Today we arrived in Nicaragua after an insane border crossing from Honduras (per usual). Before we got to Leon, however, we (we is me and my 4 passengers) stopped for gas station fried chicken. Yum! We ate in the car…
Anyway, after a brief orientation walk and some time to explore (I bought red shoes! yay!), we bought a six pack of beer to drink in the Plaza, since none of us were super hungry and the plan was originally to meet and head to dinner…Anyway, as we sat out there and drank, we did a lot of people watching and discussing. Why is there so much poverty? Are people happier down here? Do they look at us and think that those of us living in/from a “first world” country have our priorities out of whack? Who knows, and this isn’t the time to get into it, but we were all talking a lot.
As we’re sitting there, watching kids on scooters and bikes with training wheels, this little boy – no more than 4 – came up and asked me, very clearly “cuanto valen los globos?” (how much do the balloons cost?). Next to the bench where we were sitting, there was a line between two trees, heavy with balloons and toys and such. He asked me many times, very adamantly, how much the toys costed. I tried to tell him that I didn’t know how much they cost, and he didn’t seem to believe me. So he asked again, more clearly. I laughed and said I really didn’t know their price, and he walked away. A few minutes later he came back and asked the same question but in a different way (“cuanto cuestan?”), to which I replied that I really didn’t work there and wasn’t sure. He covered his ears as I suggested he talk to the person that *does* work there, and ran back to his folks.
This kid was determined, though! The third time he came up to me, asking once more – very politely – the price of the toys, the scooter girl was with her mom and arrived at the same time. This time Mom asked a group of people sitting about 10 feet away who was the one in charge, and a guy stood up. The little boy looked at me and asked me one more time, just as the guy was walking over. I leaned down to him and said to ask that gentlemen, that he would have the answer. Which he did. As the 5 of us left the plaza, the little boy happily ran to his parents to tell him the price he had just learned.
The kid was so cute, I almost bought the balloon for him!