In a country historically known for its Sandinista campaign and literacy education for the poor, today’s nicaragüenses are retrograding:

Teenage pregnancy is rampant and cohabitation without marraige is common. And today, a young 22-year-old started chatting me up and wanting to share her story of the city, to the ends of asking me to buy her newborn some formula powder. But she didn’t want just anything for her baby, she wanted to take me to the supermarket, and not just any market, the most upscale market in town. Pretty soon, I discovered she expected me to buy her Gerber’s formula and baby food, she wouldn’t accept any other brand. I started telling her how formula wasn’t actually a good replacement for breast milk, that I would buy nutritious food instead. She took me to the organic refridgerated section, insisting there wasn’t normal fruit stands in the town (there are.) Uncomfortableness started creeping in when she asked me to read her the labels in Spanish and explain them to her… it turned out that, like many young Nicaraguans, she was illiterate. And she couldn’t have normal fruit because she didn’t have a blender. Then she wanted cookies, of which I told her that while I was happy to help out with a few things for friends and acquiantances, that I shouldn’t be made to feel like a sponsor patron. After she went away empty-handed I felt bad for the rest of the day, thinking about how the some of the poor feel so entitled with the foreigners they see.

Personal Note: Hehehe clever: Borracho Obama. John McCaña. Only in Nicaragua have I been so impressed by people’s wry wit and a country’s exquisite tropical beauty.

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