Back to Managua and the park

Early this morning, Sujeylin left her mother’s village without saying good bye to anyone, making her way to the bus stop in the pouring rain. We got on the bus with her and were soon greeted by a common phenomenon on regional buses: a very passionate but little convincing preacher, who at the end of his sermon went around with his hat to round up some money for “the cause”. He had been shot right in his spinal cord and had been in a wheel chair until recently, when he discovered the Lord. He was now a fully walking and functioning man again. Excuse my cynicism, more so because almost everyone gave him money!


After an hour and a half on the bus, and by the time I felt I had shot the images I think I will need, we all got off and continued in our vehicle… (is it not fair fooling the audience that way, or not fair fooling Sujeylin? I am not sure about that. In any case, the car went faster and was more comfortable.)

You should have seen Juan Carlos’ face when he spotted Sujeylin with her baby arriving in the park where they used to share a life together. To date she had been gone for little more than two months, and they probably spoke twice during this time. Mainly about the fact that he wasn’t sending any money over. But worse for him, some other dwellers had phoned Sujeylin a week earlier stating he had been with another woman (see a few posts back). So for her, getting back with him was impossible and she was extremely foul-mouthed about him to her friends while he was keeping at a safe distance.

back in the park

Nevertheless, after a few hours they ended up talking and a little later they were together again. Juan Carlos had to promise to stop taking drugs as a single condition for the relationship to continue, and so he did – he promised. Not having much choice, I suppose. But he can continue selling it, money is much-needed after all.

talk with JC

No doubt they will return to their usual cycle. Most days they end up fighting, but by nightfall they are friends again and make their home together on the covered sidewalk on the edge of the park.

I think JC was extremely happy to see baby Karla again, as he was parading her around all afternoon and was constantly giving her kisses. The little one was extremely good humoured and everyone fell in love with her immediately. And Sujeylin was also very happy, mainly to be back amongst her friends again, as she was quick to state that she wasn’t planning on leaving the park anytime soon.

The only problem her friends pointed out to her might be that these days, the police to daily raids and her child may be at risk. Although I also think that she might not like the park as much after two or three days.

I am kind of feeling to have returned to familiar territory and am curious how the next few days will play out. Tomorrow we start at 5.30 AM (as in: we start shooting at the location) so we can see where they ended up sleeping and in what configuration.

One thought on “Back to Managua and the park

  1. It’s so hard to know how to feel about all of this. I can only imagine it’s even more complicated for you.


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