Day 78: Leon, Nicaragua
Karin, my Spanish teacher, wants me to practice listening to past tense so today we went to the Museum of Legends and Myths. The entrance is $2 and a guided tour is included. Fortunately Karin told the guide to speak slowly as I was just learning Spanish.
Unfortunately he spoke slowly, but also lowly so it wasn’t easy. However, at any moment that she thought I was politely nodding without understanding she cut in to explain what the guide was saying. It was amusing to learn about the woman who lured cheating men only to kill them, or the oxen chariot that brings the grim reaper or the wailing ghost mother who is searching for her babies she drown in the river after being rejected by her lover.
But the really interesting part was that the building was an old prison used during the Samoza days for political prisoners and rather than whitewash its original purpose, they remember the history by painting it on the walls. Behind the brightly coloured models show what each room was used for and outside there are paintings of what occurred within the walls.
I’m in awe of the courage to remember such a gruesome time with such honestly. There’s an interesting balance as the entrance to the museum includes beautiful mosaics of the beloved legends but in the centre of it all is a famous Sardinista throwing a homemade bomb. Yet somehow it all works. Celebrating the legends and myths of the past with the brutal history.
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