BASEBALL, BLACK JEASUS AND BULLS by EDIE

Trip Start Jul 12, 2009
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Trip End Aug 18, 2010


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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Domingo 30 Mayo


We went to a baseball mach in a big stadiam.  Granada played Managua and Granada lost.  There was loud music and one plear [player] dansed on the pich.  Then we drove to Masatepe.  There were lots of piple dansing to music and they follod a black Jeasus on a cros rilly slowly.  Then we went to another stadium to see men riding on big bulls. 

By Edie.

Well I could not have written it better.  That was our day – first stop to the local baseball stadium which looks like it requires more than a lick of paint.  It was not busy when we arrived which was 10am but when we left two hours later the stand was filling up.  It was hardly the same as watching Red Sox but the atmosphere was fun and women walked up and down the seats balancing massive bowls on their head offering food which when requested they would put the bowl down pull out a banana leaf and fill it with meat, beans and rice and slosh spicy sauce over it. 

At midday we were meeting Carlos the driver who came with us to collect Jana.  Today we had heard, that there was a celebration of sorts at a village about forty minutes away called Masatepe. One thing we have found out about Granada is that no one appears to know what is actually going on – the baseball is not advertised and appears to be communicated via word of mouth and as for this festival someone had called someone who had an uncle who was going and so on……

When we arrived I think Carlos thought we were bonkers and had the wrong day but our attention was turned to the sound of fireworks and sure enough at the church there was a large crowd of people in brightly coloured traditional outfits and at the entrance to the church was a black Jesus on a cross. 

As we were unsure what was going to happen, if anything, we tagged along to watch.  The music was lively and there were about five groups of dancers with their own musicians which consisted of a glockenspiel (possibly not called that), guitars and trumpets.  Eventually Jesus was loaded up and was carried by about six men. The procession was slow.  Painfully slow.  It involved the priest chanting, then some music by four musicians, then more chanting, more music and then about five paces before the procedure started again.  Well as much as I am interested in broadening my knowledge on the cultural customs of the locals there is only so much we could take before going insane.  

We ambled through the crowd and came across some children dancing.  As we did not know what was happening next or whether the procession would make it down the road before September we decided to go onto the bull rodeo down the road.  

What a contrast. It was if all the 'sinners', the ones not fulfilling their Christian obligations down the road had congregated.  The bull ring looked as if it had been put up in fifteen minutes using anything that was available.  You could not criticize the organizers of not recycling.  Anyone from ROSPA would have had a heart attack, this was the most dangerous structure I have ever clapped my eyes on, and worse than that it was full of people and we were with them. We paid our entry fee at a small booth as big as Edie's head and walked up the stairs to the 'posh' seating.  The locals on seeing us made some space and then continued to stare until the bull ran into the ring.  

In the ring were many of the local youths.  Some of which were so drunk they could hardly walk. The object of this game, as far as we could see, was that anyone drunk or daft enough gets into the ring and bates the bull so they chase them.  This 'gladiator' act actually entertains the audience, most hoping that the bull spears one of them in the bum.  

Then one of the guys got on the back of a bull who bolted out of the gate, kicking out as the men climbed up the side of the ring to get out of the way. Once the strap had been removed from the bulls back legs it walked back to the door to go out.  In fact the only intelligent animal in the ring was the bull who looked bored with the whole episode.  

After half an hour of watching we decided to call it a day and find Carlos. 

*** How could I forget but this it was Mother's Day here in Nicaragua and for some bizarre reason all mothers in Granada are stirred from their slumber by a Mariachi Music at about four am..  When we heard this I visualized a mother waking to find a group of mustached men with large sombreros strumming ridiculously large guitars.  But this morning we were awaken by the sound of Mariachi bands strolling through the streets at yes, 4am.  This went on for about half an hour and then it was silent again.  Not sure whether that was a gesture of love!  A flower would suffice. 
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