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We’re driving the Pan-American highway from Managua up into the steep wall of the Segovias when this double rainbow breaks out above us.  The smell of recent rain on rock mixes with the smoke of burning meadows… It’s good to be back.

TEN THINGS WE PASSED…

ON THE 2.5 HOUR DRIVE (North Managua-Matagalpa-SanRamon):

  1. The Zona Franca factories were all closed for New Year’s Day.
  2. Lots of Brahman cows and kids tending them.
  3. A roadside Chili-jar/watermelon stand that also sells giant concrete & steel painted swan lawn ornaments.
  4. The new MUSEUM HOUSE OF BIRTH OF RUBEN DARIO in Ciudad Dario (must see!).
  5. Kids selling Garrobos (giant lizards to eat) and parakeets (pets) and fish (just caught) by holding them up to passing cars.
  6. Several towns where every field stone, telephone pole, fence post, and even outhouse have been painted in red & black with a little number 2 (it’s all politics)…. And you KNOW the ladies at the bus stop dressed in red & black are no accident.
  7. The double rainbow!  (We didn’t pass it; it hover’d above us until the sun went down; alas, it looks like a single rainbow in the photo above…)
  8. An astonishing amount of just-harvested coffee beans being dried, either layed out flat under the rainy evening clouds, or rolled up into acre after acre of plastic-covered rain-proof hope for sunshine.
  9. Several people riding two to a bike and one guy riding along alone on two bikes.
  10. The new neighborhoods blossoming up into the hills outside Matagalpa, full of music & people hanging out in the darkness & the shrilling of some indeterminate cricket-like creature and the occasional moon-rocket strike.

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