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Thread: Inner Peace (part two--words)

  1. #1

    Default Inner Peace (part two--words)

    Saturday, I walked to the Terminal in Leon with a plan to take a bus to Puerto Sandino or else La Paz Centro. When I got there, I was told that the next bus to Puerto Sandino wouldn’t leave for a few hours, so I picked La Paz Centro.

    I took my camera with me, as I had every intention of making a day of it (wherever I went) and of writing an article.

    The bus stopped all along the way, so it took us as long to get to La Paz Centro from Leon as it has taken me to get to Managua from Leon in the microbuses (interlocales). As we pulled into the city (past the welcome sign over the main road), I began to think about the title and theme for the article I’d write.

    I hopped off at the central park, looked around to get my bearings, and then I picked a direction at random (east), and walked until I left the city limits. Along the way, I crossed over a couple of drainage ditches and passed several brick and shingle plants.

    I climbed onto a raised walkway overlooking a larger one to take the first picture.

    There was a man moving brinks from inside (from an oven I assume) to stack them out by the perimeter.

    As I left the city going east, I decided on the name “Inner Peace” for this article as a play on words for the name of the city and as a reference to a line from “Kung Fu Panda.” The walk through the town had been peaceful, and now I was all alone on a trail winding off into who knows where. I decided the title was fitting.

    I took the next two pictures on this eastbound trail, one as I was just beyond the city and the second when I could see a crossroad in the distance.

    The crossroad ended up not being the main highway (as I had suspected). Instead, it was a well cobbled and almost completely deserted road heading north from the highway. I walked out into the road and took the next three pictures (north, then east, and finally south) without seeing a single vehicle.

    I was already feeling overheated, so instead of exploring off to the north, I swung south toward the highway. When I got there, I found a statue with a sign for “Leon Viejo.”

    I took the next two pictures of this statue. The second is a close up of a dog biting the indigenous man’s leg (as this seemed odd and probably significant).
    An older man named Raul was nearby leaning against the side of his blue pickup truck in the shade of a large tree watching me. When he saw me get in close for the picture of the dog, he walked over.

    He told me that the Spanish trained dogs to attack and even kill the native Nicaraguans who refused to work. He added that the dog symbolized the oppression and brutality of the Spanish. I thanked him for his insights, and I turned west (following the highway) back towards La Paz Centro.

    At first, the brutal imagery of the Leon Viejo statue seems to clash with my “Inner Peace” title, and so (as I walked the long walk back to the entrance to La Paz Centro) I contemplated how to best incorporate the seemingly contrary rhetoric.

    Along the way, I passed by another brick making plant, and I crept in for a closer shot of the kiln/oven and of how they lay the bricks out in the sun to dry. I felt a bit like one of those bricks at this point.

    When I got back to the main road into La Paz Centro, I jogged out onto the island in the middle of the highway to get a shot of the sign. It reads, “La Paz Centro… esta hecha de agua fuego y arte, con olor a barro y sabor a quesillo.” [The Paz Centro… is made of water, fire, and art, with the smell of clay and the taste of quesillo.]

    I tried to buy a 12 ounce bottle of soda on the highway, and they wanted C$10 for it. I tried again on the road into town and near the center and they wanted C$7 both times. I passed by the central park (heading north this time), and when I was four or five blocks out I tried again. This time, the asking price was C$5. I bought one.

    For some reason, prices at pulperias actually tend to go down the farther you get from city centers. Logic would suggest that more remote places should charge more, as it’s harder to get things out there, but this has not been my experience in Nicaragua.

    I passed a funeral procession by the central park on my way through town. A band was playing, and the people were carrying the casket on their shoulders and walking as slowly as possible to the rhythm of the music.

    As I wound my way north through town, I ran into a round-about with a monument in its center. This monument had circular stairs climbing toward a dais with a waist high (once you climbed the stairs) altar. On the altar, there’s a marble sculpture of an open book with a handful of scriptures carved into it. To either side of the dais there are walls with scripture written on both sides.

