Yesterday was a milestone day. I wrote my 500th post on my blog. Believe it or not, becoming a blogger was never something I planned. I was looking for a way to network and market my book, Pretiring with the Monkey Lady. But, a strange thing happened along the way in my little corner of the blogging world.
“In a good book room you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”
― Mark Twain
The Grand Opening of the new La Paloma Elementary School Library was held the end of November, 2014. After months of remodeling, painting, categorizing, making book shelves, and organizing the books into simple genres, we held a book party with a piñata, food, a dance, and a ribbon cutting ceremony. All 85 children enrolled in the elementary school received a new book to take home.
The Help Los Ramos Rebuild donation website has been extremely successful. Thanks to YOUR support for this lovely indigenous community, you have given them hope and encouragement to rebuild their community of 125 families who were affected by the October 8th landslides on Ometepe Island.
It’s not often that one gets to see immediate results of their donations or knows that all of the money received goes directly to those who need it the most. For $800 we bought over 1,000 pounds of food for 125 families. That averages out to be $6 for each goodie bag. Thanks, Kris, for figuring that one out for me. :-) No overhead costs, no administrative costs…all the money goes directly to these lovely families of Los Ramos.
On Saturday, Ron and I walked…and sometimes climbed, scooted, and tramped over boulders to get into Los Ramos to help distribute the food bags to each family. See my earlier post.
When we arrived, Ever’s family was busy scooping rice, pouring cooking oil into small plastic bags, and packing the bags for 125 families living in Los Ramos. Landslides destroyed their community.
“This planet is a broken bone that didn’t set right, a hundred pieces of crystal glued together. We’ve been shattered and reconstructed.” ~ Tahereh Mafi
Broken lives…125 families forced to reconstruct their lives from the devastating rock and mudslides on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. Yesterday, Ron and I tramped over boulders and through mud to reach the Los Ramos community to deliver supplies to the families. Take a walk with us so you can see for yourselves Mother Nature’s powerful and destructive forces.
“Life is a long lesson in humility.”
― J.M. Barrie
I was raised in the belief that one should always be humble, which I interpreted as being meek, never accepting a compliment, and certainly never acknowledging a gift or a talent one might have. But, this week, I learned that I have completely misunderstood this virtue.
Instead of an eyes cast down, submissive, weak, breast-beating virtue; I discovered within me an ability to take an honest appraisal of my abilities, and accept responsibility for the good and not-so-good things that I have done.
After the horrifying mud and rock slides that consumed the indigenous community of Los Ramos, I took a hard look at what I could do to help this community. What was I good at doing? What was I ridiculously silly at attempting to do?
I’m too old to be digging boulders out of their road. My Spanish isn’t good enough to go door to door and collect money for the community. I can’t drive a straight nail. Truth be told, I hate driving at all. I don’t have a green thumb. I’m embarrassingly clumsy.
Yet, all false modesty aside, I am a great organizer. I can write well, and my computer skills are excellent. I have a large network of family, friends, and bloggers all over the world. It dawned on me that I could confidently use these skills to help Los Ramos rebuild.
I talked with Ever Potoy today about his lovely community of Los Ramos on Ometepe Island. Because of 5-6 landslides, their community was destroyed. I am sick with worry for this community and I want to help them rebuild.
“Ever, what can we do to help?” I asked.
“We need candles and food,” he responded while on his motorcycle going to get some supplies.
That’s just like these humble, hardworking people to respond with such simple needs.
So, if you can find it within your loving hearts…let’s buy these people lots of candles and food within the next two weeks. Thanks for your help!
If you would like to learn more about this amazing community, here is their website.
“As one old gentleman put it, “Son, I don’t care if you’re stark nekkid and wear a bone in your nose. If you kin fiddle, you’re all right with me. It’s the music we make that counts.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
I am ready to make some music…either that or get stark nekkid and wear a bone in my nose. We’ve been home a week, and in that time…
- Our cat, Black Jack, almost died from a urinary track blockage.
- The police confiscated my new-to-me little orange dune buggy, took it for a joy ride and crashed it.
- Our lawyer said we have a problem with the title to our property on Ometepe Island…which always involves lots of money.
- The city put in a new high pressure pump and it blew out some of our water-lines.
- Ocho, our other cat, was AWOL for five days.
- The Chinese are measuring property near our new airport for a resort. WE LIVE NEAR THE AIRPORT! I think it goes along with their plan for the proposed Nicaraguan canal.
- The library at our local elementary school is ready for me to set-up. HHI wants to return to film us for the library’s grand opening in their new show, HHI, Where Are They Now?
- And…and…I’m sick. It must be stress related.
So, I have to ask myself…What really matters? If I don’t, you’ll probably find me stark nekkid, running around my yard with a bone in my nose.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu
Life is a trip in the land of the not quite right (Nicaragua). I’m learning to expect the unexpected and let reality be reality. But, occasionally things happen that are so unforeseen, that the only thing to do is let things flow naturally forward in whatever bizarre way they like. It’s the only way to survive in Nicaragua!
Robinson and I went to Granada yesterday to pick-up my new-to-me Scartt dune buggy. I’ve lived in Nicaragua long enough to know that our two-hour drive back to the port to catch the ferry with my conspicuous orange machine would draw a lot of attention….especially from the police. So, Robinson drove “Ms. Debbie” to the amusement of every trucker, bicycler, cowboy, and vendor along the way.
“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank
Recently, I’ve been bombarded on my Facebook news feed with videos of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. The ALS marketing strategy is brilliant and has raised over $30 million dollars for ALS research and created an awareness of ALS throughout the world. Letting the good times roll by donating to a reputable charity AND having fun while doing it is exhilarating.
Keep rolling. More good times ahead.