A bitter-sweet symphony in Pearl Lagoon

This is a guest post by Sarah Sax who writes about her adventures while working in Nicaragua. Check out her blog if you get a chance: http://tangentile.wordpress.com/

The boat sputters and heaves against the waves. I see the front lift up and then smack down on the surface of the ocean sending a wave of bathtub-warm wáter to where I am sitting in the back of the boat, drenching me instantly. I taste the salt on my lips and hug my bag closer as the boat surges up, once again, against the next oncoming wave. I make a mental note to myself- if you don’t want to become drenched, never ride in the back of a boat on the side of the oncoming waves.

Picture taken from my disadvantageous position in the boat moments before hitting open water

It is hard to imagine that just 3 days ago I was baring the infierno of Managua with my dad, racing towards the bus station to catch the first bus on our 24 hour journey to the atlantic coast of Nicaragua. Sitting in the back of a beat up cab a familiar song comes on the radio- Natalie imbrulie’s “torn”. Our taxi driver, a scowling, grumpy, overweight man in his 50’s, sweating profusly in the hot, humid heat of Managua turns up the song, subtly nodding his head to the beat. Nicaraguans absolutely love the 90’s, significantly more than any other era, including the most recent one. The election of Violeta Chamorro in February 1990 put an end to the US embargo that had been in place and opened the doors to US trade, US-waste, and inevitably, US music. I have heard TLC, Suede,Nirvana, Alanis Morisett, the Cranberries and the likes more than I even did as a kid growing up in the 90’s. And it seems that the 90’s, at least for the time being, are here to stay.

These mestizo boarder guards manning the waterways surely know the lyrics to "No Scrubs" off by heart...

Back in the boat, we have finally pulled up to the second village on our stop, a small collection of basic one room shacks on stilts on a grassy clearing that has been cut from the surrounding forest and mangrooves. I step onto the pier and while the rest of the boat slowly makes its way towards dry land I take a minute to survey the wild expanse of turquise blue ocean in front of me, dotted with mangrove islands and palm tree fringes.For a minute it is utterly and completely silent, except for the waves lapping at the side of the boat. I feel that familiar feeling of having arrived at the end of the world and my heart surges.

Read more at tangentile.wordpress.com

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