Ernesto is a 30+ Nicaraguan man who I have known for 12 years. He lives in Chinandega, Nicaragua with his wife and year old daughter. He comes from a poor family but has learned to speak and write English on his own. I last saw him in February when visiting the Solidaridad Cooperative in Matagalpa. That was when I asked him to write these blog entries so as to gain insight into the life of a good citizen in Nicaragua struggling to make a decent life for his family.
I have a lot of gratitude for my father. He taught me a lot. He always taught me to do the correct thing. He said that I had to be respectful with everybody and to play fair in life. I remember that my dad was always worried for all of us. We are four brothers and one sister. If he was very tired after a long day of work, he never showed us that he was tired. He played with us and made some jokes, no matter what. I don’t remember if we had difficulties when I was a child, but he worried about everything. He gave us education, food, clothes and a shelter over our heads.
I don’t remember my dad fighting with my mom, he never shouted at her or hit her. I don’t remenber my dad with a bottle of liquor in his hands or ever drunk. Maybe he used to drink but, not too much. He wanted his children to grow up in good conditions but the amazing thing is that he never got a high salary, but he figured out how to feed us.
I have a good concept of my dad, I think that he is the best model of a father, for this reason I try to imitate him. Now I have a beatiful daughter and I try to do the best for her. Now my daughter inspires me to continue with the struggle, I think that my dad used to feel the same thing, for this reason he tried to do the best for us.
Right now my dad is retired. He used to be a math teacher for more than 30 years. In this moment he is sick, he is a diabetic. A few days ago he was in the hospital with dangerous wounds in his back, I thought that it was the time to leave us, I saw him very sick. My dad has high self-steem and, of course, he wants to continue living, so a miracle happened. Because he thinks the way he thinks, the wounds healed; now he is back home again. He is still a diabetic, but in this moment he is ok and continues making jokes as if nothing happened. My father inspire me to continue with the struggle, I look a him as a good example of life.
Although he is retired he continues teaching. When someone asks for his help he volunteers to help those who need help. He charges low prices for the classes but most of the time he does it for free, I asked him why he doesn’t charge for those classes and he replies,” that boy, maybe he will be a doctor or an engeneer, when he becomes a professional. I will feel myself already paid back because I was part of his education. In this moment I know that I’m old and sick, but what I feel inside me is peace and when I die, I will die happy, I won’t leave money, but a least I will leave some professinals that I helped and I know that for this reason the situation in this country some day will change for good. For me that will be enough.”