To the USA and Back

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Went back to the US for five days to bury my father's ashes, to set up an annuity with my university where I gave them a stupid amount of money and they'll give me $120 a month for the rest of my life, and to buy another camera because things there are about a third to a half cheaper than they'd be in the Sony Store in Managua. My older younger brother and I ended up eating most of our meals in Mexican restaurants, so some Spanish was spoken there.

Kannapolis is still Kannapolis without the mills and the people left there now are clinging on to whatever they can find. Concord, across the Interstate, decided to attract artists and such and is visibly more prosperous.

Bought a Sony A6000 body which is the current hot new medium priced mirrorless lens camera and an adaptor so it can wear my brother's old classic Nikon 105mm f/2.5 (relatively late model with all the "I am multi-coated" off and with the large rear element). Turned down an opportunity to take the F3 back, but then film and chemistry is hard to find here.

Took my Panasonic GF1 wearing a 20mm Panasonic lens to Virginia with me as the 20mm lens on a half frame body is more useful for the photos I'd be taking at the interment. We buried half in the ashes in the cemetery plot next to my mother's ashes and then my sisters and another brother scattered the rest of the ashes in this cow pasture owned by an uncle who was turning 90 that week. The ridge on the horizon is No Business Mountain, once the location of many small scale distilling operations. People not in the industry were told they had no business going up that mountain. The pasture is at about 1100 feet, the mountain is not as high as 3,000 feet. Beyond it is Bull Mountain near Stuart, Virginia, and west of that is the Blue Ridge.

Most of Sunday my brother and I didn't do much more than riding around a bit, and eating more Mexican food. Took the plane back on Monday and had to threaten to cry or something to get a seat from Atlanta to Managua on Delta. Got back to Managua and was welcomed back at Immigration for being a resident and not part of that horrible pack of teenagers, I suppose. I think Monday is going to be yet another day that I won't fly in or out of Managua on (Sundays already are after the trip to my Dad's memorial service).

One of the airport guys got me a cab to Jinotega. Cabbie was 40 with a new baby and made a call to his wife after I made my own calls to friends in Jinotega. He flew the FSLN flag and thought things were better now than they had been in the past (I'm noticing more and more Nicaraguans with DSLRs and motos and autos). After we exhausted my range of Spanish, he played DVDs of sentimental Latin variations on big nightclub crooner music and other things as we went through the dark punctuated by the lights of various places on the way up. We went up the Guayucan, by passing the lights of Matagalpa, and then saw Jinotega in the distance, a small town for him.

I got him turned around on a one way street and the local cops stopped the cab and checked his papers while I profusely apologized and explained that I lived here. They seemed vaguely amused by it all, and we got on the right street a block east and I paid him $100 US rather than the agreed on $90 for the hassle and for his baby. It was about 11 p.m., but saw my Argentinian American NGO neighbor out and also one of the kids who works at the Sollentuna Hem.

Sebastian, the ex East German guy, had taken care of my fish and the house beyond the call of duty --- and had cleaned not only one of the tanks but the passageway. After I unpacked everything, I played with the new camera a bit and went to sleep.

Every time I go away, people seem almost surprised that I'm back in Nicaragua, and I feel more and more comfortable back here than there.

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  1. Jonh's Avatar
    Condolences on the loss of your father.
  2. MizBrown's Avatar
    He died a year ago March but we donated his body to the UNC Medical School and didn't get the ashes back until this year. We waited for Father's Day for the interment. He would have loved what we ended up doing -- part of the ashes with Mom's ashes, and part on land the family has owned now for two generations and which will probably go to my brothers.
  3. Richit's Avatar
    Sorry for your loss.
  4. acc724's Avatar
    glad u made it back ok
  5. bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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