Dos Mangos

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What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time, our Italian friend was living in our house while we were in the states. He had to tear down his house block by block because it was sitting in the middle of the proposed runway for our new airport. His Italian girlfriend broke up with him, leaving him heartbroken.

This year, he built a new house, opened Dos Mangos, married an adorable local girl, and they are expecting a baby boy next month. I am thrilled for him! Life is always full of surprises in Nicaragua and the challenges are many. However, if one can approach life here with an open mind, a positive attitude, and lots of patience, it is possible to live a rich, fulfilled life.

Ron and I went to the grand opening of Dos Mangos yesterday. I think it is going to be our new lunch spot on Ometepe Island. It is close to our house, near the Punta Jesus Maria. The food is prepared with love…hand tossed authentic Italian pizza, delicious homemade banana cake, and plans for weekly Sunday specials. He wants to keep the costs low, so that he can cater to everyone, particularly local families.

Congratulations, my friend! I am so happy for you and your new life. We will definitely be regular customers at Dos Mangos.

Pizza Dreams

Pizza and calzone

It may not seem like a big deal to you, but pizza delivered to our door on Ometepe Island is an exceptional treat! In fact, when we moved from the Ozark Mountains to the Smoky Mountains, we searched for a place where pizza could be delivered to our house. No kidding!  In the Ozark Mountains, we lived 60 miles from the closest red light and beer distributor. Pizza delivery was only a spicy dream. Moving to a tropical island in Nicaragua, we had no expectations of fulfilling our dreams for a hot, spicy pie loaded with anchovies and delivered to our door, until we met Francisco.

Francisco dreamed of pizzas, too. Six years ago, he worked in a local restaurant in Moyogalpa making pizza pies. He learned the art of making pizza from an Italian visiting the island…and he’s never stopped perfecting his craft. For five years, he saved every penny (cordoba) to buy a pizza oven. Then, last year he opened his own pizza parlor, Pizzeria Buon Appetito.

It’s been raining steadily for a week. We are inundated with rain and holed up in our house watching movies, wearing long-sleeved t-shirts, and sharing our Gortex rain coats with our neighbors. “Cory, please run up to Carla’s pulperia and see if she has any chicken for sale,” I begged. But, he returned empty-handed. “No hay pollo,” he said.

That’s when I pulled Francisco’s business card off my refrigerator magnet. “Do you think he will deliver pizza to La Paloma?” I wondered. I ran outside with my cell phone to get a stronger signal. Sheltered from the rain under our closest mango tree, Francisco answered my frantic, hopeful call. “Francisco, my dear friend, can we have a pizza delivered to our house?” ( Francisco used to live in our house before we bought it, so he knew where we lived.)

“Of course, no problem,” he responded. Thirty minutes later, in the downpour, Francisco delivered a steaming hot pizza and calzone to our door on his dirt bike. You gotta love Nicaragua! Where else in the world do pizza dreams come true?