Category Archives: Nicaragua

Poverty and Community in Guinea

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Kçbri – money (soso)

I’ve already mentioned that the poverty in Guinea is profound.  The truth is that I have never seen this extreme poverty before.  Guinea is in the thirteenth poorest country in the world.  That’s the macro view. What this looks like on a micro level is a lot of people who are very hungry and in need and very few with the capability to make some money.

Many walk around in clothes that would have been tossed in the trash long ago by somebody in the developed world.  Shirts with a collar but no material at the shoulders, pants that flap in the font and back because the material is long worn away, t-shirts that looks like netting in the back because there are so many holes in them.  Many colors are faded, the clothes having taken on the color and texture of the African dust long ago.

Clothes dry on a line in the hot midday sun

Clothes dry on a line in the hot midday sun

Polygamy is practiced throughout Guinea. While not everybody has multiple wives, it is more common than not.  In many families, a man will take two or more wives and father a myriad of children.  Read the rest of this entry

Customs in Guinea

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When traveling, it’s important to drop your ethnocentricities.  You want to be able to look at the culture you find yourself immersed in for what it is, not what it is in comparison to your home culture.  Here in Guinea, that means embracing different standards of beauty, understanding that when voices are raised, people are not necessarily angry, and not being offended by constantly being called foti, white person.

Coca Cola bears a familiar look but a different language in this cooler outside a gas station

Coca Cola bears a familiar look but a different language in this cooler outside a gas station

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Anahata Heart Chakra

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While the lower three chakras are mainly concerned with issues of the ego and how we relate to ourselves – first chakra being concerned with issues of home, health, and family, second chakra with sexuality and how we are able to creatively express ourselves, and third chakra entwined with how we feel about ourselves and how we are able to access and express our personal power – the heart chakra is the point at which the energy flow begins to expand to include the ever-loving world around us.

Located at heart center, the heart chakra is all about how we relate to others.  It vibrates to the color green, which is a beautiful color to resonate with seeing as it, of all the colors of the rainbow, is most present in our environment.  Grass green, flower green, and the many varying shades of green that make up the bushes, plants, and trees that populate our world.

The Seven Chakras from Energy Fanatic

The Seven Chakras from Energy Fanatic

The Sanskrit name for the heart chakra is Anahata, which translates to Unstruck Chord   This name is relevant because our heart needs another soul to reach out and touch it.  When the heart chakra is able to connect with another being, the unique tone resonates within to create it’s own blissful sound to fill up the soul.

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Back in the States

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It’s been a week of travel and adventure making my way back to the US.  Flights out of Nicaragua were less expensive, and more convenient than flying out of Costa Rica, so I set about traveling north, this time twith some people.

The thing about traveling with others is that we’re a bit slower together, and there are more opportunities for frazzled nerves.  There is a quote about that:

If you want to walk fast, walk alone.  

If you want to walk far, walk together.

~Unknown

And so true, we did travel further together, albeit a bit slower, than we would have alone.  The highlight of the bumpy bus rides and dirty hostel rooms located over noisy bus stations (read: no sleep!), was the car rental.  My friend and I decided to splurge on a car rental since they are so inexpensive in the low season.  We had many mochillas and maletas, backpacks and suitcases with us, and the ride north to our final destination promised 3 crowded chicken buses and seven hours, versus a cool 3 hour ride in a rental car.

And cool it was.  Our little Corolla, which only costs us $40 for the day, came with air conditioning, a smooth steering wheel, and a radio with a spot to plug in a memory stick.  “Music!  We get to pick our own music!?!”  One half hour of instruction booklet reading later, and we were jamming to reggae and latin and world music as the beautiful green mountains of Nicaragua rolled by.

Mountaintop Trikonasana in the hills of Esteli

Mountaintop Trikonasana in the hills of Esteli

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Stepping Out of Your Own Way

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I’ve recently joined the gluten free world, and it’s given me some revelations.  Don’t worry, I’m not here to convince you to give up gluten.  I don’t believe there is one diet plan that fits all the bodies out there, so I will leave the experimenting, or not experimenting, for you all to decide.

What I’ve noticed as I’ve given up gluten is a dramatic change in the inflammation I was carrying in my body.  As swollen glands, sinuses, and muscles shrank back to normal size, I noticed a marked increase in the energy that was suddenly able to flow freely throughout my body.  All that gripping meant that I wasn’t truly able to come into alignment!

It made me sit up and pay attention to other areas of my life where I’d been creating unnecessary roadblocks for myself.

Song of Freedom by Samantha Meglioli

Song of Freedom by Samantha Meglioli

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“Living from the Heart”

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A dear friend will be publishing a compilation of stories about turning 30. She’s including stories from women around tbe world to explore the cultural and personal significance of this decade for women.

I’m honored to have my story included in this compilation. Follow the link below to read it, and more from Laura’s blog!

“Living from the Heart”.

Laura is still searching for contributors. If you feel inspired to share your story, please do so by connecting with her through her blog.

Hasta pronto!

La Poesia

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My last full day in Nicaragua was a blur of color, sound, poetry, and music.  I spent the morning running around taking care of last minute tasks that I’d put off until the ultimo momento.  Tasks such as buying memory for the camera that I bought in November and making a few other last minute purchases before departing for Costa Rica.

I was making my way back home mid-afternoon, and made the fortuitous choice to walk instead of look for a taxi.  There, in front of Iglesia Xalteva, was float after float with poets spouting their poems.  Following the poets were marching bands and row upon row of dancers in colorful costumes all gathered for the Procesion of the Poesia.

Final Dia Nicaragua 003

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Lolo el Mono

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Lolo was brought to the Hotel a little more than a month ago by a Nicaraguan woman and her teenage son.  When they told me they had a baby monkey with them, I thought that surely I was misunderstanding with my poor Spanish.  You can imagine my surprise when she reached into her bag and lifted out an actual baby monkey.  She told us that he was only four months old.

Lolo

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Perspectivas

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I write often about my perspective of life in Nicaragua.  Today I thought it would be a nice change of pace to get the perspective of a Nicaraguan living in the US.

Meet Frederick.  He moved to Los Angeles a few months ago to live with his father.  Prior to leaving, he spent his whole life here in Granada.  He’s an artisan, and I met him selling his jewelry in the Calzada here in Granada.

Frederick

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Unattached

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Word of the Day:  Erratic

adjective

1.  deviating from the usual or proper course in conduct or opinion; eccentric; queer: erratic behavior.

2.  having no certain or definite course; wandering; not fixed: erratic winds.

3.  Geology . noting or pertaining to a boulder or the like carried by glacial ice and deposited some distance from its place of origin.

4.  (of a lichen) having no attachment to the surface on which it grows.

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deviating from the usual or proper course in conduct or opinion;
eccentric; queer: erratic behavior.

My little path spins onward, wandering and not fixed.   Read the rest of this entry