This is how the vast majority of my conversations end, roughly translated:

“good, Raquel, be well, and if there is anything that you need, whatever it is, you can always ask me.  You have my number now.  Call me, come to my house – if you need anything or you just want company, I am always here.  I am always available for you.  Whatever you need.  Really.  Be well, Raquel, God be with you, good night!”

At first I thought this was specific to the old friends of Alan who I meet here, but no, that´s not true.   It´s just Nicaragua I guess.  Que corazones!

Quickly, because this cafè is closing – I had an absolutely Fantastic and Very Interesting day today.  I went out into the countryside with three members of the Agroecology Department Extension to attend some meetings with tomato farmers.  The meetings were in tiny villages, pueblitos, outside of the small town of Somotillo.  The roads were so rough and we had to drive through creeks, and man were we all sore.  We showed the farmers (mostly women!) pictures of several diseases, and gave them information about how to combat the pests and diseases without using chemicals (or to cut down the amounts and types of chemicals, realistically).  Maybe my favorite  part was the method of rounding up farmers from the community, which was very spread out.  Another pick-up, with a generater and loudspeaker, drove around while we were setting up.  A man shouted in the excited voice of a radio announcer, “come help your tomato plants!  We have come from very far away to share our knowledge about diseases and pests!  You will benefit greatly!  No one should stay at home!”  All the while blasting salsa and merengue music.  It was hilarously like the fiesta arrived along with the scientists.

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