Update: I’m still not used to everyday Salvadoreños carrying automatic rifles and revolvers and rounds of ammunition around their waist. It feels like a case for alarm, if it weren’t for the gallant chivalry. I guess I feel safe. But anyway, here is a back post of a journal I wrote on the bus:

Murals from Leon, Nicaragua

6:54am. September in Nicaragua. Magnificent rainbow after the rain today, which shot from the forest canopy to an incredible arch traversing the sky. Sunrise glorious over the verdant landscape of tamarind and mimosa trees. Every minute of the madrugada rich shades of lemongrass and winter fern green over huts and hammocks, palm trees and lazy white cattle swatting flies with their tails. Sometimes there are swamps, othertimes just lush savannah. Squat shurbbery intercept endless fertile grasses which sprout as softly as terraces of rice paddies.

At this hour in the morning, a shrouded periwinkle volcano sleeps under the most gentle wispy clouds, back-illuminated by brilliance, struck by gold sunshine, clean triumphant rays of morning light. This glow drenched the entire landscape in glorious hues, cloud forests dissipated in fog, as if to announce a divine blessing. And it’s not hard to imagine that this might have been endowed as the land of procreation, land of abundance, land of seed and of sprout.

Silence would have been the most profound accompaniment, but instead, there is the caw of birds, the start of motors, the crack of old cars chugging down the highway. At the moment, I can only be humbled, and soak it all in. All the beauty, a botanist’s paradise and a naturalists’ dream, confronted with tragedy and poverty and lack.

The rain drips from blades of grass from this morning’s thunderstorm.”

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Spanish Words of the Day:buitres” vultures | “garzas” herons | “aguacero” downpour | “garúa” drizzle

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