19 August 2018

A letter to my adopted country

Dear Nicaragua,
     The idea of False Bluff began decades ago, long before the idea had either a specific location or name. The reality began more than ten years ago when I bought the first of the pieces that now make up False Bluff today.  
     Young children have grown up and graduated from high school; and new children have been born and begun elementary school.  At least one new child was born at about the same time as one of my grandchildren although both of these children have a couple of years before they begin any formal school at all.  Young friends have finished college, begun lifetime careers, married, and then completed master's degrees in their chosen fields.  Older friends have become like family members.  Our part of Nicaragua has become home...a second home, but home nonetheless.   
     And during all this time we've dug wells and put up buildings and put plants in the ground at what has become False Bluff.  The story has been unfolding here, usually with pictures, ever since I figured out how to do this web/blog stuff. 
     I never made a conscious decision to not discuss politics during my time in Nicaragua.  I just never did it.  There were always many other - and much more important - things to do.  But the last few months of this year have been terrible for you, Nicaragua...death and destruction and discord for many reasons.  
     It was strange to spend months with you in the middle of these bad months; and this time, 'tho I still didn't talk politics, I listened to people on all sides of the spectrum. And I watched news stories that were local and national and international, something I don't even do when I'm in the United States....since I don't have a television.
     But a realization about the news coverage I was seeing during my recent stay hit me hard pretty early on: the news about events in Nicaragua resembled the news about events in the United States.  
     The local and national stories in Nicaragua were as disparate in their coverage as are, say, the Daily Wire and The New York Times...which means a lot of what was put out there was just wrong.  It's easy to tell that sort of thing when you're up close.  And all of the international news I saw or read, without fail, was as badly skewed as the local and national stories to the point that after a short time I just stopped paying attention to it.  
     This stuff is sad at home, regardless of the home I am occupying at any given moment.  All of Nicaragua has suffered, although the outrage and deaths and destruction have not been felt to the same degree in the southern autonomous region as in the western part of the country.
      In Nicaragua during the last few months some people tore up a street.  Within days other people, the people who lived nearby, went out and fixed it.
     In Nicaragua during the last few months some people burned a market.  Within days other people, the people whose livelihoods depended on being able to buy and sell at the market, did what needed to be done to be back doing business.
     In Nicaragua during the last few months some people burned or demolished a school.  Within days other people, teachers and the parents whose children attended that school, had arranged for classes elsewhere or at the same location if the damage wasn't too bad.
     Over the decade-plus since I have become involved in Nicaraguan life, I've learned things that give me hope even during the country's present hard times; and the hard times this year have confirmed what I've learned:  your people are some of the strongest and most resilient people I've ever met. 

   Thank you for letting me be part your family.