The Granada baseball team made it to the Nicaragua World Series and played a best-of-seven series against rival Chinandega last week. We caught three games in Granada and although Granada ultimately lost the series, it was a crazy and exciting experience. Particularly during the last game, the stadium was packed to capacity with Granada fans all sporting the Tiburones' red. A constant disharmony of whistles, conch shells, noise makers and screaming filled the air, only subsiding when it became clear that the Tiburones would lose. Vendors weaved in and out of the crowds selling fritos, quesillos (a wrap filled with Nica cheese, a few veggies, and cream-kind of nasty if you ask me), plantain chips, noise makers and probably 400 other things.
All in all, the games were a lot of fun and provided for some quality time with the Nicaraguan coaches.
|Flaca, Techo, Becca|
|Mastering the conch shell|
Yet amid all the mayhem, several kids crawl in and out of the throngs of people collecting and stomping on empty beer cans. One boy who couldn't have been more than 12 hung around our area for all three games. He sat silently and occasionally peered up at us. His eyes said more than any words could have. Big and deep brown, they at once looked pure and innocent as well as all-knowing, as if they had already seen too much. Meeting his gaze, I couldn't help but feel my stomach knot up. How could someone so young already be so sad? At his age, kids ought to be relishing in the joys of childhood, playing and forming friendships, eyes hopeful and happy. But instead this boy saw only the empty cans as a chance to get maybe 10 cords total (rough equivalent of 50 cents). Childhood should not be a luxury. No one should have to grow up so fast.