Some more about Chontales

As promised, some more on our visit to Villa Sandino, in Chontales. First, the long overdue image of their home there.


This one is not to be confused with the picture I posted two days ago, from her mother’s home in the country side.

Yesterday, when we left, and as already mentioned, there was a lot of tension. Juan Carlos wanted to get back to Managua as soon as possible. He saw the problem of the rent coming up and was planning to do some “business” before sundown. Something which in the end didn’t happen. Sujeylin however didn’t feel like leaving at all, and at a certain moment we even thought she’d consider staying.

One of the reasons I think her mother came back with us after our trip to the country side was to make sure that she wouldn’t find an abandoned baby in her house when she’d arrive back. It was clear she enjoyed the new baby’s visit, but there could be no other consecuences. She’s already told Sujeylin not to count on her raising her second child as well.

And what about her first child, Nasli, who doesn’t even recognize her as her mother? When will they meet again? Sujeylin has always told me she wants a room, a job for her and Juan Carlos, and her two children in Managua. Way things look right now, this dream is miles away. I am hoping that she reaches it though, for her own well-being but also for the film. I want it to be a positive story of survival against the odds. But I am only a slave to what happens in their lives. There’s little I can do (or should do – see yesterday’s post about our giving policy) to change things.

A little story on our trip to the country on Thursday. As said, we went an hour by car, shaking all the way for the potholed, stony dirt road. And then we had to walk, cross a river on foot, climb and descend several hills and all that in the burning morning sun. Nevertheless, I had a seriously red face when we arrived. At the end of the day we waited until the sun was nearly down, and while the family shared four skinny horses between seven people, Armando and I went ahead walking. They caught up with us at the river, nearly at the end of the trip where our car and driver had been waiting for the entire day. Only then they tell me that this landscape is home to tigers! And this while I was thinking that the worst that could happen were ticks

Today is Saturday and I have been doing things people do at the weekend: some grocery shopping, my laundry (you have no idea how dirty clothes can get!), calling a few people I want to meet up with, etc. The weekends are also good moments to think the week over, reflect, backtrack, and even to let the(ir) story develop organically without being present all the time. I wonder how Sujeylin, Juan Carlos, baby Karla and the chicken get out of the weekend. I suppose the latter will have been turned into soup by now. But the rest of them?

I’ll write some more on this tomorrow. For now I’ll leave you with an image of the chicken, who settled down at the entrance of their room. It’s a little dark, but I think you can see it.


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