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HALFWAY 12556 KM / DAY 188 / SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 - 07:33 / SAN JUAN DEL SUR, NICARAGUA
Yeah! At least in numbers of countries I`ve passed the halfway mark, Nicaragua is my eighth country, out of fifteen.
I matured in the 70s and 80s so I still remember well the history of this country - many of my friends came here after the revolution to help build a perfect nation. Strange when immediately at customs, the man smiling at me from a poster is Daniel Ortega, back in the presidential office for a few years, but often criticized for losing his ideals. Next month Ortega is running for president again and most likely will win. Still, Nicaragua is, according to statistics, the second poorest nation in the Western hemisphere (after Haiti). But this doesn`t take into account the national index of happiness - I`ve seldom seen a more joyful country. The people here seem to be born with a smile. Sure there is poverty, but also pride and a will to make the best out of things.
I`ve found an interesting storyline here. According to US News & World Report, Nicaragua has become one of the most favored countries for Americans to retire to. Given that the history between the US and Nicaragua has, in general, not been very good, its weird and interesting that Americans choose to come here and Nicaraguans seem to accept them.
DAY 363 FINAL DESTINATION