I worked a year in Nicaragua, till Tachito Somoza delivered the country to the Sandinistas on Jimmy Carter's orders. I rented a house on the Central American University campus but as the military situation decayed, we all moved for safety to Ticomo Hotel, 9 km out of Managua. We were about 8 - 9 Israeli families and a few Colombian and Peruvian ones working for TAHAL the Israeli Water Planning Company. In addition to the war being fought around, it was a time of earthquakes and we spent the nights on Ticomo lawns sleeping under the fresh skies of the green hills overlooking the ruins of Managua.
One of the Israeli families was Yoky and Batia Lothan, second generation kibbutznikim from Beyt HaShita, he was an Agricultural Economist and she managed a warm open house on Ticomo lawns. So far I had little experience with born kibbutznikim from the Valley (the legendary Emek), and met with amazement these exotic, very blond and blue eyed "peasants". They knew themselves to be the elite of the Zionist settlement movement, and they played the role with grace and Jewish warmness. They had three beautiful boys and they had adopted three more from hard pressed Oriental families, and generously they had brought them all to Nicaragua and later to a holiday trip in the States.
I remember them here because I read in the paper that their son Yotam, now 33 years old, was killed yesterday in Lebanon. He was the musical one.