Sunday, March 23, 2008

Days of Sweating Sugar

Every morning we wake up to a big bowl of fruit, or a banana leaf steamed with corn meal and chicken. Often there are glasses full of colored juices so sweet they stick like syrup to my tongue. The amount of sugar in ever spoonful of food and drink has formed a neat little pillow around my belly, despite sweating at every moment of the day. Some how we find ourselves at the only embarrassingly touristy cafe in the whole town with free wifi for hours and hours. It's also the only vaguely comfortable place to sit for a time without being covered in our own sweat. The streets are quiet this week during the day and then they erupt in processions and drunkenness in the evening to celebrate Semana Santa. Somehow, even in the heat of the sun, men lay passed out on the sidewalk completely oblivious to people walking over them or taxis screaming by.
The week of Spanish school was well overdue and it's absloutely absurd they we waited until our final week to do it. But that's just how things turned out and it actually excites me to do it all over again. Maybe next year.
I keep thinking of being back in Boston; the delicious sandwiches i will eat, and my shiny red bike that is locked away in our storage unit.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Click to Play

Hello Nicaragua!

We're officially out of Panama, now stretching our legs and eating some fruit after a long bus ride to Granada, Nicaragua. I put together a little video of some more panama footage. The middle part is our trip to Boquete which is in the mountains of Panama. Lots of vine covered trees and coffee farms. Also a cool breeze which was such a relief after months on the Caribbean coast. Then we went to Panama city which was not my favorite city in the world. Their public transportation is mostly school buses from the states that have been airbrushed and decked out, complete with strobe lights inside and plush dashboards. So you can imagine the noise and exhaust that just permeates every nook of the city. It was tiring after a while, and we were trying not to spend any money which is nearly impossible in any city.

Looking for a sailboat from either side of the canal proved more difficult than we anticipated. Had we an entirely open schedule (ie not needing to get home by April) and were willing to stay in the city for more than a week, we would have no doubt found a boat. But as it was, we only found a chap going to Tahiti. There was also some passport shenanigans that would have been entirely avoided had we not stayed in an awful hostel our first couple nights. Don't stay at the Voyager International Hostel in Panama city. If it comes to staying there or sleeping on the street, choose the street. We haven't stayed in a hostel mostly this whole entire experience and we thought it would be a good cheap way to stay in the city. But after two nights of bed bugs and real asshole management I have zero guilt about publicly trashing this hostel on the internet.

That said, with incredible relief we find ourselves in Granada which is hot and beautiful. And old Spanish colonial city, the giant doors along the high walled facades open into huge courtyards. Some are shady and green, others are stocked with Jesus and Mary and some old lady in a rocking chair. Yesterday afternoon we arrived and after the essential internet and food (always internet first) I fell into a deep sleep. Having not slept on the bus ride up from panama city, i think it was more than 24 hours, it was that confused hazy sort of sleep. So a few hours later I woke up and Ethan was leaping out of bed running down to the street and i just said "I'll meet you down there!" not really aware of what was happening. I rushed down the ladder form the weird loft we're staying in and as i got onto the street there was a band playing this mesmerizing, slow music. Almost circus like, but more serious. And there was jesus on top of a big platform carrying the cross. And underneath him were men walking and swaying making it looking like jesus was bearing the cross on top of a small wave of men. So that was my introduction to Nicaragua.

Headed home March 26th, or to New York rather. Hopefully we can borrow some warm cloth when we get there...

Formats available: Quicktime (.mov)