Belly Dancers and Snake Charmers

Much as Sundays are quiet and sleepy, starting Friday evening to late Saturday night, there is much activity in the streets of Granada. Nicaraguans like “ruido” (noise) and our neighbors, whose household consists of eight teen age and mid twenties boys have made it their business to bring week end animation to our block. Their speakers are over-sized and for the past 2 weeks, they have been playing a tribute to Michael Jackson, with an occasional break into Latino gangsta rap.

Our foreign friends, not to be outdone in this festive environment, are keen to put their creative juices to good use. We were invited to our first theme party. We only knew it was to be a “dress up” situation and had no idea how extensive this was going to be. Let’s just say this was as much theatrical production as it was a “party”.
Ben was somewhat apprehensive about walking through town in his Snake Charmer attire. So we stealthily hailed a taxi in front of the house and made our way to the party. Little did we know that this was a futile attempt at going “low profile” as the party’s chief organizer had built over the past couple of weeks a large, ney huge, ney gigantic 30 foot long snake that had to be hoisted up on poles by eight men. Ben got whisked into the snake procession from one house to the party, pretty much on the opposite side of town. No more incognito. Nicas on the street were amused, but nothing phases them. So a large snake with gringos in ridiculous outfits went through town, they looked up, waved and went back to the steady rhythm of the rocking chairs on their front sidewalks.

The party was held at a large house on the edge of the “mercado”, which has been given the status of “party house” due to its theatrical setting. Here the outside courtyard was lined with mattreses covered in Middle Eastern fabric, ceilings had fabric draped low with images projected onto them from a recent trip to India and of course mega wattage speakers for the music that alternated between Hindu sytar. electronic music and James Brown “I feel good”.

Warren, the chief organizer and owner of the Gym across the street from our house set his plan in motion by getting a belly dancing teacher to come once a week from Managua. Those women who signed up for the class wound up providing some of the entertainment for the night.

Amongst the dancers are two Nicaraguan girlfriends of young Americans who opened our favorite restaurants in town.

Peta gets a mini belly dancing lesson…

The “snake”, after making its way through town, wound up as part of the final theatrical battle between good and evil… Note the SIZE of the snake compared to the people. This is just the head.

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