Archive for October, 2007

Worst Case Scenarios

October 31, 2007

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So I’m preparing to head out to the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua in a week-or-so, but I just wanted to list off a few really terrible worst case scenarios that could happen while I’m working in la Región Autónoma del Atlántico Norte. The RAAN is a pretty safe place, but that’s not to say that there aren’t at least a few unsavory situations that I could run into…

I get attacked by a horde of rats and die

I remember picking up the major newspaper here in Managua, La Prensa, a month or so ago and seeing a headline that sorta kinda translated to “A Plague of Rats Ravishes the Atlantic Coast.” My first thought when I saw the Spanish phrase “Plaga de ratas” was, “I hope to God that’s not the Spanish translation of “The Bubonic Plague.” Fortunately, it only translated to “a plague of rats.” Whew. For a minute there, I thought I was in danger. Apparently, for the last year or so, there’s been a huge rat infestation up in the north of Nicaragua. They’ve destroying crops and terrorizing the population near the Coco River — where I’ll probably be staying.

Ok, so I’ll be honest, I don’t know if a horde of rats really can eat a human being. I mean, I’m guessing it’s a possibility, right? They’re would have be a lot of rats to take down a full-grown man — like a Rat King or something. And I’ve actually had some pretty cool experiences with a friend of mine’s pet rats. But still, they’ve got teeth and I’m pretty sure there’s more than a few cases in recorded history of someone being bitten by a rat. So it only stands to reason that if you get a lot of them together… Ugh. I don’t want to think about it. At least it’s not the Bubonic Plague…

I get leprosy and die

So the people here in Managua are all atwitter about the number of people showing symptoms of leprosy in the country. Yesterday, the Vice Minister of Health announced that there are 2,000 people with symptoms of leprosy, 76 of which have been clinically diagnosed as having the disease. The situation has been described by La Prensa as “chaos.”

Ruh roh.

To be fair, these cases are pretty spread out across the country, and are not exclusive to the RAAN. But if the Vice Minister of Health is correct, the disease is in the RAAN right now. Well, at least if I get leprosy, I’ll be able to tell who are my real friends. If someone stands by you while you’re infected by a disfiguring disease of biblical proportions, you know they’re a keeper.

Another hurricane hits and I die

We all saw the Al Gore movie. It’s always a possibility.

So I figure I better do this now. If I die, Angie gets my record collection, Brooke gets my Mac (she always wanted a laptop), and I want “peperony and chease”on my tombstone. Actually, fuck that. If I die, cremate me and shoot my ashes out of a cannon in the middle of the desert as Metallica plays an extended version of “Creeping Death.” And there needs to be fireworks, lots of fireworks. Yeah, that’d be sick.


Pin Politics

October 27, 2007

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“Why do we wear pins? Because our country is under attack!”
– Sean Hannity

Ahhhh…brain hurts…can’t believe… people… think this is news… ahhhhh!

You’d think being a few hundred miles away from the U.S. would make stupid “controversies” like this seem less stupid. Nope. They’re still really stupid.

Ok, let’s try these photos again.

October 14, 2007

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So flickr has been kind of a pain in the ass lately, but I finally think I’ve got my photos uploaded. For future reference, you can check out my photos at I’d upload this stuff to facebook, but that place is crawling with potential employers that look down on bearded weirdos that go to Nicaragua.

In other news, I’ve been gaining lots of traffic lately. Unfortunately, most of my traffic is coming from search terms like “Nicaraguan dicks” or “Nicaragua + dicks.” I knew that post was going to come back to haunt me…

Where I’ve Been…

October 10, 2007

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(Thanks to Johanna Schnell for the above campo photo )

So it’s been a while since my last update, so I’m going to reward everyone with new Flickr photos! Hooray!

Anyway, updates have been sparse lately because I’ve been traveling around Nicaragua for the past few weeks. I spent a week in the countryside — el campo for the Spanish inclined — working with a campesino family in the town of La Estrellita. The man I lived with, Juán de la Cruz Guiterréz Hernandez (which is about the most Hispanic name of all time), was a big-time Sandinista and spent most of my time with me talking about Fidel Castro and letting me know that there’s this thing called poverty that’s kind of a bitch. (Who knew?) I thought I’d met leftists before this guy, but this guy’s Revolutionary Curriculum Vitae makes Jake Bell seem like Ann Coulter. Waka waka. At 14, he was a guerrilla fighter. After the Revolution of 1979, he trained in Cuba and fought Contras in the countryside. He quit the army in 1990 when they told him that it was being de-politicized — a change he said was total bullshit. He then went to the countryside and started running a coffee cooperative, with no previous farming experience. In the ’90s, he fought against a law that would have confiscated all collective property and spoke in front of the General Assembly on Nicaragua. He’s now a Sandinista political organizer.

All you American Leftists, you’re pussies compared to this dude.

It was a pretty exciting experience. Juán de la Cruz let me plant some beans and husk some corn, so I guess I’m a bona fide country boy now. Also, if you eat Nicaraguan beans in the near future, it’s likely that my grubby hands have been all over that shit.

One morning we went out to visit the people that tended to Juán’s cows. Their house was like something out of a Faulkner novel: a run down shack in the middle of the muckiest muck I’ve ever seen, kids playing with dead birds, and exotic, psychedelic fruits (the father of the home gave me a red and white spotted pear to eat. No shit.). I was halfway expecting one of the kids to run up to me and say “Mi madre es un pez.”

I spent this past week in Orinoco on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. I’ll post more on that when I get a chance, but until then, I’ll leave you with a photo of my awesome facial hair after the break. (more…)