The Weekly Photo Challenge is Silhouette.
“Getting money is like digging with a needle, spending it is like water soaking into sand.” ~Japanese Proverb.
The Proposed Route of the Nicaraguan Canal
I may be naïve, but I subscribe to the idea that nobody is making strategic decisions about the Nicaraguan Canal Project. I’ve followed the Nicaraguan Canal Project for two years, now. The talk is grand, but the transparency surrounding the canal is nonexistent.
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.
“All journeys eventually end in the same place, home.” ― Chris Geiger
I’ve taken pictures of our La Paloma airport strip on Ometepe Island for over ten years (See the links below). It came as no surprise when we were traveling through Ecuador, that I received a notice that our new airport opened. It was finished in 2012. We waited so long, we actually forgot about it, even though it is located two properties away from our house. That’s Nicaragua!
Can someone please post pictures of the grand opening for me? I posted on Facebook. Sadly, no one except for important dignitaries from Managua and Ometepe Island were invited. Our house sitters heard the party, but they thought it was a religious parade. That’s Nicaragua!
Not to be left behind, I’m flying out of our new airport to Managua next Sunday. From Managua, I’m flying to the states for my mother’s birthday. When I return, I’ll fly from Managua back to Ometepe Island and walk home with my backpack. Convenience at its best.
When you’re on the road a lot, you’re in perpetual search of a good night’s sleep. ~Artie Lange
Traveling is exhausting! Lugging heavy backpacks… running for buses gearing up to leave the station…checking and rechecking passports (Are you sure you put our passports in your waist pocket?)…haggling for a cheaper taxi…always searching for a bathroom, then when you find the bathroom, you realize that you forgot to put toilet paper and hand sanitizer in your pocket…it’s like being in perpetual motion physically and mentally.
A never-ending succession of planes, buses, boats, taxis, and trains…always searching for a hostel that has wi-fi so you can check schedules or use google translate to say “My backpack fell off the bus. How do I find it?” (Yes! That really happened!)
In Quito, Ecuador there was a freak hailstorm. Hail the size of marbles blanketed the steep streets with a slippery layer of ice. We were waiting for a taxi with only umbrellas for protection.
Always on the move.Read more.
“He had the vague sense of standing on a threshold, the crossing of which would change everything.”
― Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden
The Weekly Photo Challenge is Threshold. Nicaragua is on the threshold of change. That point of entering just before a new beginning. Join me in my photographic journey of the threshold of change in Nicaragua.
“Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.”
― Charles Dickens
The Weekly Photo Challenge is Grand… a magical, special place…the “wow” factor. After a long stressful trip back to the states, returning to my special island in the middle of a sweet sea, in the middle of Nicaragua, in the middle of Central America is a grand homecoming.
Boarding the ferry for the hour-long trip across the sweet sea, I peek at our active volcano, Concepcion, about 10 miles away.
Ometepe…how I’ve missed you! I zoom in for a grand view.
My island home! How majestic! How grand!
The waves splash against the ferry window, blanketing me with a warm breeze. How refreshingly grand!
The clouds over Concepcion paint a grand vista.
Only 30 more minutes! I’m so excited. It’s a grand, magical island.
Is the airport near our house open yet? I’m anxiously awaiting the grand opening.
The little launcha chugs past our house. Isn’t she grand?
“Almost home,” I shout excitedly as we pass our house.
Life on Ometepe Island is priceless! What a grand homecoming!
Necessity is the mother of taking chances.
Satisfying one’s basic needs..and a few wants..while living on a primitive island in the middle of a huge sweet sea, in the middle of Nicaragua, in the middle of Central America can be quite challenging at times. Many things on Ometepe Island are born out of necessity due to lack of reliable infrastructure, transportation, and supplies.
But, that certainly doesn’t stop the creative and motivated people who live here.
With our gift of two bags of cement for Christmas, our neighbors made a new addition to their kitchen. Shade is a necessity on our beach….always. Homemade ladders and handmade metal reinforced columns help to complete our casita.
What do you do with a broken Jet ski? Of course, you make it into a fishing boat. Mechanics rebuild motors in the ferries with spare used parts, while a creative entrepreneur designs a tandem bicycle out of used bicycle parts to rent to tourists. Handmade carts haul wood for cooking fires and the ferry transports a mummified horse for the local rodeo.
Tall water tanks supply gravity fed water during water shortages and everyone is an electrician when the lines get tangled or we need 220 v. Just hire a neighbor to climb the pole to fix the electricity in the neighborhood.
IV. Flood Insurance?
In 2010, while we were building our house, the lake rose to the highest levels seen in 60 years. It rose into our yard and washed out our road. Materials had to be carried on our heads as we sloshed through the lake. We crushed old roof tiles for a stronger road bed and hired a tractor to deliver bricks. The tractor got stuck, but with the help of many strong men and several attempts, we were able to push it out of the lake to get the bricks to the house. There is no such thing as flood insurance, so this idea was born out of blood, sweat, and tears to build our house.
V. Communication, Banking, and Free Luggage
My woktenna was born out of a need for a faster internet…and it works great! I even won third place in a contest for the most creative way to get online. Have you ever seen a tent bank? Born out of necessity, this bank opened in a tent until construction was completed on their new bank. Disgusted with paying high prices for your luggage on airlines? I needed a way to transport my books for my lending library, thus my homemade travel vest was born…and it’s free. I can waddle through airports with 40 pounds of books in it..no questions asked.
VI. Creative Outdoor Living
Aware of crimes of opportunity, we can’t leave hammocks or other lawn furniture outside unprotected. In fact, I got lazy and left a hammock outside two weeks ago, and it was stolen! Sigh…but that’s another story. With leftover bricks, I made outdoor furniture. The workers building our casita were so impressed with my outdoor furniture, that they made a mini-brick ferry.
Walter, our local mosquito exterminator, fumigates the houses with his homemade fumigator gun. Johnson lifts weights made of two tin cans packed with concrete.
Necessity is the mother of invention. That holds true on Ometepe Island. It involves taking risks, but great things are born out of necessity.