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Voyages of los Testigos - Part 14, Page 3

The Sandinista Youth

"I say we go talk to 'the people'," suggested Medio. "Let's go into the streets and find them, see if they're better off."

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"Yeah," Nuco said. "I want to find one of those civilian defense committees Reagan talks about, the ones that turn in their parents and defend totalitarianism." With that goal in mind, los Testigos paid for their beer, descended the giant stairs of the Palace and began to walk around the city.

Once on the street, the self-appointed people pollsters encountered a group of kids. "There are 'the people'," said Medio.

"Buenas noches, muchachos," Nuco said and the kids ran to them. Gringos in the heart of Leon was an event not to be missed.

Los Testigos exchanged names and Nuco took some photos, then pulled out a bag of M&Ms. The kids, all Sandinista Youth members, scrambled into a line straighter than an English bus queue. Nuco handed the M&Ms to the oldest youth, who took charge of distributing the candy evenly.

"Imagine this happening in a US city," the BigGuy said, amazed at the orderliness of the queue.

"They don't exactly look like kids who'd turn in their parents," observed Medio.

Once each Sandinista Youth member had received a fair portion of M&Ms, the group began asking innumerable questions about gringo culture, mostly music and sports. "Is it true Michael Jackson killed someone?" one of the Sandinista Youth members asked. Nuco asked where he had heard that and the youth said it had happened at a concert.

Los Testigos chatted for a while, until several older youths showed up and began to observe the Testigo social event from a distance. The new arrivals appeared less friendly.

"Neighborhood Defense Committee," the BigGuy suggested.

"I think they might turn in their mothers," Medio observed.

"I think it's the chocolate," Capn said. "They want chocolate."

"Don't have any more," Nuco said. "Guess it's time to leave." After taking a few more photos, exchanging addresses and promising to write, los Testigos departed.

As they approached the Hotel Europa where they were spending the night, the BigGuy enthused, "'The people' love us here!" The concept would serve as the principal raison d'être of los Testigos de Cerveza.

Next issue, a taxi through Nicaragua.

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