Baho, War, Rituals, Protests

[Exercise: Two minutes on each of these topics.]

A memory of cabbage
Cabbage is served as an accompaniment to many Nicaraguan dishes. Chopped finely and mixed with onions, bell pepper, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper, it adds just the right amount of flavor to meat dishes like “baho” which is served in banana leaves with yucca and sweet plantains at open-air markets and casual, sit-down restaurants. During my last visit with Mamita, my maternal grandmother, she taught me how to make this tasty and refreshing salad.

Some instance of a war
My mother and her sisters covered my ears with their hands when the gunfire grew more intense. The revolution had just begun and I was midway through the first grade at the American school in Managua where my only memory of school is getting kicked off a horse during riding lessons. With just two plane tickets to the U.S. in hand, my father redeemed his and I followed shortly thereafter. Relations between my parents were strained at the time, but my mom joined us as quickly as she could.

A cup you loved
For two years I only drank my morning coffee from a black, ceramic “SunPower” mug given to me by my employer one year for Christmas. Every morning I reminded myself of all the wonderful things the company had provided for me: good pay and benefits when we really needed it; co-workers who were fun, intelligent, and creative; leaders who recognized my gifts and put their trust in me; and for all of the wonderful friendships I established. The enamel on the mug’s rim eventually wore down so I replaced it with a new one, but the meaning behind my morning ritual remained the same.

A peace march you didn’t attend
I’m not one to attend marches because they seem pointless, plus I cannot stand feeling powerless, and trying to change “the system” (any system) makes me feel like I have no power. On the other hand, if I lived someplace like India where I read stories about children getting raped and the men in charge doing little to try and stop the offenses, I would definitely join the outpouring of outraged men and women who protest in the streets. I would need some sort of outlet, any outlet, to channel my uncontrollable anger and rage.