Casita de Tortuga


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.

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!

The House Whisperer


“A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life: he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

My husband is a fine house whisperer. This morning, our washing machine broke for the sixth,  seventh, eighth time. Ron ordered a special part from the United States and I brought it back for him, but when he tried to put the part in the machine, it didn’t fit. Because he is a man of many talents, he creatively patched the new part and made it fit. It’s not like we can return the items we order from the U.S.

One of the biggest things we’ve learned in living in Nicaragua, and especially on a small island, is that we have to rely on ourselves to be the handyman and woman. Locals will tell you they know how to do electrical and plumbing work, but we’ve found their skills to be sadly…and sometimes, horribly lacking…like the time our workers plumbed our new bathroom, and we turned on the water for the first time. Water sprayed everywhere.

IMG_3850 Keep reading. There’s more.

An Immigrant Story: Tito Crosses Over


“I take issue with many people’s description of people being “Illegal” Immigrants. There aren’t any illegal Human Beings as far as I’m concerned.”
― Dennis Kucinich

 

Tito left Ometepe Island on June 9, 2004 in search of a better life for his family. Until he was 24 years old, he lived with his single mother. His father abandoned the family when he was 14 years old and now lives in Costa Rica with another woman. This is the story of Tito’s journey to the United States, as told to me by a local Ometepian.
Tito’s story is ahead. Keep reading.

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relics of the Dead


“Any relic of the dead is precious, if they were valued living.” ~ Emily Bronte

 

Everyday, I walk our beaches and everyday, I find relics washed ashore. Most of the time, the finds are over hundreds of years old…aged Pre-Columbian pottery shards that tell the stories of the ancient ones who lived on Ometepe Island long ago.

Burial urns called zapatoes from Ometepe Island

Burial urns called zapatoes from Ometepe Island

Relics ahead. Keep reading.

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.

Love in the Time of Cholera?


“His examination revealed that he had no fever, no pain anywhere, and that his only concrete feeling was an urgent desire to die. All that was needed was shrewd questioning…to conclude once again that the symptoms of love were the same as those of cholera.”
― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

When I was visiting my mother in the states, my neighbor, Julio, posted this photo of our puppy on Facebook. He said, “Don’t worry, Debbie. I’ll take care of Capie for you while Ron is in the hospital.”

                                           Where are my mommy and daddy?
Capie copy Did Ron have Cholera? Read on to find out.

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Little Something Extra


This morning I had to make a quick trip to the mainland to get our new puppy his serum vaccines. Boarding the Estrella ferry, I always notice a little something extra on the deck in addition to passengers. Usually there are bags of live chickens, buckets of cooking oil, heavily tied feed sacks containing mysterious things that bump and wiggle inside the sacks, and tattered boxes containing who knows what.

Today, I encountered a little something extra…coffins! Twenty of them surrounding the deck of the Estrella. Now, I don’t know whether there was an epidemic at the Rivas hospital and the coffins contained contents I’d rather not think about, or the coffins were empty and sailing to Ometepe because of an epidemic on our island. Either way, it kind of freaked me! There’s always a little something extra, usually odd and bizarre, when traveling the sweet sea.

IMG_4718

House Sitter Haven


IMG_3589We were very fortunate to find Max and Alize to housesit for us when we traveled for a month through Ecuador. Max is from Canada and Alize is from Belgium. They were housesitting in Leon, Nicaragua and posted on a Facebook page for expats in Nicaragua that they were looking for a housesitting gig for a month. They’ve been on the road four years, working online to provide income for their travels.

Keep reading.More tips on choosing housesitters.