    I stopped to consider the significance of this kind of monument to the people of a given town—just like I did with the working man statue at the entrance to Chinandega. What does it say about the people of La Paz Centro?

    Near the round-about, I took a picture of a side street that seemed photogenic. Maybe it was the dog in the shade in the middle of the road…ah, the sweat refreshing shade.

    I kept my northward trajectory, and I eventually reached a bus stop on a dirt road. I asked around, and found out that these buses charge C$13 to go to Leon Viejo (about 12 kilometers off), and that they leave about once an hour.

    My determination to focus on La Paz Centro, as well as my insane inclination to walk everywhere, kept me from climbing on. Instead, I walked north along the dirt trail until I had left all signs of civilization behind.

    At this point I took a picture of a cow (for no good reason) and of the trail heading towards Leon Viejo, before I turned around and walked back toward the city.

    For reasons concerning dehydration (I’d already gone through 2 liters of fluids that day) and skin cancer (I felt like my checks were burnt even though I was wearing a ball cap), I decided that I’d attempt the walk out to Leon Viejo another day.

    On my way back toward La Paz Centro, I thought about the impact that the Spanish had on the deeply rooted internal narratives of the Nicaragua people. I cannot help but compare and contrast it with my own cultural narratives.

    Many Nicaraguans follow the same pattern as (to me) the more familiar clichés of the “self-hating Jew” and the “Uncle Tom.”

    In the U.S., these exist in the Jewish and Black communities because their narratives of oppression, victimization, the holocaust, and slavery as so intolerable that some chose to flip to the other side completely.

    This manifests itself in Nicaraguans as racism against those with indigenous characteristics (indios). This same racism favors those with Spanish Caucasian characteristics (cheles). Not all Nicaraguans have this bias, but it is quite common.

    Although they didn’t use the word “slavery,” the Nicaraguan people have been slaves for as far back as they have recorded history. The Spanish enslaved them. Then, they enslaved each other using the model left by the Spanish. Then, they were briefly enslaved by William Walker after they invited him in for help. Then, they were enslaved by the U.S. backed Somozas.

    While some react to a strong negative narrative by flipping sides (albeit subconsciously), many others respond by lashing out with anger and violence against those they feel are responsible. This explains why a wall next to the Central Park in Leon reads, “Muerte a los invasores imperialistas!”

    Culturally and societally (as neighborhoods, towns, and as a country), Nicaraguans are seeking to come to grips with and redefine their inner narratives in a variety of way: racism and hatred and violence included.

    I bought another gaseosa from the same place as I headed back into town, and when I reached the park, I decided to take a seat in the shade to cool off and rest for a bit (as it was then just about noon). If I can possibly help it, I prefer not to be walking around in the sun at mid-day.

    A cute girl was sitting just down the half wall from me texting someone. In front of me (between me and the Catholic church to the east) is an elevated gazebo. There were another five teenage girls on the gazebo talking about boys and play-acting like they’re contestants in the Miss-Nicaragua pageant.
    I took the next three pictures from my seat in this park. I had plenty of time to pick my shots, and so I went for prettier ones.

    I sat there musing about Nicaraguan cultural narratives and listening to teenage girls warble for about an hour before I felt refreshed enough to head west (the only direction I had left to explore).

    The girls here (like the girls in the States who want to be pop stars and actresses) were acting out what their culture teaches them is desirable—in this case to be Miss-Nicaragua.

    There are many things about my deeply rooted cultural narratives that I like and dislike. I had to dedicate a great deal of time and effort into understanding myself and my these narratives well enough that I could then decide which ones to keep, which ones to reject, and which ones I wanted to create for myself.
    This may be how an individual can overcome destructive programming, but it doesn’t address how an entire people can do the same.

    Perhaps the single most influential person to have positively redefined the Nicaraguan narrative was Ruben Dario, and he did it with nothing more than words, with rhetoric.

