Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Letter to someone back home #1

Dear Trents,

   I hope you're having fun these first few days in London! We will definitely have very different stories to tell! I keep you in mind constantly, so it's like you're here on the trip with us. I've been seeing Nicaragua through the eyes of different family and friends to notice things you guys would and I wouldn't otherwise. Of course, the landscape is something you would have numerous pictures of by now. You'd probably compare the mountains to the ones in your backyard in California, or reminisce about your trip to Hawaii when we were on the winding dirt road down a mountain on our way to Limay.
   I also think you'd observe some of the manner people do things in and chuckle in disbelief the way you do. You'd definitely chuckle at the way the bus driver sped down the road on our way back to Estelí on Monday or at the horses pooping as they trot down the street. But you'd especially be shocked at the pollution, trash management, and lack of recycling ... maybe even a little disheartened. I haven't noticed as much of this in Estelí as I did in Limay, but I saw trash (wrappers, bottles, plastic bags) lying on the side of some streets, in bushes and grass, and on the side of cliffs. A trash truck passed by maybe once a week and emptied out any bags of trash houses had. However, most trash, it seemed, was burned in backyards or at the corner of the park. It's a smell I've come to associate with Nicaragua, one that I remember clearly from my first trip here as well back in 1999. You can point out a spot where trash was burned by spotting a charred black irregular form on the ground, with white-grayish remnants lying on top, and a few whisps of white smoke dying off. It seems like a quick solution (and I've heard it keeps mosquitoes away?) but I'm sure it's not safe for the environment or personal health.
    After seeing this (and plastic bottles being thrown out with trash, because recycling doesn't exist here) you would have a brainstorm session to try to figure out a better solution and save the environment. And then you and I would have a crazy long conversation, or debate, about the environment, culture, education, and poverty. It reminds me of when you visited me in Miami and I took you to a Fritanga. Ever since, you've told me that I should head a campaign to substitute the use of styrofoam plates and take-out boxes for a more environmentally friendly material. I'm sure we'll have a quite interesting talk about this when we both get back to the states!


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