How a taxi robbery helped renew one expat’s faith in Nicaragua

“Everything happens for a reason.” At least that’s what they say. But when a taxi driver robs you of all of your DJ equipment and everything you use to make a living, that is not an adage you particularly want to hear. 

Not only it is a theft of your equipment and your source of income, but it is a theft of a piece of your soul. It hurts! 

On friday of last week, this happened to me for the first time in my life. I didn’t know what to do. I was angry at myself for being such an idiot and not using a taxi that I trusted at 1am in the morning. My first reaction was to smash my cellphone in anger and stomp on it a few times until it lay on the pavement in 15 pieces. How could I have been so stupid!? 

Then I started to think about calling it quits on Nicaragua. I’m moving back to the United States to get a shitty job and give up DJing for good –– after 16 years in the business, I told myself. 

But then something magical happened. Something I will never forget for the rest of my life. The people of Nicaragua responded. A few hours after I wrote about what happened to me on Facebook, my inbox and profile page were completely flooded with people expressing sympathy and asking how they can help. People I don’t even know were offering their solidarity. They were people I have only met a few times before in real life, but they are people who care! 

I had messages from Nicaraguans living in other parts of the world asking where they could send money to help. I had messages from Nicaraguans offering to loan me their equipment for as long as I needed to get back on my feet. I had messages from Nicaraguans willing to give me their music. I even had someone offer me a new pair of headphones. I had friends stop everything they were doing in their lives and spend hours with me at the police station filing a report. 

The next day I was greeted by another Facebook post from a local musician and good friend saying they were putting together a benefit concert for me to raise the money I need to replace by stolen DJ equipment. A few of my favorite Nicaraguan bands and DJs had come together to donate their time and talent for my cause, and my favorite venue was willing to donate their space to host the event. My eyes teared up when I read the outpouring of solidarity; for the first time in a long while I started to cry. How could people be so nice? Why me? I don’t deserve all this. 

At that moment something changed in me. I realized how selfish I have been. I realized that it’s time for me to start giving back. I decided that I’m going to dedicate my time in 2014 to figure out what I can do to give back to all the beautiful people of Nicaragua. 

i’m writing this article in The Nicaragua Dispatch because I want the world to know how kind the people are in this country. I want the world to come and visit us down here and see for themselves what an amazing country this is. And most of all, I want the people of Nicaragua to know how grateful I am for what they’ve done for me. 

Here is my takeaway from this experience: 

1. Never get in a taxi you don’t know with $2,000 worth of DJ equipment
2. DO NOT MESS with the musicians of Nicaragua –– we stick together.
3. I need to change my ways and become a more giving person.
4. My friends and the Nicaraguan people are the most caring in the world.
5. Perhaps everything does happen for a reason! 

If you’d like to come and show support the benefit concert, the event will be held Jan. 16 at Uruk Kalli in Managua. The show will feature La Cuneta Son Machin, Momotombo, Monroy, Chipi, Pavel, Angel De Frutos, Chiricano and Memo Baca. Entrance fee costs 100 cordobas. 

If we raise more money than I need to buy new equipment, the extra funds will be used to buy musical instruments to donate to the Barrio Planta School in San Juan Del Sur so that they can start offering free music classes to underprivileged youth.

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