    This reminds me of Gandhi. He is famous for making dramatic displays against India’s oppressors, but he was most effective as a rhetorician. He helped to shift Indian identity more than any other in recent history.

    Words have a power impact on the soul of a people.

    The sign above La Paz Centro “…esta hecha de agua fuego y arte…,” the monument to scripture in the round-about, the stature of the Spanish dog biting the leg of the indigenous man, and even the name of the city “La Paz Centro,” are shaped by or shape the nature of the people living here.

    It even shaped me, and I’m only passing through. No sooner did I decide to go to “La Paz Centro,” then I began to focus my mind on finding all things peaceful and/or centering while there.

    Can a people find balance and peace by understanding their cultural/societal narratives, and then by speaking, writing, creating (through art) and enacting their new rhetoric? If this is true, then the need for great artists is great in Nicaragua.

    It didn’t take me long to leave the city limits heading west. I found a trail that wound its way between large cultivated fields. I walked farther going west then I had in any other direction, because I hoped that the trail would eventually lead me out to the highway.

    It didn’t.

    The trail was broken up with large ruts. Brick is so common in La Paz Centro that they used it to fill the ruts the level out the trail.

    After about an hour, I looked down at my arms and realized that I’d managed to burn my forearms through my impressive base tan. I took this as a sign that I needed to cut this trip short.

    I paused in the shade by a field with horses, a line of trees, and a great long range view of some mountains to the north. On the other side of the trail, I saw the beginning of a large sugar cane field.

    My next picture is off the sugar cane field (in the distance), and the next two attempt to capture the horses, trees, and mountains. I kept them, because they do an ok job, but I was (as I often am) disappointed with how poorly a photograph is able to capture the scope that my eyes can.

    After I walked past a large sugar cane field, I turned left (through a barbed wire fence) between it and another torn up field to try to get back to the highway.

    I took a picture of the cane field before I walked past it, and then I took a picture of the sugar cane (close up) and the broken group on the other side once I was between them.

    My memory suggested the possibility of snakes and poisonous spiders in a sugar cane field, so I selected a rapier length narrow (yet solid) stick and took it with me in case I should run into anything.

    A combination of my long and lanky build, quick reflexes, and training make me feel more comfortable with a stick for defense than almost anything else. The training comes from organized stick fights with my brothers and friends all growing up, and then a few fencing classes in college (taken mostly for nostalgia’s sake).

    I’m not too shabby.

    With my trusty stick, I hugged as much shade as possible, and cutting through a few fields, I was finally able to make it back to the highway. It was a relief when I could first start to hear the heavy trucks on the highway again; at least I knew I was headed in the correct direction.

    Near the highway, I crossed by a field with what I believe to be rice (as the field was flooded). My last picture is on this field. I left my stick where I took that shot—leaning against a barbed wire fence.

    I tried to wave down passing buses, but they refused to stop along that stretch of highway. The walk back towards La Paz Centro was physically draining. I was tired, sore, and burned.

    Plus, I tried to walk along the side of the highway at first, but the wind gusts from the passing trucks were so strong, that they threatened to rip my hat off and blind me. Instead, I made my way east in a ditch next to the highway.

    About half of the way back, I came across the concrete blue awning of a bus stop. As I walked up to its welcoming shade, a woman selling mangos offered me a plastic chair as I waited for the next bus (which she said wouldn’t be by for another 30 minutes.

    She was selling her mangos at C$15 the dozen. She gifted me one while I waited and we talked. It’s the best mango I’ve ever had. I can’t be sure if this is because it is simply a great mango, or if it tasted better because I’d been eating dust for a few hours.

    Her husband raises cattle, and she is responsible for milking the cows. They sell mangos, leche, quejada, leche agria, an even occasionally an entire bull (for the meat). She was an engaging conversationalist.

    It was worth the exhausting hike and the sunburn just for a half an hour of her company and that glorious mango.

    On the bus back to Leon, I had plenty of time (as it makes many stops), to consider the entirety of my experience in La Paz Centro.

