On Sunday, I hear church bells.
Citizens stay close to home and tourists are carried through empty streets in horse drawn carriages with flowers braided in the horse’s manes .A few retail stores are open around the plaza and taxi’s lollygag in front of hotels.Waiters stand in their dining rooms watching soccer on television. Moms and dads tend to children and older parents.
On Monday, the sounds change.
On Monday, there is a great flowing of people out of their homes and sidewalks become outdoor grocery stores with baskets, buckets, wheelbarrows filled with beans, berries, apples, citrus, lettuce, rice and staples. Workmen carry scaffolding, pick up paint brushes, swing machetes, keep streets swept clear of trash. Everywhere there are people in motion, bright colors, conversations, money changing hands for goods and services.
According to facts, Nicaragua is one the world’s poorest countries.Only a third of children finish primary school and much of the population stay poor. It is a country of great natural wonders and biodiversity and is visited by tourists from around the globe. Nicaraguan’s value family and are famous for their hospitality. Their culture is one of European, African, and Caribbean influences.
On Monday, I start in line at a BAC bank changing two five hundred Cordoba notes just pulled from their ATM machine because local merchants are reticent to take them. There are seven people ahead of me and next time I will use a money changer in the street outside who wears a ball cap and has a wad of money in his right hand.
A funeral proceeds down the street outside with a long line of mourners following a black hearse with white curtains in the windows.
On Mondays, the living get back to the job of living.