Moving Day in Nicaragua


“Settling into a new country is like getting used to a new pair of shoes. At first they pinch a little, but you like the way they look, so you carry on. The longer you have them, the more comfortable they become. Until one day without realizing it you reach a glorious plateau. Wearing those shoes is like wearing no shoes at all. The more scuffed they get, the more you love them and the more you can’t imagine life without them.”
― Tahir Shah

I can’t imagine life in Nicaragua without Nicaraguan ingenuity. My Scottish sister friends moved to their new house on Ometepe Island and they needed to move their belongings.

I know you are thinking, hire a moving van or rent one, right? The problem with that is that the only professional moving company that we are aware of is in Managua. We know that because when House Hunters International filmed us, they had to hire the only professional company in the country to move our belongings from our house, so they could film us “pretending” to view our house to buy.

How in the world did I explain this to our Nicaraguan friends and neighbors, who are only familiar with horse cart moving, when a giant moving company truck pulled on our sandy beach path?  My response was, “It’s Hollywood,” and that seemed to satisfy their curiosity.

The Scottish sisters hired Wilber and his trusty old horse to pull their belongings in a repurposed cart to their new house. They were concerned that Wilber’s old horse might have a difficult time pulling a heavy load and the repurposed cart was heavy, too.

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But, the strong old horse pulled the heavy cart through the sandy beach path to their new house several times that day. It looks like a comfortable ride, doesn’t it?

img_0993Almost home! Their property is on the right.
img_0994Before the furniture was moved into their house, Wilber had to catch a chicken that had decided the bathroom would make a cozy nesting spot to lay her eggs.

img_0996Several days later, the sisters ordered one bag of cement and a bucket of wax to refinish their floor that was oozing powdered red ocra. We still don’t know what ocra actually is, but whatever it is, it didn’t seal properly and everything and everyone who touched the floor walked away with red feet and a cover of pink dust.

So, Martin, the owner of the hardware store, delivered one bag of cement and a bucket of wax in his giant truck. “Martin,” they asked. “Why did you bring such a large truck for one bag of cement?” His answer was that the smaller truck caught on fire and burned to a crisp.

They encountered one small problem in getting the truck to their house. The electric lines sagged too low and the truck couldn’t pass. One of the helpers jumped out of the truck with a broom. It appeared that they had encountered this problem many, many times before. He lifted the wires with the broom, and voilà, the truck passed through to deliver one bag of cement and a bucket of wax.

If you live in Nicaragua, I know you are familiar with the sagging electric lines. They are everywhere and can be quite dangerous. Once a truck tried to pass under a sagging electric line, broke the line, and the broken line started a house fire.

img_0998Thanks to Nicaraguan ingenuity, the Scottish sisters have a new home, a refinished floor, electric wires intact, chicken relocated, and their belongings all unpacked.
Now, the only thing left to do is to wash the pink bellies and feet of the kittens!

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Settling into a new country is like getting used to a new pair of shoes. At first, they are tight and uncomfortable, but once you settle into them and your feet adjust to the changes…life is like wearing no shoes at all in Nicaragua!

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14 thoughts on “Moving Day in Nicaragua

    • Hi Nicole!!! Actually, I’ve been reading your blog posts about Cuba because we have a trip planned in March.We are flying out of Mexico City to Havana and then adventuring all around Cuba. Then, we fly back to Mexico for a month in Patzcuero, then a month in Yosemite and the east coast for a bit. I am so excited.
      Hope you are well and I see you are enjoying the snow.

      • Hi Debbie,
        I’m planning on staying in Nicaragua for a month this summer and stumbled across your blog- it’s fantastic, thank you!
        Last summer I stayed a month in Havana – it was absolutely wonderful. Let me know if you have any questions of need any suggestions!

  1. Who doesn’t love going barefoot? I only put on heavy shoes for work. Can’t wait to get them off when the shift is over.

    • Wilber saved his money and bought an old truck bed, then converted it into a cart for his horse. He bought a small piece of land near the volcano so he could graze his cows, but there is no water there. Until he digs a well, he carries water on the horse cart for his cattle. He started with two cows, two horses, and a small colt. He is an excellent business man.

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