Wednesday, January 14, 2009

CAUTION! Vicious and Menacing Guard Dog on Duty!!!

Five years ago, had anyone told me I would occasionally get on the bus and go over to Nicaragua to visit, I would have asked him what he was smoking. Living in Costa Rica, and not quite fully a resident yet, I am classified as a permanent, but you got to work at it. Working at it consists of leaving the country for 72 hours every 3 months. I like to go back to the U.S. and visit my kids, but on starving artist wages, I often plop down 24 bucks for a round trip to Granada, Nicaragua. The first time I went I dreaded it...looked forward to it like a visit to the dentist's office for a root canal with a screwdriver. My 3 months had expired, so I had to go. Problem was I was deathly ill...I'm not sure I had ever been so sick. The entire week or ten days before, I slept 26 hours a day only to get up occasionally, stuff a few green pills the size of Manhattan down my throat and go back to bed. Actually Ana stuffed em down my throat along with a 2 gallon jug of water and rubbed me down with some kind of neat-smelling cream called Zepol. Normally that would have sent my heart rate up to about 700 beats per minute, but in my shape, I was more like a soggy pancake. Next day, Ana had an employee drive me over to Rio Frio for a "BOMBA". A "BOMBA" is a shot. With a needle that looks like a machete. No idea what's in it but down here, the pharmacist can give it to ya. Got back to the apartment, sat down in a chair and watched sweat pour off my head and form large puddles on the floor. No kidding. But I felt a little better. I think I would have died without Ana. The next day, my buddy, Jim, deposited me on the bus and left instructions with the driver where to chunk the body if I bellied up.
Now, to keep this post from turning into a novel, I will continue the future adventures into my first trip to Nicaragua in a few days. I found out later that I had a case of Dengue fever, but I did live. That fact should be obvious if you're reading this post, but I don't want to take any chances. I took pictures. Lots of pictures. Lots of pictures of dogs. Lots of pictures of strange places. Lots of pictures of dogs in strange places. The painting above is a typical door in the back streets of Granada (most of Granada is really nice) with a not so typical dog standing guard. The composition struck me as something that would really be neat to paint. So I did.

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