Lya and Antonia on the beach at Poneloya

Lya and Antonia on the beach at Poneloya

Yesterday I accompanied five CEPRODEL employees from the main office in Managua to a meeting of all the offices in the León municipality (León is like New York, both a city and the name of the surrounding region). The meeting was at a beautiful hotel, in the town of Poneloya, which is on the pacific coast. The town is small and beautiful, with grandiose and brightly painted buildings all the way up to the beach. After the meeting, we walked along the hot dark sand, collecting brightly colored shells and trying to take pictures in the bright sun. The waves that lapped at our feet were, for me, uncommonly warm for ocean water.

There were more than thirty employees at the meeting, dressed in light green business jackets or polo shirts with the CEPRODEL logo on the breast. Several of the Managua officers gave presentations summing up the past year and announcing goals for 2009. The meeting was well timed for me; I was introduced to many people from the León office where I am going to be working. In fact, I think I was introduced to Luis, the resident agronomist who works with all the farmers, at least four times by four different people. By the last time we just smiled at each other and shook hands again, pretending that we hadn’t yet met for the benefit of the person introducing us. Later I found out he has a fantastic sense of humor, and thoroughly enjoyed picking my Spanish to bits. Luis is the one of the people who I will probably be spending the most time with. I think we will get along fine.

Last night, just for kicks and to celebrate my last night in Managua (for now, anyway, until I have to return and sign the visa papers that still aren’t ready. The woman at the Embassy blamed it on the change of government in the U.S…..), I walked down the street to “the Shannon Pub” and had a pint of Guiness with a giant plate of very good nachos. So far the food hasn’t been thrilling. While trying to avoid too much chicken and meat, I’ve eaten mostly over-cooked and over-salted fish with French fries. Two nights ago I had the best meal yet – gallo pinto (rice and beans), with platanos fritos and an enchilada, which is more like a Mexican tostone, a flat fried tortilla with beans, cheese, and salad on top.

The rocks were covered with tiny mussels, barnacles, and crabs

The rocks were covered with tiny mussels, barnacles, and crabs

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