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Nicaragua Day 1

Every city, every country has it’s smell. Managua with it’s humidity- air that you drink- carries the aroma of rainforest with a sprinkling of diesel fumes. As we rode the bus through the city, apparently after they rolled up the sidewalks, it surprised me with its paved streets, stoplights and the absence of trash piled in the gutters.
Yet the country suffers with a 60% unemployment rate. It gives this Vegan perspective with our 15% rate.
Tonight the group of thirteen stopped at the T Compe motel. I asked Bob why we didn’t stay at the Campo Real, which rumors touted as a three star hotel. Bob shrugged and said, “Nicaragua.” While the present place is not quite a three star, the A/C works well, it boasts of running water and comfortable beds. And no sign of crawlies- yet.
The culture shock amazes us as we fly 600+ miles per hour in relative comfort across the landscape, get out and jump in a piece of crap bus and shudder through town. Once in awhile the door flies open, and as I am in the jump seat at the stairwell, it can be disconcerting. “How many people can you fit in a Nicaraguan bus? One more.” We jammed all our American baggage and people into the cramped space and struggled up hills to our destination.
Another amazing marvel is the ability to write and photograph, then post it online in such a rural area. Truly amazing.
I’m anxious to see this beautiful and challenging place.

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