It’s been a long time since I did a cost of living post. So, here’s an account for the month of October, 2014.
“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?”
“As one old gentleman put it, “Son, I don’t care if you’re stark nekkid and wear a bone in your nose. If you kin fiddle, you’re all right with me. It’s the music we make that counts.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
I am ready to make some music…either that or get stark nekkid and wear a bone in my nose. We’ve been home a week, and in that time…
- Our cat, Black Jack, almost died from a urinary track blockage.
- The police confiscated my new-to-me little orange dune buggy, took it for a joy ride and crashed it.
- Our lawyer said we have a problem with the title to our property on Ometepe Island…which always involves lots of money.
- The city put in a new high pressure pump and it blew out some of our water-lines.
- Ocho, our other cat, was AWOL for five days.
- The Chinese are measuring property near our new airport for a resort. WE LIVE NEAR THE AIRPORT! I think it goes along with their plan for the proposed Nicaraguan canal.
- The library at our local elementary school is ready for me to set-up. HHI wants to return to film us for the library’s grand opening in their new show, HHI, Where Are They Now?
- And…and…I’m sick. It must be stress related.
So, I have to ask myself…What really matters? If I don’t, you’ll probably find me stark nekkid, running around my yard with a bone in my nose.
“I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest, to make money they don’t want, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.”
― Emile Gauvreau
Then. I. Jumped.
Life is simple now. I buy little recycled plastic bottle flowers made by local school kids to fund their school projects.
“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!
“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank
Recently, I’ve been bombarded on my Facebook news feed with videos of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. The ALS marketing strategy is brilliant and has raised over $30 million dollars for ALS research and created an awareness of ALS throughout the world. Letting the good times roll by donating to a reputable charity AND having fun while doing it is exhilarating.
Keep rolling. More good times ahead.
There comes a time in all of our lives, when we are faced with a life altering choice. Which story do we tell? Do we choose to end our stories in acts of quiet desperation? Or, do we choose life to write more chapters? Either path we choose is fraught with anxiety…for we can expose our vulnerabilities and our fears, use our voices to shout to the world, and possibly be silenced or worse…unheard. Or, we can disguise our fears and worries in a landscape that portrays paradise…until…until…one dark night the pain erupts with such force, that in quiet desperation, all rational thought disappears, and we choose death.
Several days ago, our expat neighbor committed suicide. He chose to end his story. It reminds me that life is fragile. His tragic death shook me up and made me doubt everything I once believed and question the very foundation of who I am.
The information contained in this post is specific to all foreigners and expats living in Nicaragua. It was the easiest way for me to disseminate this important information. After writing an article for the Nicaragua Dispatch, Does Death Become You as an Expat? I organized a meeting in Granada with representatives of Vivian Pellas Hospital, the U.S. Embassy representative, lawyers from Nicaragua, and other U.S. Embassy wardens.
My hope is that this valuable information can be disseminated throughout Nicaragua. Each region of Nicaragua will have specific needs about issues of death and palliative care. Please disseminate this information to your region.
Continue reading if you want to learn everything about death of an expat in Nicaragua.
Our Casita de Tortuga is clean and ready for more friends and family. We originally built the main structure with a small bedroom on the second floor and the bodega, or garage below. Then, our son and all of his friends came to visit and they had to come to our house to use the bathroom.
We needed another bathroom…and quick! Unable to build a bathroom on the second floor, we decided to build a small addition behind the bodega structure. Afterthoughts are never good, but we made the best of it.
Keep reading. More pictures ahead.