As foreigners on this short, volcanic black dusty street, we were curios. So we wanted to show residents we cared about, and were interested in, their life and families.
We were watching the kids out our front window play baseball with a rubber ball. They used their forearms as a bat.
“Let’s buy them a bat!” we chimed together. Obviously they couldn’t afford a proper bat. Or a proper baseball.
Nay. Nay. Let’s think about this. Who gets to keep the bat? Maybe the bat would create envy, discord. Maybe the ball would get lost and cause tears because it was special.
Ultimately, we concluded these children were using what was available to them to play a game they loved. If we interfered in any way, we would upset the balance. They were having fun and they didn’t need any North American do-gooder gift of so-called ‘proper’ equipment.
It was an emotional farewell when it came time for us to depart for Canada. One neighbour presented us with signed copies of their son’s photograph so we would not forget them. Unexpectedly, we felt close to these people.
Reports Nicaragua Today:
Initially triggered by now-aborted reforms to the near-bankrupt social security system, the unrest broadened into a rejection by many Nicaraguans of President Daniel Ortega, who is seen as autocratic.
From the Nicaragua Daily Mail:
Clashes broke out in Nicaragua between opposition demonstrators using homemade mortars and pro-government groups, with the worst occurring in Leon, northwest of the capital Managua.
A barricade was built across the main road into the city which was used by anti-government protesters to fire their weapons from. Since protests began last month, 76 people have been killed and more than 800 wounded.
Léon! Our Nica hometown! What about the families on our street who scraped by each day selling their homegrown vegetables, tortillas, firewood? What about the old vendors who hawked their wares and stopped to chat with our neighbours? And what about the kids on our dusty little street? I still hear their laughter. Can they still safely play baseball, soccer, tag…be carefree…play cards under the street lamp at night? Who will take care of them if their parents are affected?
Sadly, I have learned it is the real people with nothing who protest for a better life. And it is the real people, many innocent, who suffer the repercussions of violence.