We chose, then, to escape to the North like so many times before. I would make the same journey when I'd needed space in San Diego years before, and I knew the route by heart: it went first to San Sebastian de Yali and then eastward along the mountain ridges to this quiet mountain town in Western Jinotega, where mountains crowded us on all sides and the air blews fresh and cool. For good measure, rains blew in from the West, knocking out the electricity.
So it was that at 7:30 PM, Ericka and I were transported to the previous century. The boarding house of adobe pressed around wooden columns, the meal: refried beans cooked in a heavy pan with onions, some ground beef in spices, flat tortillas toasted over a wood fire, and soft cuajada from some nearby cow.
We ate in near silence, gathered around a small wooden table that a wax candle illuminated in soft orange light. Outside the wooden door, total darkness and the sound of falling rain on the muddy streets. One hundred years ago, in the years before even General Sandino stalked these hills with his armed men, life here was little different at all.
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