Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nicaragua 2013 (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1)

Thursday 14 February

I woke up in the middle of the night, realizing that I had forgotten to give Leda the gift I'd brought for her-- an embroidered hand bag and a bracelet.  There was nothing I could do about it now except kick myself.  After breakfast in our hotel that morning, we all arranged to go to San Jorge so that we could take a ferry across to Ometepe. The boat was very crowded, so I didn't get to sit outside and experience the usual awe and splendor that I associate with watching the island come into view, but I did stick my head out the window once just to snap this picture.

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When we arrived in Moyogalpa, it looked like the town was getting ready for Fuego y Agua.  We ate lunch at this place called Cornerhouse-- a trendy hot-spot for gringos, tourists, and ex-pats, with nice English-speaking owners and amazing food.  While I tried to persuade Will to eat peanut butter and marmalade on toast, it began to feel like a Fuego y Agua reunion.  We saw several runners we had met last year, and Rob got to rub elbows with some of the elites doing the 100K.

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The rest of the Buffalo were staying in Moyogalpa for the race, but Rob and I planned on heading to Mérida to see our friends and visit the place where we had lived for a year.  We took the 2:30pm bus and were pleasantly surprised to meet up with Joël-- one of my favorite people in the world-- who was running the 25K again this year.

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Joël and I passed the time on the bus ride by planning a hypothetical organic cacao/coffee farm that we want to start somewhere on the slopes of Concepción.  He may have been half kidding about such a farm, but I wasn't.  Joël, if you ever read this, I will be happy to do all of the manual labor as long as you can take care of the stuff that requires speaking really good Spanish.

Helen got on the bus in Altagracia.  She was 9 when I first met her, now she is 16.  It has been amazing to watch these kids grow up over the past 6 or 7 years.

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Helen filled me in on all of the gossip of the island-- some of it was sweet or funny, some of it was the kind of news chilled you to the bone.  

She told me that Leda had anemia, not pneumonia.  I guess the words sound alike to me, especially when said in Spanish, which is why I'd gotten them confused.  Helen was surprised and intrigued that Leda had met me in Granada.  From what I gathered, Leda has been through a lot this year, and she has been off the island for some time.  

At last we arrived at Mérida.  Home.  It was great to see Don Alvaro again, the owner of the Hacienda where we stayed for a year.  The women who work in the kitchen came out to hug me, and everyone wanted some news of Leda.

Rob and Will and I watched the sunset outside of our old room that night.

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Rob and I had curried veggie burgers for dinner (delicious), and Will ate some rice and beans.  While Rob tried to get Will settled down for bed, I talked with Esther about having someone watch Will on the morning of the race so that I could run out to El Porvenir and meet Rob at the base of the volcano, as I had last year.  Helen came back to pick up Leda's gift for me-- she said she could take it to Leda's mother.  

The next morning (Friday, February 15th), Rob needed to head back to Moyogalpa.  After breakfast, Will and I waited with him at Clara and Jehu's for the 8:30 bus.  I wished him good luck.  The next time I'd see him would be when he was getting ready to climb Volcan Maderas.

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Where is Concepción?  Somewhere behind those clouds.



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Jehu explained that the ayudante on the bus Rob took back to Moyogalpa was his son.
IMG 1467View of Volcan Maderas

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