peanut butter and plantains

Sunday evening rolls in again as I sit outside and watch another Nicaraguan sunset. The clouds wander in over the ocean. I listen to my iTunes on shuffle, and Ben E. King with ‘Stand by me’ comes on (If the sky that we look upon. Should tumble and fall. Or the mountains should crumble. To the sea. O I won’t….) My feet dance around in front of me, barefoot and propped up on their chair. They’re blistered and bitten, but right now, cool, tan and happy.

I awoke this morning around six with a start because it suddenly became silent. I must have been only dozing, but the sudden silence was so startling that I promptly woke up. No fan, no motor hum. No power. Around two this afternoon, I was sitting and staring at nothing when it became noisy again. The beer and soda fridge fired up with a humph and the fans started spinning again. Over seventy-two hours, we’ve had power for less than half. Thank you, Gigante, for reiterating this lesson twice. I really appreciate electricity. I take it for granted when it’s here, and I only notice how much I enjoy it when it leaves. I’m sorry. I won’t do it again. I will give thanks for electric fans and lights and computer chargers every time they work. Okay?

 I love iTunes shuffle. Garth Brooks is up. If you stand outside the fire. life is not tried is merely survived if you’re standing outside the fire. dooo doo dooo, standing outside the fire. I haven’t been listening to any of my music recently, only the bad reggeton they play over and over in the common room, so this is a nice change of pace. There’s a moment right after the sun goes down that it seems to get lighter again. The light turns gold and it seems like the sun’s going to pop right back up over the horizon again. Just kidding folks, no night today. If the sun just bounced up and down, above and below the horizon, in perpetual twilight or early morning. Then suddenly there’s a ten second chunk when bloop, ploop, its dark. It’s dark and the fireflies start. I remember this from sunsets in Ecuador. At the ecuador, where days last exactly six to six, twilights don’t exist, or at least don’t last very long; one moment it’s fading day, the next it’s night. You get distracted by a passerby asking for bug spray and you miss it. Somehow, though, the bugs always synchronized the very moment they all started up their buzzy song. Quiet one moment, deafening buzz the next, almost like they have a little conductor who taps twice on the podium before they all swell in music. The fireflies are like that here. Here, the days are nearly as equal as they are on the equator, six to six. It’s an oddly equilibrated way of life.

I discovered peanut butter in the fridge today. Smooth, American peanut butter. Although it runs a far second to chocolate, ‘twas delicious. Standing in the kitchen, I peeled a fresh plantain and heaved scoops of peanut butter on it. Spoon of peanut butter in one hand, plantain in the other, I leaned up against the center tile island in the kitchen. The taste of the plantain provided an interesting tropical edge to my familar banana-based snack. I paused for a breath in the banana-peanut butter madness, looked up, and saw the ocean glimmering in the distance. It was the prettiest view I’ve ever seen while eating a plantain with some peanut butter on it. 

Yesterday a group of seven from Austin, Texas arrived at the hotel. It’s an interesting crew—an early-twenties couple, a late fifties couple, a man and two women. The woman whose leading the group runs some sort of adventure company, and this is the first attempt at a trip to Nicaragua. Although their loud arrival was a bit jarring, it’s nice to have a group around as it gives me an easy way to get out and do things. Kimmerly is around thirty, and she’s leading the trip. She took the younger couple down to the beach on Saturday morning, and I got to tag along and get an actual, legitimate surf lesson. It’s amazing how much difference a legitimate surf lesson does for morale and skill. Granted, I still cannot stand up yet, nor do I feel like I’m close, but I learned more in two hours out with Kimmerly than a week and a half with Jaime. She’s a girl, for one, which means that she can empathize with my difficulty in doing push-ups, instead of marvel at it like Jaime does (also, use your boobs to anchor you to the board, she says).

I had a lovely day today of snorkeling and walking through Rob’s reserve, Zacátan, but for now my bed beckons, and my stomach full of lobster, chicken, and pasta is ready to lie down. More tomorrow. 

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