Power to the People

Mark and I had a scare today, reminiscent of the “Arab Spring” when I thought my brother-in-law was in Egypt….

It's normally such a quiet street!

It’s normally such a quiet street!

Our street is a quiet one that leads right into the central park square, several blocks away. We were walking to lunch today, and heard the noise of a crowd. Mark looked at me, and I at him, and then we saw, coming towards us from the direction of the square, a swarm of people, slowly moving towards us, like a thunder cloud in the distance.

No kidding, there was a moment of panic — was it civil unrest?  Had our relatives worst fears of us in Central America come true, with us caught in the middle of some sort of Ortega/Chavez/Fidel protest against US citizens??

The rumbling was growing. “La gente” were angry and getting louder, and closer.

And then I heard what they were shouting…”El ladron, el ladron”   (thief, thief)!!  Right down the middle of the street, there was a guy in his mid teens on a bicycle peddling furiously.  And behind us, were a young woman and her 10 year old daughter. The woman had a look on her face of determination…and glee?…. She stepped out into the street, wielding her broom at the thief. The mob was closing in…

…the thief seemed to hesitate for a moment, then dropped the bike, and ran away on foot. From the swarm of people emerged another guy in his mid teens, to collect the bike — and the crowd of 80 or so cheered!

Wow…neighborhood watch on steroids…one of the factors, I’m sure, in why Nicaragua has the second lowest crime rate in the Americas.