As seen on Facebook. But hey, not everybody's on Facebook.
This is Ricardo, one of the two security guys who work the gate outside our little complex of four houses. Ricardo alternates 24-hour shifts with Guillermo. Security work pays really poorly, so Ricardo has two other jobs.
The billiard hall next to our house, Pool Ocho. Our landlord told us it was a well-run, non-noisy place with no disturbances, and she was right. It's super-popular and every cabbie in the city knows Pool Ocho, but we never hear one bit of noise or trouble coming from the place.
Three of the many delivery guys who do pharmacy deliveries at the general store and pharmacy near our house. There's always so many of them hanging around that I presume they get paid at least a little just for showing up, as well as additional for each delivery.
The quirky stoplight where I now know that the best time to walk is when the little red man says I shouldn't, or wait until the little green man has counted down from 80 seconds to 35 seconds. Otherwise, you're in danger of being run over by cars turning left.
Cuban restaurant Mojitos, which cooks its meats under the hood of this old shell of a car. It looks a little better when it's open and there are tables out, but not much. We're going to go there one Friday night, when they do a whole roast pig.
Escarlet, the woman who sells me baked goods, usually on my way home. One of my faves are the "encarceladas," which are thin squares of pineapple jam spread on a cookie pastry and covered in lattice pastry (the name means "imprisoned.)
Watch goose at a photocopy store with the owner's house in behind. The owner cautioned me that the goose might bite, but then invited me to open the gate for a better shot. I did get one, but I thought Mr. Goose looked more engrossed in his role as watch goose in this one.
The equivalent of Elections Canada, and the bain of my existence every Wednesday morning, when there is a standing protest against the government outside that is now met by a vast force of riot-ready police. I can't pass through this street on Wednesday to get to my bus because the police won't let anyone through. The protesters contend Nicaraguan elections aren't free and open.
Overpass across the busy street where the buses come and go. I feel slightly vulnerable on overpasses, but it is damn hard to cross the four lanes of busy traffic otherwise
Veronica, who makes the best and most gigantic sugar doughnuts to sell at the bus stop. She charges 11 cordobas each, about 50 cents
The usual scene at my bus stop, where a bunch of us await the arrival of whichever buses we're bound for. My walk to get here is about 30 minutes, then maybe 20 minutes on the bus before I get out for one last 4-block walk.
And now I'm on the bus, heading toward my office. A good day today - seats for all.
I get off the bus here for the four-block walk to my office. This is a fast-food chicken place, and they are always washing the parking lot and the restaurant floor, including sometimes pulling booths out onto the street for a big washing.
Man and dog recovering from a rough night. While I don't always see this specific guy, or dog, sleeping at this specific place, it does seem that the four-block stretch to my work is home to enough serious drinkers that I will always run across at least one man passed out cold. Sleeping on the street here isn't about homelessness, it's about alcoholism
Jovani, who is an odd duck with a drinking problem who greets me enthusiastically as I go to and from work, pretty much every day. First we said hi,. then we shook hands, now he has taken to hugging, which I'm not too fond of. But hey, so it goes.
Carmen, the cart lady who I help out from time to time. Just before we left the country last year, I gave her $35 for new wheels for her cart. Recently I bought her some basic groceries - rice, beans, oil, salt, coffee. She walks a crazy amount with her cart, collecting bottles and anything else she might be able to sell for a few cordobas or salvage. She has a husband, kids and grandkids - sometimes she has her 5 year old grandson with her.
My office. As is the case with many, many offices in Managua, it used to be a house. There's been a middle/upper-class flight out of Managua's centre to flashier outlying neighbourhoods, and many of the older 'hoods have been converted into office space for NGOs, embassies and the like.
Inside my office. That's Rosita on the right, who is kind of the Jill of all trades for our organization and does everything from staffing the reception desk to making us lunch, maintaining files, running work errands, etc. And that's Ericka the accountant in red.
Can you imagine walking past cages of puppies every single day and not being able to buy at least one to take home? If I didn't know first-hand how difficult and expensive it is to export a dog from Central America to Canada, I'd be tempted. There are three or four dog sellers who sell on one of the streets that I walk home on. They claim the dogs are purebred and sell them for $100 US each. That and another $1000 or so Canadian to get all the permissions, vet papers, and ridiculously expensive flight costs will let you bring one of these sweet little guys home