Moon Drops.

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“The moon was up, painting the world silver, making things look just a little more alive.”

 ~N.D. Wilson ~

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The Unexpected Art.

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Every single bus ride out of site and back to site takes me by this abandoned building. And every single time, I think to myself, “I really want to photograph that.”

Well, it finally happened when my dad was here and we had a car to stop and go as we pleased.

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Last year I had the honor of photographing the Inside Out Project in Granada that a group of Peace Corps Volunteers organized. While a post on that is long overdue, you can read a little bit more about the project and see some of my photographs of the event here. The idea is to share a message through photographs that are then printed and posted in public spaces.

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That said, street art has since caught my attention, and this building has a lot of it.

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What makes this place really unique besides the art, is where it is. Just outside of Managua is a little mountain town, El Crucero, that is home to the windiest and blusteriest weather one can find within a hundred miles. This gas station is on the very outskirts of the town, right as it hits the narrow part of the mountain, where you can see on both sides of the highway, out to ocean one way, towards a range of volcanoes the other way.

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With a mix of posters with photos on them, political messages, and random kids’ graffiti, it has a bit of everything.

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I’d be curious to know who put what up. The painting of the man above is rumored to have been done by a famous artist here, but I’m not sure.

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Anyway, just wanted to show off a little love from a small corner of Nicaragua. Art, mountains, and photography – you can’t go wrong!

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Waldo’s Nicaraguan Adventures.

My amazing dad came down to visit me for a brief, but adventure-filled, week right before Christmas. What a gift. We spent the week trekking around in our little rented car, finding all sorts of adventures down random dirt roads, zip-lining, exploring beaches, mountains, coffee farms, historical cities, and drinking coffee multiple times a day. It was a grand time.

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About 10 years ago, he and I started a tradition/joke in our family around Christmas time. My mom has a ridiculously large Santa collection that she puts out every year on the living room mantle. My dad and I decided that display looked like a page from a Where’s Waldo book, so he printed out a cutout of Waldo and we hid him. It took my mom a couple days to find it, and her reaction was priceless. Needless to say, it became a tradition and every year that sneaky Waldo finds a place to hide in the Santas.

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My dad brought me down a bunch of Christmas goodies, and in one box my mom had packed Waldo! After discovering him, we quickly decided Waldo needed a grand tour of Nicaragua. So, without a legit passport and an ever-constant grin, Waldo joined us on our quick jaunt around the lakes of volcanoes. Check out where we found him hiding:

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Waldo soaking up some semi-cloudy rays of sunshine and getting salty on a rural beach.

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Posing on the zipline company vehicle in San Rafael del Norte.

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Post-ziplining hang out time with our guides.

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Roadtrip pit-stop for french fries in Managua on the way to Matagalpa.

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Chilling in the hotel in Matagalpa.

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Enjoying a mocha and light reading in Matagalpa city.

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Exploring Selva Negra in Matagalpa.

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Flirting with an indigenous woman…tsk, tsk, Waldo.

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Checking out the art at Selva Negra.

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Learning to make black ceramic pottery in the mountains of Jinotega.

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Enjoying a cocktail in Granada.

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Cheese, chai and fresh bread in Esteli.

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Chilling in the cacti in a mini-botanical garden in Esteli.

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Waldo goes green.

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Checking out cigar boxes in Esteli.

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Woah there, Waldo, lay off the cigars will ya?

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Catching a good night’s sleep in a sweet historical hotel in Granada.

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Taking in the view of the cloud-covered volcano from our hotel room in Granada.

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Enjoying the cathedral from our hotel balcony the last night in Granada.

Well played, Waldo, well played.