The Nicaraguan Piggy Bank


Have you ever wondered why the pig is associated with saving money? Some say the origin of the piggy bank was derived from the type of clay 15th century European potters used, called Pygg Clay. In the early 20th century, potters began to shape the clay in the form of pigs and people would save their loose coins in the pygg jars.

However, in Nicaragua, the piggy bank is literally a piglet. They call their pigs, the Bancos de Chanchitos, which means piggy banks. The Nicaraguans buy the piglets when they are 8 weeks old for about 800 cordobas ($30). Then, when they are 9 months old, they are ready to butcher for Christmas nacatamales and chicharrón, a dish generally made of fried pork rinds.

Earlier this year, we bought Marina one of Theresa’s piglets. The piglet is now 9 months old and ready to be butchered for nacatamales and chicharrón for the Christmas feast.
Raising piglets for Christmas dinner is a long tradition in Nicaragua.

The process starts with an hembra (female) in heat. Chela, Theresa’s huge hembra, is ready for Barracho the Boar.

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Someone Else’s Island


I don’t often respond to the WordPress Daily Post, however Someone Else’s Island spoke to me personally. Ron recently asked me, “Debbie, what would we take if we were forced to leave Ometepe Island?” My post is a twist on Someone Else’s Island, instead of being stranded on an island, what would we take if we were forced to leave?

Everyone is nervously awaiting the construction of the Nicaraguan Canal by the Chinese. Construction is supposed to start on December 22nd. I am taking this personally because what if Ometepe Island becomes someone else’s island? I heard rumors…that’s all we get…that over 300,000 Chinese will be granted Nicaraguan citizenship to work on the canal.

The map below shows that one half of our beloved island will be controlled by the Chinese. Everything in red along the canal route.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art


The Weekly Photo Challenge is: Cover Art.

I just returned from the vela (wake) of my 82-year-old neighbor, Don Jose. If I were to write a short story about velas and funerals in Nicaragua, I would use this photo as my cover art. It demonstrates simplicity. Nicaraguans appreciate and understand that death is another way of bringing forth the light.

Bringing Forth the Light: The Nicaraguan View on Death
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We Must Be Living in a Vortex!


“I hate to say this,” said my attorney as we sat down at the Merry-Go-Round Bar on the second balcony, “but this place is getting to me. I think I’m getting the Fear.””Nonsense,” I said. “We came here to find the American Dream, and now that we’re right in the vortex you want to quit.” I grabbed his bicep and squeezed. “You must realize,” I said, “that we’ve found the main nerve.””I know,” he said. “That’s what gives me the Fear.”

Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Chapter 6, A Night on the Town…p. 47-48

I think I’m getting the Fear. Last night there was a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in northern Nicaragua, near the border of El Salvador. My cat, Queenie, tried to warn me. I’ve heard that animals are sensitive to movements of the earth. Queenie was exceptionally persistent in rubbing against me and kneading my belly. I thought she just wanted fed.

“What’s wrong with you tonight?” I asked as she dug her sharp claws into my stomach. “Do you miss your brother, Black Jack?”

Earthquake ahead!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hum-hand-ity of Nicaragua


“Seven Deadly Sins

Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Science without humanity
Knowledge without character
Politics without principle
Commerce without morality
Worship without sacrifice.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

The humanity of Nicaragua can be portrayed through their hands. Enjoy the Hum-hand-ity of Nicaragua.

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Mama Said There’d be Days Like This


“Love is a piano dropped from a fourth story window, and you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.” ~Ani Defraco

 

Two geckos were mating in our bedroom door jamb. Unbeknownst to us…we shut the door! Wrong place! Wrong Time!
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Oh,there’s a lot more ahead!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’


 

The Weekly Photo challenge is Summer Lovin’

“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.” ~Celia Thaxter

Living in the tropics there is an eternal summer where….

The fruits are always ripe and I can make delicious banana bread and guacamole.
IMG_1178IMG_3844 More summer lovin ahead!

Confessions of a Geek Girl


“Just move to the Internet, its great here. We get to live inside where the weather is always awesome.” ― John Green

IMG_3799I’m giggling at that quote! It’s perfect for a geek girl like me. I’ll confess…I have to have fast internet. I’m addicted to the internet. My husband is an internet widow. (Or is it widower?)
Living on a small island in the middle of the sweet sea, in the middle of Nicaragua, in the middle of Central America is not conducive to fast internet.

If you’ve followed my posts about my slow internet struggles for four years, and you live in a rural area or abroad where technology isn’t readily available, this post is for you. I’ll take you step-by-step through my process of connecting to the world rapidly.
How we got connected in Nicaragua. Steps ahead.

Tell the World


The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow. ~Bill Gates

 

IMG_3800Two weeks ago, we had a microwave internet tower installed. We spent the last four years, struggling with a Claro modem stick which provided slow, inconsistent, and sometimes nonexistent service. Now, our internet speed is fast enough to stream video and watch Netflix movies and my favorite series, Orange is the New Black.
I’m telling the world. Read more.

Travel Theme: Let it Shine…Let it Shine


“Oh, please let the sun shine! Just for one hour! ” I repeatedly chanted the entire month in Ecuador. This week’s travel theme is shine. Substituting other memorable shining moments, I present…..Shine!

“It’s hard to be a bright light in a dim world.” ― Gary Starta

A cathedral in Quito, Ecuador.
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“I stood alone beneath the stars and shouted to the heavens at the top of my lungs and what was so beautiful was the way the stars shined when the sky swallowed your name.”― Testy McTesterson
Shine on. Read more.