Apparently the shot's subject took him back a bit and he was: "...washed in white-light Peace Corps nostalgia".
Ahhhh Nica buses - would it surprise you if I said that so far they have been a comparative delight? Really, maybe it's just compared to my former post in Vietnam, but they're pretty good. More on that soon.
Other news includes me recent interview by a New York Times reporter who was putting together a feature on Nicaragua from a Granada perspective. We'll have to wait and see if my words make it beyond his tape recorder but we had a couple of beers and an interesting chat.
One question we knocked around was: "What does the future hold for Nicaragua?"
I want to expand on that soon on this blog. Not from any political point of view but more, from a point of view of what would people settle for, bearing in mind this country's, at times, horrific history.
"Nicaragua is hard to beat for many reasons. The retiree incentive program here is unbelievable; to be eligible, you need only be over 45 and have a monthly income of at least $400.00. And you can live well on that $400.00 in Nicaragua."
Now to put that in perspective I have friends who live on Peace Corps cash which is a little over half of that but they live a fairly frugal existence. We also all live in Granada where it costs a little more.
However the way I see it you would be paying at least $200 a month rent for anything remotely up to an Americano old-timers' standards. Plus, say another $100 for utilities. That'd leave you $100 of that budget for food or a fraction over $1 a meal. Now you can just about live on that if buy from the market and only ever eat in, but not "well" as they claim.
All of which I wouldn't have bored you with but I left a comment disagreeing with the figure on the website and it never made it past moderation. I'm a moody git when I'm ignored. Please feel free to add your thoughts on this here or on their website.
Elsewhere an article that I started to write for Volunteer Logue turned into a three parter - I really must learn to edit myself. It's on the thorny subject of voluntourism and it starts here, continues here and ends (mercifully) here.
I must admit that I delayed placing a link to it because, while I stand by what I wrote, it does have the capacity to offend and, in particular, those doing both good and heartfelt work. However, I felt at least slightly vindicated after reading this post on Christian missions which covers much of the same ground and comes to very similar conclusions.
Elsewhere I have been dealing with a publication called Dumbo Feather who put together, what they call a "mook", (half magazine half book), they're doing a feature on my old Hanoi employers' KOTO and, in particular, its founder Jimmy Pham.
They wanted to use some of my old pics and a couple of my Our Man in Hanoi blog posts too. Two copies will be winging their way to my folks' place. One for me and one for them to bore visitors with.
It can sit on the coffee table next to To Asia with Love whose next edition will feature more of me banging on about KOTO, Vietnam and volunteering.
And that's it, I think. We're doing a bunk to San Juan Del Sur for a couple of days over the weekend - just the thing after a week's solid Spanish lessons (we've upped the learning a bit - more on that soon too).