Sabana Grande from on high
Our nearly 14 weeks here in Sabana Grande have flown by. We’ve learned much, contributed something of enduring value to the community (we hope), and enjoyed sharing our experiences in this medium. Blogging of this sort is not something either of us had done before; in the end, we hope that the ability to share our thoughts with far more people than we could possibly correspond with singly compensates for the impersonal nature of the medium—and for those of you who don’t know us but have found this blog somehow, we hope it has been enlightening. There are so many topics we’ve wanted to address but haven’t. Had we but world enough and time! In any event, this is a kind of “loose ends” entry, with no illusions that we are tying anything up. And we will keep posting things as we travel around Nicaragua and Costa Rica for the next four weeks. Among others, there will be an entry reflecting on eco-tourism.
If you’re reading this blog you probably already know how much we love the bicycle. As a tool for getting from one place to another, for hauling cargo, for recreation the bicycle has no equal. In terms of the power generated per unit of energy expended the bicycle is the most efficient transportation machine ever invented. Here in Nicaragua—especially in the poorer, rural areas—the bicycle plays a vital role in moving people and cargo around. In the village itself most households have at least one bike, almost exclusively mountain bikes, almost all of which were of Wal-Mart quality to begin with and take a real beating here. Nonetheless, the bikes are functional and the relative simplicity of the machine itself means that they can be repaired and modified with relative ease at a relatively low cost (certainly compared to any motorized vehicle).