    I tried to come up with something profound or pithy to say about art and rhetoric and the peace to be found through self-discovery and education, but then a group of beautiful girls climbed onto the bus.

    Saludos!
    Soy el chele mono.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Inner Peace (part two--words)

    how about text, then picture?

    then repeat!


    just sayin'
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

  3. #3
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inner Peace (part two--words)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Demento View Post
    how about text, then picture?

    then repeat!


    just sayin'
    That is what I had an idea about doing because of fitting in the picture with the text that goes along with it. I did it once or twice like that and it works well but you have to keep replying to the post to do it... I am not as smart about laying it out like Cattahoula Fan does...
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  4. #4

    Question Re: Inner Peace (part two--words)

    Nice description but do not see the pictures.

    Thanks

  5. #5

    Default Re: Inner Peace (part two--words)

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidTejada View Post
    Nice description but do not see the pictures.

    Thanks
    The pictures are in my post "Inner Peace (part one--photos)." Sorry about submitting it in two parts. I'll try to figure out how "catahoula fan" does it and do better in the future.
    Soy el chele mono.

  6. #6
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inner Peace (part two--words)

    I am going to try it in order of replies to the first post and ask that nobody post on it till I get finished so it flows from one pic and text to the next....

    It was hard enough doing the e-book thing, I am not in the mood right now to learn a new way..
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  7. #7
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inner Peace (part two--words)

    Quote Originally Posted by drlemcor View Post
    Words have a power impact on the soul of a people. . . No sooner did I decide to go to “La Paz Centro,” then I began to focus my mind on finding all things peaceful and/or centering while there.
    I can dig you're going 'Zen' while wandering 'Paz Centro' and the derivative, wordsmithy thing you did for the title.

    But it set me to wonder, how did 'La Paz Centro' get its name? I asked an educated someone who's lived all his life in its neighbor city Leon, but he had no idea. So I went to Wiki. (In Spanish; Wiki English, gave no details. Ditto on Nicaragua's history.)

    It had a couple different names from 1610 on, but in 1869 the Nica congress changed it to 'Villa de La Paz' for having been the site where a peace accord was signed between Fernando Guzmán y Francisco Zamora. Guzmán was the president then and Zamora a lawyer probably from Leon (curiously, there's zero about him on the internet). Civil wars were fought in Nicaragua from its founding as a republic in 1854 between the conservatives (Granada) and the Liberals (Leon). The USA intervened to broker the peace of 1869.

    It's a large municipal area, what's called La Paz Centro' today, encompassing 25 rural districts. In 1903 a railroad was built connecting it, from Matagalpa to Puerto Corinto to haul coffee, and its station was called 'La Paz Centro'. The website says, "En 1920 el municipio tiene una población de 2787 habitantes, en 1930 la población aumenta con un total de 4,669.00. " which I find hard to believe.

    Nicas here still complain about when 'they' tore up the railroad tracks & sold them. Where the station was/(its ruins are?) in Leon is still called 'La Estacion' and is used as a reference point for post office addresses. Pres. Violeta de Chamarro had the rails pulled & sold to cover some debt. Many still don't forgive her.
    The Great Reset, "You'll have nothing AND you'll be happy." - Klaus Schwab, W.E.F. __"First abolish private property," Marx & Engels

  8. #8

    Default Re: Inner Peace (part two--words)

    Thanks for the research; I didn't know how it got its name either.

    I've been to the Estacion in Leon a few times (up close), and I pass it nearly ever day as it lies between my apartment and the Terminal. Saturday before last, Magdalena had me walk her through it so she could have a nostalgic moment. She showed me where she, her mother, and her grandmother would wait for the train to pass, where the rails used to be, and how early she had to get there (because of the long lines).

    I've never been on a train (shocking, I know), but hearing Magdalena pull her emotionally charged memories out of her childhood made me feel like I was there with her on the train out of Leon.
    Soy el chele mono.

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