Weekly Photo Challenge: Monkey Mugs

The Weekly Photo Challenge is A Face in the Crowd.

Growing up in the states, we only saw monkeys in a zoo. Now, we live with them on our Island of Peace. However, the Howler monkeys sure aren’t peaceful with their loud, ear-piercing howls that can be heard miles away.

I don’t think I will ever tire of watching these faces in a crowd!

This rambunctious Howler is not embarrassed to show off his junk.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Cling Tightly

The Weekly Photo is Life Imitates Art.

Mori Sosen ( 1747-1821) was a famous Japanese painter known best for his paintings of monkeys. I feel that this painting represents the love and care all mothers give to their children, but it can be dangerous when the baby is left unattended for only a minute. Notice how the baby is desperately trying to cling to his mother. Is there a hidden danger in the forest that could separate this little one from his mother permanently?

Mori-Sosen-Japanese-Painter-Edo-Period-japanese-ink-painting-japanese-animal-painting (18)Today in a restaurant, I noticed a tiny Howler monkey wrapped around a man’s neck. Upon closer inspection, the baby monkey had lost or injured his eye. I asked the man if I could take a picture of the baby Howler and he gently unwrapped the monkey clinging tightly around his neck.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Heads Up!

Life is a balancing act. You need to keep your head up and your feet on the ground, while allowing your heart to go wherever it pleases! ~Susan Gale

I spend entirely too much time with my nose to the ground in Nicaragua. There are hidden dangers lurking in the forms of scorpions, red ants, and biting centipedes. Yet, I need to remember that life is a balancing act. There are beautiful surprises awaiting when I choose to hold my head up high!

Coconuts, the life force of Nicaragua.


Hidden among the fronds are vampire bats.
vampire bats 2Our Peras are ripe. A new batch of apple sauce and Pera pie is on the way.

PerasThe bananas have a couple of months left before they are ripe.
IMG_2567If we can only keep the Howler monkeys from nibbling on the bananas!
IMG_1785Our orchid is blooming, strung high in the nancite tree.
IMG_5979Marvin’s welding mask is strung high in the water tower. Our new water supply is almost finished.
IMG_2549My new Moroccan lamp shines colorfully in the darkness reminding me to keep my head up and my feet on the ground, for life is truly a balancing act.

My heart will always be free to roam, wherever it pleases. Thank you, my precious Nicaragua.


Monkey Business

Is this La Mona? Her baby is above her while she is peeing.

Seven years ago, I asked ten-year old Luvis, “Have you always lived in La Paloma?” Her answer included wild gyrations, chopping motions with a mimed machete, and deafening monkey howls. Then, she told me this tale about the monkey lady.

“When I was a baby we lived on the other side of the island, but we had to move far, far away because a monkey lady attacked my Papa while he was sleeping,” she recounted. To my surprise and utter astonishment, La Mona (the monkey lady) is alive and thriving on La Isla de Ometepe.

According to the accounts of many local islanders, La Mona is a woman by day, and a revengeful Howler monkey at night. She can change into a monkey at night so that she can torment her unfaithful husband. If a woman does not have the power or the correct spell to transform,  then she calls on the local Bruja (witch), who will gladly attack her friend’s machismo husband.  A sharp machete is her weapon of choice and many a man has been known to change his wicked, unfaithful ways after a night visit from La Mona.

Without a doubt, the monkey in the middle is definitely not La Mona!

One day when I was walking with Francisco to get water, he stopped suddenly and whispered, “See that woman over there? She is La Mona.” “Francisco,” I asked,” is there only one La Mona or are there many?”  “There are many Las Monas on the island. Every village has at least one woman who can change into a monkey at night.” he responded. “All people know the Las Monas on the island. They are very popular.”

I’ll bet they are popular,  I thought to myself. I don’t know one faithful husband on the island. Every man I know has a dozen kids with different women. This accounts for the successful monkey business. All the women on the island are desperately seeking the services of La Mona at one time or another.

Desperately seeking La Mona. Could this be La Mona?

A local Bruja attacked Luvis’ Papa. She was doing her mama a favor. Luvis said in a serious, hushed tone, ” My Papa moved us to La Paloma after the attack of La Mona. He was very frightened.”  That’s one for La Mona. You go girl….or monkey…or whatever! Machismo is really going out of fashion and the men need to take responsibility for their unfaithful ways! The women take their monkey business seriously on Ometepe Island.