al Cazar el Carpincho Azul

Musings on my move to Nicaragua in search of the elusive Carpincho Azul.



The Cultural Center in Batahola Norte where I am currently the General Coordinator, is full of beautiful murals (as you can see here to the left). The first murals were painted in 1985, when two international volunteers from Australia (Ben and Michelle) came to share their talents with the community. They taught painting to the kids at the Center and together they began using the Center walls to tell stories.
Those original kids, who started painting murals by filling in outlines and practically painting "by number" became muralists in their own right--two are now Painting and Drawing instructors here, teaching yet another generation. So the first murals were painted from 1985-87, but there are many, many others that were created throughout the 1990s.

After the change of government in 1990, when the Sandinistas were voted out and the first of a succession of neo-liberal presidents (and other public officials) took office, many (if not all) public murals were painted over. I've been told that when Arnoldo Alemán was Mayor of Managua--he went on to become president in 1996 and is currently serving time for major corruption--he came to the Cultural Center with the intention of painting over our murals. Sister Margarita held firm, and thanks to her resolve the murals are still here today.


More Pictures--Updates of la Colinita

Paulo has been working really hard at reforesting and regreening our property, in preparation for the cultural cafe he'd like to open in the near future. These pictures, while clearly showing significant improvement since 2004, don't nearly do it justice, especially since they were taken at the start of the 2005 rainy season (July), and we're now at the beginning of summer. Try to imagine these same pictures after 4 more months of rain and you'll start to get the idea.

BTW, all these pictures were taken by my dad during his July visit. During the trip he took nearly 700 photos on his digital camera!


Here's a picture of me and Paulo with my Mom from last July, when Paulo and I got married in a simple civil ceremony at our home on the hill. My folks came down from Maine to share this special event with us.

July 19 was a lovely day; the ceremony was conducted by our friend Wolfgang, who is a judge here (in Tola, near the Pacific coast). July 19 is a day of celebration in Nicaragua, being the date of the successful insurrection in 1979, and is widely celebrated. This means that as long as we live in Nicaragua, we will always have our anniversary as a day off! But the date is also significant in my family, being the birthday of my Aunt Margaret (QEPD) and (I found out later from my Uncle Charles), the wedding anniversary of my grandparents.

The "rock" behind us is actually a petrified tree, brought down (with much effort) from San Juan de Limay (near Esteli, up north) by our friend Fidel many years back. It is much coveted, especially by a local rich guy who comes by periodically to see if we're willing to sell yet. Coincidentally, this rich guy is someone I am in periodic contact with about funding for projects at the Cultural Center, leading to some interesting interactions.

Back in touch--New Year 2006

Well, that's about as long as any blogger should go without a post. Sorry to any and all who've checked in over the past year to see how I'm doing, and who left wondering if I hadn't actually moved to the remote jungle instead of the bustling metropolis of Managua.

Anyway, it's a new year, and even if that's just a social construct, it provides a convenient marking place for trying out new attitudes, goals, etc. So let's see if I post any more frequently in 2006 than in 2005.