‘Bug Stomping’

This is true, I was reading in a Cigar magazines, about the boys in Nicaragua going to the fields instead of school to pick bugs off the tabacoo leaves. They must keep the bugs as proof of their count. I admit this has been a few years back but when I dug out this poem it reminded me of how much the third world countries differ from the U.S.

For instance, I was born in Japan, (Father was in the service) we moved around quite a bit. We spent a lot of time in Panama and Central America. When we moved to the United States, the first thing I noticed was how rich every one was. By that I mean there were paved streets and wooden doors. In Central America paved roads were rare and wooden doors even rarer, mostly they had sheets or blankets for doors. Now granite the base had doors on the BLQ housing. But not in the city or villages we traveled through.

Back to this story/poem, these children make about a half a penny for ten bugs. Can you imagine a group of kids playing in a field, stomping bugs and plucking all kinds from the plants? Then when they asked the boy what he was saving his money for… He said, “Tennis shoes.” He was bare footed and wanted a pair of shoes. I think about that every time we go to the store and my little girl hollars she wants a twenty dollar toy. Yep, she usually gets it. The purpose of the boys picking bugs off the plants is that they don’t want chemicals/pesticides to damper the flavor of the tabacoo. For Nicaragua has the next finest tabacoo plants after Cuba. Any way, this was what spurred this little story/poetry. Note; I used my first name here…Arthur!

Jalapa~Cigars, are my Favorite…

Arturo, the Jalapa Valley ‘bug stomper’

Arturo lives wishing
he would turn fifteen
then he will be a “Roller”
the highest honor in the land

Fumar Perfecto!
you either have the gift
or you do not
Arturo practices daily with banana leafs
taught to him by ‘grand papa’
who told him;

“You only have two choices in life,
to be a ‘Roller’
and work in the cool sheds
or to be a worker
and work in the ‘hot’ fields.
I will teach you to be a great ‘Roller’
then you can work where ever you want to.”

The goal of most men
in the Jalapa Valley
an ‘organic’ piece of heaven
that fell into Central America
and was lost in the jungles of Nicaragua

Stepping knee deep in the fields
of jalap and corojo
his roots planted in the same soil
picking the bugs up by hand
and stamping them out

One hundred ‘insects’
brings a shiney new ‘centavo’ (cent)
at this rate
it will only take a year
to save enough money
for a pair of shoes
then he feels he will be able to do
a better job

Tossing dirt clods
like handgrenades
at others
doing the same thing
working …

‘Bug Stomping’

Art~

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have a quality day

 

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