02 July 2007

Nicaragua: Matagalpa, Esteli, Condega

2 de julio, 2007 Matagalpa, Esteli, Condega

the next morning we had coffee (gracias a Dios) and set out to solve the Mystery of the Phone Chip. the phone kept asking for a phone provider when tryng to add time to the chip. after waiting in the Enitel office for 45 minutes, the shop (air conditioned and complete with security officials) told us to go to the shack across the way which is the place where things apparently ACTUALLY get done. went to a cybercafe where a woman wrote a sweet note to me with her phone number and address. call me crazy, but i´m a sucker for a written note. she had the cutest son ever! on the way, another ¨Toro Mecanico¨sign, this time next to another banner that called for gay rights. Wow! went to ATDER-BL office, and Aleyda gave us copies to all of the current deeds and receipts. what a gal what a gal. she said again that she believed the land could be bught without difficulty by the end ofjuly. she and i kibitzed on how much time was needed at the office to keep things going. i heart her.

we had the Grand Taxi Tour on the way to the bus stop, and from there the bus to Esteli, and from the bus stop a walk to another bus stop to the last bust to Condega in order to meet with AMCC. arrived in Condega at about 5:30 and shopped around the place for a cheap hotel. note: if you{re looking for a deal on a room in Condega, look no farther than Hospidaje Framada. two downsides: when we got there, no light, and no light also meant no water. it sure seemed telling that light flowed freely in the northern concession but FAR less frequently or dependably on the national grid.

Anna and i were confronted by a new and strange animal ' free time. we bravely combatted this by calling Helen at AMCC and then, when no one answered either phone, resolved to find their school door and seek them out physically. we got as far as their street (after a monsoon-like downpour lasting 5 minutes) when Helen caleld and gave directions to her house. it was a greem-blue facade with a beautiful garden and open kitchen/dining area looking out. Amanda and Helen introduced themselves, and we learned a little of AMCC. Helen came to Nicaragua from Britain 18 or so years ago and has stayed pretty much constantly since. Amanda is originally from Condega and very politically outspoken. when asked about Daniel Ortega, Amanda was direct and fervent that the new ¨Left¨looks rather like the ¨Right¨in many ways, and that the new political paradigm is to ally itself as closely as possible with financial interests. this was about the time in the conversation when the electricity went off (from the national grid). Amanda and Helen immediately got candles like old pros. apparently this happens often. it is interesting to compare this circumstance to that in the concession of the north, where electricity was completely constant. back to Daniel. according to Amanda´s views, dissent is encouraged among the barrios and disadvantaged populations, and the vote is split so that Ortega won with just 38% of the vote. women, who had reached some modicum of emancipation along with the social services with the 1st wave of the Sandinists are now either entirely forgotten or paid mere lipservice. in terms of women´s roles in Nicaragua, Amanda and Helen both stated that there were any disadvantages in the machismo culture, but the force of women is strong, and women´s rights needs only encouragement and time to change current situations. about Helen´s history: she was originally a carpnter in Britain and came during the 80s to teach women computer skills and other ocational skills. she became involved with AMCC with Amanda and has slowly developed the venture into a school. while we were talking, Helen cooked up some eggs, rice & beans with sweet peppers, and SALAD with raisins (pasas). it was heaven! we went back to the hotel and cospired on rocking chairs. thoughts included the following:

how much income comes from manufacturing contracts?
who would the sustinable farm demonstrations be for? consumers, municipalities, their students, other NGOs . . .?
might they be looking for other alternatives for welding (ie. hydraulic ram pump)?
how sophisticated is thir electrical training?

other brainstoming followed, but i´m not authorized to divulge this info. at this time or the chip in my gbrain will explode.

sleep quickly followed.

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