mo. commitment. Good Luck my Friend!
    Sincerely, Your Bud……Bro. Dave

Comments are closed.