Feliz Año Nuevo
Managua has basically been shut down these past few weeks, with everyone on vacation, either staying at home with family and extended family (malls and public spaces have been packed with family members visiting from abroad - LA Dodgers caps and jerseys abound!), or travelling to spend the holiday by the ocean, with favorite spots at "el mar" on the Pacific Coast being San Juan del Sur (about 2 1/2 hrs southwest of Managua) or Pochomil (about 1 1/2 hrs northwest). I've been laying low in Managua the past few days: spending New Year's Eve with my friend Karen, dancing the night away with her aunt, sister-in-law, and nieces, eating "sopa borracha" (a conoction of bread drenched in rum and honey), watching fireworks, and sharing hugs and kisses as we welcomed the new year together at midnight. New year's day I went to mass at the main cathedral in Managua with my friend Claudia, a "misa campal", meaning outdoor mass, and sat on the grass under palm trees in whatever shade we could find from the blazing afternoon sun; along with probably 1,000 other people present, listened to the monsignor of Managua give a sermon about ecological responsibility. While not Catholic, I enjoyed the message: "If you want to promote peace, conserve the creation" (apparently the Pope's lema for 2010). Tomorrow things get back to normal for most of Managua, with offices and businesses reopening after the long vacation. I have interviews and visits planned... Happy New Year to all; peace, love, and many blessings.