Recently, I read an article in my local newspaper about how everyone loves lists. The story caught my attention because I had to remove two sticky notes attached to my laptop screen to read the article. The sticky notes contained lists of the things I had to do for my mother before we left the country, and my list of potential blog topics. One of my blog topics was, “The Things I Miss the Most.”
Six years ago (how embarrassing to admit this), I missed a lawnmower, a washing machine, and an oven…sometimes more than my family. Looking back on my list, I find it rather pretentious of me, actually silly, that I would place so much importance on tangible ‘things’. I swore to do better with my next list. I can’t promise that this year’s list is any better. But, I really do miss these things while living on a tropical island, in the middle of an enormous lake, in the middle of Nicaragua, in the middle of Central America.
1. I am in love with Lowe’s neat, orderly, large isles, endless choices of building and garden supplies, and friendly, expert staff. I probably wouldn’t have considered putting a Lowe’s at the top of my list, but we built two houses in the past nine months. You can’t imagine what the hardware stores are like in Nicaragua.
2. I miss a reliable, steady source of electricity. Our electric meter broke six years ago. We put a work order in eight months ago, and still no new meter. Our electric is really cheap. Of course, we had to hot wire the electric and by-pass the broken meter. We have a spiderweb of tangled wires in our living room. *sigh* Consider the source. It’s Nicaragua.
3. I miss chocolate chips. Once, I purchased the only bag of chocolate chips in the entire country. I found them hidden behind the cheese in a little gringo grocery store in Rivas. I hoarded them in the freezer until we lost electricity for 2 days. I’m packin’ lots of chocolate chips for our flight.
4. I love Dunkin Donuts. The closest Dunkin Donut store is in Panama City, Panama. Dunkin Donuts would be a BIG hit on the island. Someone should think about opening a Dunkin Donut store. Any takers?
5. Being a retired teacher, I really miss a good educational system. Nicaraguan schools are pitifully poor. The kids do not have any books that they can read for pleasure. However, I am in the process of changing this one! I have big plans to start a lending library on the island for the kids. So far, I have collected over 100 children’s books in Spanish. Stay tuned for my post on how you can help!
6. Yes, a cheap washing machine is still on the list of things I miss the most. My neighbor washes our clothes by hand. She scrubs the heck out of them, then pours Clorox bleach on them full strength. Finally, she hangs them on the barbed wire fence to dry. Our socks are pearly white, yet awkwardly stretchy. Our t-shirts have little holes in them from the barbed wire. The time has come to look for a washing machine.