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 have big plans for my rapid internet, but so does my neighbor, Marina. This morning she said, “Our water stinks. Use your fast internet to tell the world.” “Ummm…OK, Marina. I’ll tell the world,” I responded. It was easier to tell her that I’d try to tell the world, than  explain to her how the internet works.

As soon as our tower peeked over the tree line, the word was out. Debbie and Ron have fast internet at their house. One by one they arrived at our door with important messages for the world. “What do you want me to tell the world?” I asked, while attempting to hide my amusement. They always see me on my laptop, and I think that they believe I have an open door to the world. So, here are their pleas.

                                                         Tell The World

  •  We say NO to the proposed Nicaraguan Canal.
  •   I have a fully furnished house for rent on Ometepe Island. When pressed for details, he wouldn’t give me a price or a contact number. There’s a cute house for rent in my neighborhood, world.
  •  The price of rice and beans is too high. We cannot afford to buy our rice and beans.
  •   I fed Jose and Mario ( names changed for privacy ) three meals a day when they were working at the new airport. They promised to pay me. I never received any money. They returned to Managua. I killed 5 chickens for their meals. I want my money.
  •  I need baseball equipment for my little league team. My team is playing in bare feet and they have no uniforms.
  • Someone poisoned my dog. Can you find out who threw the bag of poison and fish guts into my yard?
  • When is it going to rain? We need to plant our frioles and rice.
  • Where can I find a wheelchair for my invalid husband? He can’t walk. (Actually, she borrowed an old rickety wheelchair from another invalid in the neighborhood. Sigh. I’m picturing the poor man laying in bed all day now, while his chair is on loan.)
  • Where are all the tourists this season? Our hotels are empty. What happened?
  • Our water stinks. This plea was easily resolved. Our water department guys flushed all the tubes at our meters and the stink disappeared.

What would I like to tell the world?

  • The Nicaraguan people are resilient. After decades of war, they continue to be warm and generous to strangers, expats, and tourists in need.
  • They have huge smiles and are genuinely friendly.
  • They are some of the best negotiators I have ever seen. There is a ritual for bargaining, and they follow it faithfully.
  • They live simply.
  • They devote a lot of time to sitting, take siestas in the heat of the afternoon, and know how to relax after a hard morning of work.
  • They think about what is necessary, not what they want that may be out of reach financially.
  • They do one thing at a time and don’t understand multitasking.
  • They do less and do it slowly and deliberately.
  • The Nicaraguan people are vivacious and animated. They can throw a great vela, a birthday party, and a wedding all for the cost of a ticket to Disney World.
  • I love Nicaragua. Retiring here is the best decision of our lives. It has changed who we are and we now can look at the world with eyes without borders.

Today is my third year anniversary for my blog. How appropriate that in a blink of my eye, I can tell the world.  My little town square of an internet tower is quickly turning into a global village of tomorrow.

If you could tell the world something, what would it be?




22 thoughts on “Tell the World

  1. I love this post Debbie, everything about it. Congrats on three years of blogging and keep up the amazing work. I have also been reading a lot lately about the children coming unaccompanied into the US from Central America. It is a horrible tragedy. Are any children from Nicaragua being sent? It sounds like Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and El Salvador are the most. I can’t even begin to imagine sending my child away. It is tragic.

      • Great….I can’t wait to read it. It horrifies me what is going on right now. I just get sad because so much of our drug needs in the US has fueled this violence throughout South and Central America. I know I’m extremely liberal but why not just legalize drugs here and tax the heck out of them. If people want to destroy their bodies and lives, let them. Ok….I know most people would hate me for these words but I am so sad about what it has done to ruin so many other parts of the world and their lives.

  2. Congratulations on your blogging anniversary, Debbie and for telling the world your neighbor’s wishes, but I particularly liked were your thoughts on living in Nicaragua

  3. Debbie, your new antenna looks similar to the ones we have had here in Michoacán since 2005. About two weeks ago, our neighbors across the street had their antenna installed. It’s a different design, without the racquet look but more of a white stick. I don’t know how it works.
    I don’t think that they are using wifi, as I don’t pick up any signal on my devices.

