Nancy's Blog

The bus cruises past miles of semi trucks waiting in line to cross into Nicaragua and comes to a halt amid deafening calls from men I cannot understand. They are stacked three deep behind a barbed wire chain link fence, some with tables and umbrellas and some under the hot mid day sun , waving their arms and vying for attention. “What do they want,” I asked a woman in my broken Spanish. They are money exchangers, and the bundles they wave are currencies they are eager to trade for a small fee. We get our passports stamped, get back on the bus, and cross over 100 yards into Nicaragua. There we heave our luggage onto a hand hewn long wooden table on a platform in the open air. Vendors accost us with cashews, purses, belts, candy, cup-o-noodles, sim cards, and steaming plates of rice with gravy. Women carry improbably large baskets on top of their heads and beggars plead for spare change. A man takes our passports and points us to the guy with the Dodgers baseball cap who examines our luggage. All clear, we reboard the bus and head north to Granada.
Lauren’s spelling bee unfolded in the sweltering gym while I was thinking about CDSG’s recent announcement regarding the state of the school. Country Day, this area’s only accredited school, the lifeblood of a small but important community, and an economic engine for the whole area, announced that its owners would not be reopening the school here next year. Parents are doing a mad scramble to raise the hundreds of thousands of dollars necessary to transfer ownership to an as-yet-unformed nonprofit organization which will take over ownership. Remarkably, efforts seem to be bearing fruit and it looks like doors will reopen next year. Meanwhile, the entire fourth grade is crumbling like dominoes in an effort to spell the word “tact,” a word they say they don’t understand. Challenges all around.
It was already hot at 6 a.m. when we headed up the steep incline that promised and delivered breathtaking views of Guanacaste. Our guide, Edgar, brought along a machete to ward off the unlikely but not unprecedented appearance of bear-sized ant eaters, venomous snakes, and jaguars. Though I could barely keep up with this grandfather who had ridden his bike an hour to meet us before the hike, I relished the experience and the cool breeze that refreshed us on top.
Country Day School kicked off at dawn today with a surf contest at Tamarindo Beach. Dads beat the moms in a tug-a-war contest despite being outnumbered two to one. Lauren got a prize in the sack race competition, and everyone had a great time. Note to self: bring sacks for next year’s race so we don’t have to use plastic garbage bags, another on the long list of resources in short supply here.
This afternoon our small community gathered in the school yard to plant a lemon tree for Camilo, a third grader who loved lemons and who died over the Easter holiday. He was in Lauren’s class when we arrived and was very nice to her when she was new at school. Today the kids had an opportunity to talk about their friend and put cards, toys, and other remembrances in a box that will be buried next to the tree. On his deathbed, Camilo named his baby sister who was born shortly after her funeral. We will miss his sweet presence in our lives.

Latest comments

20.12 | 00:15

Hi,These are some photos I took. I like to take Self Portraits. I will be taking more pictures of Costa Rica. Thank for your selfy. --

13.12 | 18:23

Great content. Thanks for sharing insightful information on the rights. Here I am having one basic question.Very well posted I enjoyed it.http://onedaytop.

01.12 | 18:28

Gary's Blog One Last Look Saw the last sunset of our stay tonight.Amazing post...

11.11 | 19:54

Green, or common, iguanas are among the largest lizards in the Americas, averaging around 6.5 feet ...