Yesterday I visited the birthplace of Sandino in Nicaragua: Niquinohomo.
Yo soy del pueblo que un niño
en Niquinohomo soñó.
Soy del pueblo de Sandino
y Benjamín Zeledón —Yo soy de un pueblo sencillo, by Luis Enrique Mejía Godoy (see the complete lyrics and my translation below)
A lot to ask? — “Living clean, healthy, safe, beautiful and good is living with joy, with physical and mental health. Living with –, safety, respect, faith and hope. — Sandino!”
Benjamín Zeledón’s fortress —the political prison
We also visited Benjamín Zeledón’s fortress, then turned to political prison. We saw the cells where first Somoza, then the FSLN, kept their political prisoners. It is on top of a hill, with breathtaking views of Masaya, Granada, the lakes, forests, volcanoes and vultures. The Nicaraguan scouts manage it, and a scout greets you and tells you the story when you get there.
The cells are dark and full of graffiti, bats and ominous stains.
There’s one level that they didn’t want to dig up yet.
In nearby Laguna de Apoyo I felt more naked than ever before in my life
In nearby Laguna de Apoyo I felt more naked than ever before in my life, bathing in a volcano crater in my bikini. The nicas swim (well, bath, because in this area they can’t swim) fully clothed. It’s so weird. Everyone was looking at the pale skinned gringas swimming in their bikinis. It felt like a political defiance act.
I discovered something: nakedness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
A remix of Gangnam Style blasted on huge loudspeakers.
On another note, my youngest son broke his leg while I was away. Bummer. Poor him, poor Pablo.
Yo soy de un pueblo sencillo pequeño como un gorrión con medio siglo de sueños de vergüenza y de valor. Yo soy de un pueblo sencillo como la palabra Juan como el amor que te entrego como el amor que me dan. Yo soy de un pueblo nacido entre fusil y cantar que de tanto haber sufrido tiene mucho que enseñar. Hermano de tantos pueblos que han querido separar porque saben que aún pequeños juntos somos un volcán. Yo soy de un pueblo que es poeta y sus versos escribió en los muros y las puertas con sangre, rabia y amor. Yo soy de un pueblo orgulloso con mil batallas perdidas soy de un pueblo victorioso que aún le duelen las heridas. Yo soy de un pueblo reciente pero antiguo su dolor analfabeta mi gente medio siglo en rebelión. Yo soy de un pueblo que un niño en Niquinohomo soñó soy del pueblo de Sandino y Benjamín Zeledón. Yo soy de un pueblo sencillo fraterno y amigo que siembra y defiende su revolución.
I come from a simple people small as a sparrow with half a century of dreams of shame and of courage. I come from a simple people like the word John like the love I give you like the love they give me. I come from a people born between a rifle and a song that after so much suffering has a lot to teach. Brother of so many peoples that they’ve wanted to keep apart because they now that even small together, we’re a volcano. I come from a people that’s a poet and wrote his verses in walls and doors with blood, rage and love. I come from a proud people with a thousand lost battles I come from a victorious people with wounds that still hurt. I come from a new people but its pain is old my people are illiterate half a century in rebellion. I come from a people that a child dreamed of in Niquinohomo I come from the people of Sandino and Benjamín Zeledón. I come from a simple people fraternal, friendly that sows and defends its revolution.
Somebody makes a pseudo-stupid joke at my son Quique in the street —something I’ll never understand. Pablo looks at me with his best “what the hell just happened, did you get it?” and our telepathy fails for a moment, and I have to make do with expressing my thoughts with words, and in front of
I saw the doors closing behind me: military green, school green, hospital green doors. My two friends stayed behind, smiling and wishing me good luck. If you had told me I’d never see the girl again, I wouldn’t have believed you.
I don’t know if you’re worried, my dear readers, but my holidays this year do not include holidays from writing. Actually, I’m writing so much I’ve just finished a notebook I started last month. There’s a post for patrons only and tell you too in a bit about what I’m working on. I hope you like it…