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Friends of a Long Year is a private mailing list bringing stories to your inbox like it's still 1995. It's written in the spirit of Mary Austin. It was originally called Place Without a Postcard, which does a better job of summarizing what I like to write about. Friends is delivered roughly twice a month.


Our Days Are Becoming Nights

León, Nicaragua A short thought on the eve of our departure from Nicaragua: Everywhere I go I think, I should live here... I should be able to not just visit places, but in habit them. Of course that isn't possible, which is too bad.

Tiny Cities Made of Ash

León, Nicaragua The church bells of León have become a constant cacophony, not the rhythmic ringing out of the hours or tolling from Mass that the human mind seems to find pleasant, but the atonal banging that only appeals to the young and dumb. But Francisco is entirely unperturbed; He's too fascinated with the tattoo on Corrinne's shoulder to bother with what slowly just becomes yet another sound echoing through León.

You Can’t Go Home Again

Little Corn Island, Nicaragua The first time we came to Little Corn Island it was April, the tail end of the dry season. It rained once or twice, but never for more than five minutes and always followed by more sunshine. This time it's the end of June, just well into the wet season, and the island is an entirely different place.

Returning Again — Back on Little Corn Island

Little Corn Island, Nicaragua Generally speaking, the world seems so huge and so full of amazing destinations that repeating one never struck me as a judicious use of my short allotment of time. But for Little Corn Island I'm willing to make an exception and of course, the universe being what it is, our second trip to Little Corn Island has been unpredictable and entirely new.

Little Island in the Sun

Little Corn Island, Nicaragua We arrived on Little Corn Island around sundown and met Ali, whom I at first took to be a tout, but he showed us the way to our guesthouse and, after settling in and getting a feel for the island, I realized that Ali, wasn't a tout, he was just a really nice guy who enjoyed doing favors for tourists, just beware the Yoni beverage he offers.

Return to the Sea

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua Southwestern Nicaragua is a very small strip of land with Lago Nicaragua to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The main town in the area, Juan Del Sur, surrounds a well protected harbor with a mediocre strip of sand. For the nice beaches you have to head up or down the coast to one of the many small inlets.

Ring The Bells

Granada, Nicaragua The Church, which dates from the 1600s has the the narrowest, steepest, circular concrete staircase that I've ever encountered. It had a low railing and circled up four stories worth of precipitous dropoffs before you hit solid ground. From the top was a views of Granada's endless sea of mottled pink, orange and brown hues -- terra cotta roof tiles stretching from the shores of Lago Nicaragua all the way back toward the hills.