This week marks the fifth anniversary of our retired lives on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua and the fourth anniversary of my blog. Attempting to explain what these past five years have been like for us, the origin of the word “anniversary” came to mind.
The word “anniversary” first appeared in English in the 13th century, and was based on the Latin word “anniversarius,” meaning “returning yearly” (from “annus,” year, plus “versus,” a turning). The first uses of “anniversary” were in the church, and “anniversary days” were usually dates with particular religious significance, e.g., the days of martyrdom of saints, etc. The use of “anniversary” for the yearly marking of any past occasion dates to a bit later, and such dates were previously known as “year-days” or “mind-days,” times when a notable occasion or person is “brought to mind.”
Mind-Day…I like that expression because looking back on our five years of living on a tropical island in the middle of a giant sweet sea, in the middle of Nicaragua, in the middle of Central America reminds me to always be grateful for every aspect of my life. Happy Mind-Day to us!
Our Lives Abroad in the Idioms of Mind
This was our life in luggage in September 2010. It took us five years to plan for our move, and the adventure had just begun the day we boarded the plane to take us to Managua.
My Life in Luggage.
Out of Our Minds
We started building our house during the flood of the century. The lake rose into our front yard. All building supplies had to be carried over three barbed wire fences or hauled in by a tractor.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind?
I wasn’t exactly a country girl. I grew up in a small town where snakes, scorpions, and other nasty critters lived in the country…far away from my house. Living in a foreign, tropical, and rural place gave me nightmares for a while. I was afraid of everything that crawled, bit, and lurked under our roof tiles.
Little Things that Go ‘Bump’ in an Expat Night
State of Mind
Expats go through definite stages, kind of like the grieving stages, when living abroad. We were no exceptions. Our state of minds fluctuated daily like the stock market. Some days we were ready for a new adventure, other days we energetically and creatively tackled the next project without fear. Living abroad is definitely NOT paradise.
The Honeymoon is Over!
Meeting of Like Minds
My saving grace in living abroad is and always will be the Nicaraguan people. They are the most giving, gracious, and vivacious people I have ever met. I cherish our friendships and throughout our lives here, I have always felt a sense of belonging where we can share our customs, our traditions, and our values without judgment and with compassion.
Thoughts of a Nicaraguan Groupie
Peace of Mind
Living in Nicaragua has given us peace of mind. Our lives have blossomed. We have overcome many trials and tribulations with the help of our family and friends. Many things have crossed my mind in writing this post, but the most important thing to keep in mind in celebrating our Mind-Day is growth. We are better people because of our experiences of living abroad. We’ve changed and grown into a loving and accepting community where tolerance, understanding, and compassion thrive and blossom daily.