2009 Year in Review

What a great year! Worthy of being in VH1’s “Best Year Ever” episode. I got promoted at work, bathed in 9 different beaches, become closer with my family, closer with friends, and received the gift of creating life: my little lady, Seanna Sofia.

She’s so beautiful. So adorable. So gentle. Tender and sweet. Just like the flesh that made her and carried her in her womb. I love how she smiles in her sleep, how she opens her mouth wide and closes her eyes when she yawns, how she makes sounds like a kitten when she cries — But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So let me start with the first day, January 1, 2009. Man, what a party! What a crazy youth-spirited reckless night! What loss of control, what disregard for the norm of society. It was fun. To be careless one last time. To sing along songs, out loud; to dance like a high schooler, raising a glass of champagne to love and life, and bring in the new year one last time without second thoughts, toasting along friends and my beloved Monica. Aniceto and Jose, Primo Productions, you are to blame for such madness. And that was it. No more partying like a rockstar. We felt that it was not for us anymore.

As far as getting the new year started, Bianca, Monica and I went snowboarding and man it was about 75% torture and 25% fun. We ended up on the ground so many times that I felt I had bursted an instestine. We hit the ground so hard so many times that even though we had gotten the “All Day” pass until 10PM, by 5PM we couldn’t get up anymore. When we fell, it took us a good 5 minutes of just laying there, motionless, groaning, gathering strength to get back up. The problem was that when we went, even though it was cold, it wasn’t snowing. Instead of snow, there was ice on the slopes. It was basically trying to snowboard on frozen concrete. Looking back, I don’t think it was the determination to master the bunny slope that kept us there, it was plain masochism. This was just plain painful. I wish we could have made it to the regular “grown up” slope though, but we’ll shamefully admit that the Bunny Slope punished us so bad we got scared. After we left, Bianca looked like she had gotten in bar brawl, Monica looked like she had married a wifebeater, and I, well, I still looked good.

In February, we visited our good friends Yazmine and JP in Puerto Rico. We really enjoyed our stay with them and got to visit different parts of the island. I had many times seen the sun at sunset, but never actually sat down to contemplate it and enjoy it. When we visited Dorado, we did exactly that. And it was beautiful. It was an orange reddish circle with a soothing glow, slowly being swallowed by the dark sea and the endless dance of the waves. I wrote about this beautiful experience here. We also got to visit hidden coastlines and experience Puerto Rico underwater; we went Scuba diving in La Parguera, a diving spot where you can supposedly spot whale sharks during their migration. Unfortunately, we were a day late. The guides said they had seen a 40 foot whale shark the day before. What a disappointment 🙁 Puerto Rico was a lot of fun and its waters hold a special place in our heart since that’s where Seanna’s nickname “Sirena” came from. I was going to write about our scuba diving experience but didn’t get to it because Monica surprised me with the news that she was with child. I won’t be able to finish the second half of our Puerto Rico experience, but below are some videos and pictures we took of our dive trip. Although it was nice and full of corals, we were disappointed that there were very little fish. Weird.

Video of Scuba diving. From getting into the water, diving to bottom, seeing the “wall of corals”, to getting back on boat:

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Honeymoon Here We Come! (Day1)

For our honeymoon we decided that we would go tribal, literally. I am talking about going to a real virgin island. An island that has been untouched by big hotel chains, polluting cruises and most of all, little to no mass tourism! I am talking about crystalline waters, deserted beaches, coconut palm trees dancing with the ocean breeze and that feeling that problems stayed behind in some city, some where, forgotten. We went to two islands off the coast on my native Nicaragua, Big Corn and Little Corn. These islands are about 40 miles from the mainland, but infinitely distant from a hurried world. This is paradise, laid deep into the dreams of those who want to experience raw beauty. Observe the picture below and notice how there are no tall building and only small huts or house barely visible through the trees!

Paradise: Little Corn Island

We must first thank Bianca for taking us to the Dulles Airport in at 4 in the morning, even though Monica totally confused the airport we were supposed to depart from. We were supposed to go to DCA but she told Bianca to take us Dulles. Once there, and once Bianca had left, we realized the mistake when our ticket agent told us that, well, we were are the wrong airport. Thank God that she was kind enough get us on the next flight hassle free.

We first arrived to Managua, the capital, where we were greeted by Iris, a childhood friend who has now lost his baby face and is sporting a semi-mustache and a band on his ring finger. Nicaragua hasn’t changed much since our last visit in 05. The humidity still made you sweat within a minute of arriving, the streets still crowded with poverty and hope, American influences (for the better or worse), the occasional donkey carriage in real need to be in an episode of “Pimp My Car…. or Donkey!” and of course the streets with no name. When we arrived to my uncle/father’s house, he wasn’t there. He had become somewhat a philanthropist, in a Nica kind of way. His business has sponsored a team of neighborhood kids to play soccer.

Him and his wife,have taken on the role of father and mother of 22 kids. They have gotten them involved in sports so that they would not be roaming the streets. They actually go to their school and follow to see how they are doing in school, which is something that their bioligical parents don’t do. Anyways, we dropped off our stuff at the house and went to the soccer field. There my uncle/father Robert was yelling at the referee and guiding his team to another victory.

It was something special watching these kids who are 10-12 years of age, who might as well be orphaned due to their parents lack of interest in their lives, come together and play with discipline and heart. This team is the kind of team that nobody believed in; a team made up of scrawny rejects, the kind that would always be picked last. The kind of team that Disney would make a movie out of: the underdogs who had no discipline, no hope in life, no dreams, no goals, but with the right coach they came together and believed in themselves, believed in hope and found out that with discipline and hard work anything is possible: including a championship title. (After we came back from the honeymoon, Robert called me and told me that they had won the championship. And that the kids cried of joy for what they had accomplished and for their parents who actually showed up to support them, some of which didn’t even know their son played soccer until that day).

Soccer Team Servicios Multiples Martinez

Soccer Team Servicios Multiples Martinez

Later that day we went to dinner. We went to a very nice restaurant where the food was excellent. We had steak, rice and beans, fried cheese, plantains and a salad accompanied with a Rojita (red soda pop), all the essentials for a Nica dinner. One the way home, we stopped and bought some Dramamine for the boat ride that will be awaiting us two days. When we got home, Monica passed out while Robert and I caught up a bit. We spoke of U.S. politics and how Obama is favored over there because “he’s not Bush.” We watched the wedding video, which made me want to kill Dan and my brothers! (I’m just kidding Dan, you didn’t do too much of a terrible job). hehe. Then I went to sleep around 1AM which felt like much, much later for two reasons: first, the sun sets around 6 and there’s a two hour difference, so in reality it would have been 3AM DC time).

Dinner with the Family