Lťon, Nicaragua               September 29, 1998
 

Greetings:
Iíve been here almost two months now and those cold showers still feel cold to me, unlike other years when it took only two or three days to get used to them.  I think itís because of the time of year.  This is winter here and although the days may get into the 90s, the mornings and evenings are cool.  This morning at 9 a.m. itís 92 degrees F and will get hotter as the day goes on.  But last night it was cool, as it has been at night for about three weeks now.  Just imagine sleeping all night long without perspiring.  I'd forgotten what that was like.

The baby blankets Mirna is weaving as a new project are coming out really nice, really different.  They should be a big success.  And they certainly are non-traditional in colors.  Lovely, if I may say so.  And no fringes to get in a babyís mouth Ė they are hemmed.

The big loom is in operation, too, and itís a workout for whoever weaves on it, itís so wide.  It hasnít taken them long to learn to weave with two feet, especially after they learned how hard it is to lift two of those big harnesses with one foot.  After adjusting the loom Ė it took a while to realize the fly-shuttle cord was set off to one side and unbalanced Ė theyíve been weaving ďmatrimonialsĒ, double-bed size blankets.  Isnít that a neat word for a double blanket?

We contacted a photographer to take some pictures of the products.  His photography is real art; his buildings and landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful.  We told him we needed photos that would show the texture of the weaving, took a bunch of stuff to his studio, and waited for the results.  He told us he wanted to take two days to do the work because he wanted to do a good job.  I told him we would leave things to his judgment, he was the artist.  The photos came as promised and I wish we could have bought them all.  Not the sort of photos one needs to enter craft fairs, but pictures that show the texture of the weaving better than any Iíve ever seen.  The mayor of Lťon is flying some of these photos to London tomorrow, to some potential markets there.  (Well, yes, he has other business there, too.)

Iím still giving haircuts, and to total strangers; can you believe that?  Hector brought in a friend from work (Hector has a part-time job and makes about $2 a day).  Iím always appalled at the confidence these good-looking young guys have in my ability; I could ruin their self-confidence so easily.  But a haircut costs 10 cordobas Ė thatís about a dollar.  Half a dayís pay for many.  So I give a haircut and a guy saves a buck.  Maybe he can take a girl out on a date with the money he saves.

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