Sunday, November 16, 2014

And the wind that blows sweet

If i could wrap up a pitaya and deliver it to your door
i would, i would
show up with arms open wide and a suitcase of smoothies,
not much else.
I'd bring the sunshine too, and the wind that blows sweet
and the simple Nica sandals we all wear upon our feet...


My friend's social media profiles make me love the tropics all the more, and make me write poems for them as they enter the spring of their winter misery.

They're wearing scarves and showing photos of their thermostats, while i am doing this:

Sipping pitaya (dragon fruit) smoothies in open-air cafes,
bright, delicious and full of Vitamin C
Rolling around island beaches,
with volcanoes hugging us

Making lunch buffets with tropical fruits galore and watermelon
licuados -- blended watermelon and nothing else... so, so delicious
Counting flowers as they bloom

Of course, because living in the tropics -- and in a developing country -- means things are still developing, we have the new, modern world's bumps and bruises all around us. Right now our house is filled with dust -- pulvo -- a new word I won't forget, on account of the sewer project they're putting in on our street. First a little pamphlet came around, telling everyone how sewers work and how they're more sanitary and will protect Lago Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua, visible just outside our window) from pollution... all while the government plans its massive canal that's displacing people and could turn the lake saline. Plus, it seems none of our neighbors are connecting to the sewer (we have a septic tank), so the rivulets of soapy water from the part of the street that has their sewer finished still mingle with the dust. That dirty greywater passes near our curly-metal front gate, twisting its way in a downish direction til it reaches Cocibolca, not far away...

Fine dust as the city gets a sewer system

And finally -- i've become a little more Nica. These past months i've been wearing only flip flops -- the plastic kind my Ohana in Hawaii sent us -- but not the kind that Nica women wear. Nicas, like many Latinas, like to be a little more dressed up than their Norte counterparts, and wearing plastic flip flops is something they'd do only if they were selling tortillas on the street, not sipping pitaya smoothies in a cafe. So finally, after searching high and low for a pair that would fit my size-10 feet, i got my first pair of Nica sandals. They're a little tight because NO ONE sells my actual size -- Euro size 42, they slap on the ground loudly, and they have way more bling and sparkles than tends to be fashionable on Portland' east side. Like many things here, my sense of fashion does not blend in easily.

My friends' nanny says to bring along a backup pair of shoes, wherever i go because these ones are going to break in no time... but when they do, i guess that's another way i'll learn to adjust, to move with the changes, and become a little more Nica along the way.

Blingin' enough for a gringa, kinda tame for a Nica.

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