Monday, February 19, 2007

Uniles, Nicaragua

After spending a night in Somoto we got up, ate some corn flakes and took a slightly beat up taxi into the countryside. It was an interesting feeling to enter the dusty hills again after being away for over a year and a half now. No sooner had we stepped out of the car and walked a few steps up the path did I see the first familar face in Unile. '"Hoy, Webb!" called out Chungo, the captain of the Unile soccer team, as he rode towards us on his bike. After a brief conversation he headed on and we kept going along the path. We arrived at our first stop, the home of the previous promoter of the solar cooker project I had been working for. She wasn't there but some of her family was so we stopped and chatted some more.

Then, we started our journey up the mountain towards the home where I lived for six months in 2005. I spent some much time making that journey that climbing the hill again felt eerily familar. We made a few stops along the way, greeting a few of the women who were a part of the solar oven group. At the house of Dona Christiana, the house where I would pick up and drop off my bicycle every morning and evening during my time volunteering, we learned that my host father, Juan was working on a construction project just down the road.

We headed along and sure enough, just around the bend I could see Juan's distinct figure, his small, muscular body, and heavily hunched back from years of working in the fields. He saw me coming and gave a shout, "Markitos!". "Juancito!", I replied and we ran towards each other and hugged happily. We learned he would be working for a few more hours so we decided to go ahead with the final stretch of the journey, to visit my host mom, Bernarda, at the top of the hill.
When we arrived at the top of the hill, out of breath from the rather steep final incline, no one was home. I knew one of Bernarda's sisters would probably be at the main family house just across the way so we headed over and sure enough there they were, cousins, sisters, and grampa Marcos too! It was a big reunion, and just as things started to settle down, Bernarda came in from doing laundry at the pump, and there were more hugs to be given.

Jacob stayed with Juan and Bernarda for a couple of nights before heading to Managua. I stayed with for a whole week, had lots of fun playing soccer and visiting with familar faces. It felt good to be back.


kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kate said...

once again, jacob lo gigante! i like how you're wearing a stuart leon shirt. you should send this picture to him, i'd bet he'd love it!

kate said...

oh, also, this made me really want to live with a big host family and/or visit nicaragua. how amazing that you got to visit them mark!

Anonymous said...

Hola Markitos desde tu tia Ginny. Me gusta mucho leer sobre tus vaijes. I'm sloging away in my basic Spanish classes and am very envious of your travels! Your mom and I are going to Austin to see Kurt and Yolie. Stay safe and healthy!