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snapshot story: march ’03. granada, nicaragua.

Boy with a new bike.

In January, 2003, I traveled to Costa Rica for three months to learn Spanish and surf. I was 30 and had just ended a relationship, completed my student teaching, saved a chunk of change, and had some time to spend. I got rid of my furniture, put the rest of my stuff in boxes, and moved them to a friend’s garage.

The first month, I lived with a family in San Jose while going to school. I spent the second month living in a communal surf shack in the jungle, between a dirt road and the ocean in Santa Teresa.

I spent the final month traveling around Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua. My friend Tony came to visit for three weeks and we took a bus to the border of Nicaragua, and another to Granada.

There we met the little boy on the left. He was selling peanuts on the street. He was 12 and didn’t go to school. He walked an hour from his home each morning to sell peanuts in the city, and then walked back home in the evening. Six days a week.

So we bought him a bike in a hardware store for $80 US.

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