    Meanwhile, a couple of local kids recently brought to us a smartphone, a tiny tablet and (GASP!) an iPad Air. I entered our wifi router code for them and now at least two of the three kids show up sporadically to connect to the Net. By the way, the little kid with the iPad is 11 years old.

    This is not your abuelo’s Mexico.

    Don Cuevas

    PS: Our monthly Internet service fee is $464 Mexican pesos, about $35.70 USD

    • Whoa! It sure isn’t your abuelo’s Mexico. What do you have for internet service? Our problem has always been that our La Paloma community doesn’t have a cable line. The port town, Moyogalpa, has cable, so they can get fast internet through Claro, a land line phone, and cable TV for about the same price as you pay monthly.
      A week ago, our internet was really slow, so I thought it was the router. I unplugged the electric, waited a minute, and still no internet. Then I unplugged all the cords to the router, waited a minute, and reattached them…still no internet. So, I reset the router. Then I lost everything, even our network name. When I called the technician he told me, “Nunca, Nunca, Nunca reset your router with a microwave system.” Apparently it resets the entire system. The next day, he had to come to our house to reinstall everything. While he was here, he switched the routers for me so I have the router that I can set up with my VPN. I was so proud of myself because this entire transaction took place in Spanish.
      A year ago, I heard that they are bringing fiber optic cable to the island and it would be ready this July. Still no cable and I won’t hold my breath, but I wonder if they will give us cable in La Paloma then? I waited patiently for 4 years, and I was tired of waiting for different options. 🙂

      • Debbie, as I understand it, our Internet service is based on microwave transmissions from several strategically placed towers. Over the last several years the connection speed has significantly improved. But it’s still best in the early morning, when there are few other users.

        We now rarely have a complete outage as we used to. Back then, I would call up the ISP and the women at the desk would tell me to unplug the router for 30 minutes. I quickly realized that it was just a stalling tactic.

        Don Cuevas

  4. We are so happy for you! We never had it quite as bad as you seem to have, but last year when we switched to the DSL connection were able to get fast consistent service (for 35 dollars a month) we were in heaven. Congrats on the blog anniversary. You always have interesting posts and we feel like we know you! Keep up the good work.

  5. of course i am envious (but not really!) and also impressed with your technical knowledge! i’ve never heard of a ‘roku’ channel!

    the post was fun; it was as if they were lining up to tell santa clause their wishes!

    i am spending the night in town, because i knew that an evening tourism meeting might run late.. yep, there were a lot of speakers, and we adjourned around midnight!

    now it’s time to get some sleep….


    • You are so funny. It was kind of like lining up to see Santa Claus. The only way I can improve my geekishness is through our son, Cory. He has a Roku box, called a cable buster. Since he lives in Yosemite Natl. Park, they don’t have cable, so the Roku box solved the problem. Hope you slept well mi amiga.

  6. I’m bowing down in awe of your geekness! Deborah, you rock! Congratulations on blog’s anniversary–you inspire me! Hopefully this summer I will be inspired again in Nicaragua to write some new posts!

    • Dean, the installation was $250. That included the tower, the cable, and the router. I wanted 4-7 mbps, which would have cost $100 per mo. But, I’ve been checking my speed and it’s a steady 2-3 mbps, so the monthly cost will be $70. In order to get the 4-7 mbps, they will have to return and add a section to the tower to get it way above the tree line. It needs a direct aim to Rivas. I brought a Roku 3 streaming video box and a new router back from the states. I had to get a router where I can set up my VPN directly on the router so when I hook up my Roku 3 box, the wi-fi will look like it’s a server coming from the USA. My VPN server is in Miami. That way, I can access all the 1,500 channels on my Roku box. The other router will go into our casita for wi-fi there. Once I get our new system all installed, I can see if we’ll need the faster speed. If not, we can disconnect our SKY satellite TV and get everything we want in English from the Roku channels. Wish me luck!

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