Archive | June, 2007

Dispatch from the center of the American continent

19 Jun

If you´ve never talked to someone from Latin America about geography, you may not know that the rest of the hemisphere regards North and South America as not two, but one continent called América. People south of the Rio Grande also have this strange idea that all people in the Americas are Americans, so we from the United States shouldn´t refer to ourselves as “americanos” because they too, are americanos.

Yesterday I was told that Mulukuku, where we were working at a women´s cooperative clinic, was at the center of the country in the center of Central America, and therefore at the center of América, the continent. And I always that Kansas was in the center of America. Guess I was wrong.

Dispatch from Managua

1 Jun

So here I am in Nicaragua, the 2nd poorest country in the Western hemisphere (tied with Bolivia, good ol´Bolivia), and I have nothing to say about it cuz I haven´t seen it. Tomorrow we are going to see some hospitals in the city, and meet the American ambassador. After that we take a long ass bus ride to a place called Mulukuku in a province called RAAN. Basically the middle of nowhere. We´ll be working in a women´s clinic there for three weeks. Pray that I don´t get dengue fever. I´ll be using my shortwave radio to get news from America, if I can ever get a signal out there. Don´t do anything too exciting the Estados Unidos.

I´m reading right now ¨Blood of Brothers: Life and War in Nicaragua¨by Stephen Kinzer, the New York Times Managua bureau chief during the 1980s. I´ve read some crazy stuff, like how the current president of Nicaragua (Daniel Ortega) got out of prison in 1974 from a Sandinista holdup of a Christmas party involving the foreign minister. Unlike Dog Day Afternoon, they got the plane (to Cuba) and got the money and political prisoners released. And all the connections between the PLO and Sandinistas just made me think of the movie Munich where there is room where all the international terrorists from all over the world are spending the night teaching each other tricks of the trade.

And hopefully there will be none of this civil war business popping up the the present. We can only hope.