Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Neighborhood Mentality

Barrio Pedro Joaquin
Neighbors' Houses

I currently live in the neighborhood Pedro Joaquin. It's kind of a rough and tumble neighborhood as I've described to you before.

There's always someone going by, a person walking, a dog marking its territory, an ice cream vendor, the tortilla lady, the woman selling cleaning supplies (brooms, buckets, etc).

Peaceful calm at six in the morning.

There's the guy who stops by to panhandle to help buy drugs (no, he doesn't ask like that). There's the guy who wants to sell what he's stolen.

There's the neighbor who washes clothes for a living to come by and visit. There's the a group of little girls who have become fascinated with 'the gringa' living in their neighborhood who yell their hellos as they go by.

Burning Trash
Roberto's mom burning yard waste.

On the one hand, it's the most dangerous neighborhood I've ever lived in, but on the other hand, there is always someone, not only willing, but available to help if the need ever arises.

I've met more neighbors here in one month than I did in my last three years in Seattle, and I chose that Seattle neighborhood in part because of it's community.

Horses eating breakfast on the baseball field across the street.

So I feel fortunate to get to spend my last weeks here, on a nondescript, average Nicaraguan street. Because behind the tough looking, iron covered facades are families who come out to sit on street corners and chat with each other, who share food among one another, who give and receive as needed.

Our House in the Middle of Our Street
Our house, in the middle of our street.

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