Weekly Photo Challenge: Trios from Our Travels


The Weekly Photo Challenge is TRIO.

There is something magical about three you know – a trio is tight and nicely economical. ~Ian Williams

One of the best things about living in Nicaragua is that we can afford to travel because the cost of living is much cheaper than in the United States. Enjoy my trios from our recent travels through Guatemala.

A trio of benches and puppets at a children's library in Antigua.

A trio of benches and puppets at a children’s library in Antigua.

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Guatemalan Market Treats


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Treat.

We do not celebrate Halloween in Nicaragua. Instead, we observe the Dia de Muerto ( Day of the Dead), on November 2nd. That is the time we gather at the cemetery to clean and decorate the graves of our loved ones.

My favorite indulgence, besides chocolate, is when we travel abroad. The biggest feast for my eyes is to treat myself to a local market. And I mean LOCAL, not the tourist traps where throngs of foreigners go. When we were in Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, we took a chicken bus to Santa Clara to visit the local market. We were the only foreigners there and what a treat it was!

Market Day in Santa Clara.
IMG_0820Fresh strawberries…such a delight.
IMG_0813 Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries Across Cultures


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Boundaries Boundaries are physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational. They can consist of the limits of what we consider safe and appropriate. They reinforce our values, goals, concerns, and roles we choose to play. There are similarities and differences in boundaries across cultures, so it is important to be sensitive to people’s differences.

Nicaragua has many forms of boundaries.

For protection and personal security

Our community built a safe and creative playground for our local children.
IMG_5688 Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shades of Pitaya


The Weekly Photo challenge is: Monochromatic.

Our Pitaya fruit is ripe and OHHHHH is it beautiful and delicious. I took a kaleidoscope photo on my iPad of our bowl of Pitaya fruit. Problem was… I was so excited to eat it, I neglected to get a “normal” photo of our ripe fruit. 🙂

IMG_0093IMG_0094

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Umbilical Cords of Ometepe Island


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Connected.

Living on a tropical island an hour away from the mainland of Nicaragua requires many connections. Here are a few ways we band-together on our lovely Ometepe Island like umbilical cords.

The ferries tie Ometepe Island to the mainland with regular daily trips.
IMG_0213

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: I Spy Eyes Close Up


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Close Up. I wandered around my house today shooting close-ups of eyes.

Queenie says, “I see it is an in-my-face kind of day.”
IMG_8692 Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Split in Two


“Man is not truly one, but two”
― Robert Louis Stevenson

The Weekly Photo Challenge is Half and Half.  “This week, let’s split our photos in two.”
How about, “This week let’s split ourselves in two?” Sometimes, being a mother, a traveler, a partner, an expat, a maid, a librarian, a writer, and an all-round handy woman…I can see that Robert Louis Stevenson is right…except he should say, “A woman is not truly one, but two.”

IMG_0021I know that many of you can identify with me, especially when you have one of those days.
Right?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Books as Symbols


The weekly photo challenge is symbol.

 

Symbols are stories. Symbols are pictures, or items, or ideas that represent something else. Human beings attach such importance and meaning to symbols that they can inspire hope. ~Lia Habel

 

I can think of no better symbol of hope than a book. When I opened the La Paloma Elementary School Library in my community, I had hopes of instilling a joy of reading in a culture that lacks understanding of books. It has grown beyond my expectations!

 

“There are many little ways to enlarge your world.  Love of books is the best of all.” – Jacqueline Kennedy
spanish books“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”— Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”
IMG_5331
Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Living Without a Door


The Weekly Photo is: Door

Two years ago I completed a Weekly Photo Challenge: Opening Colorful Doors

Yet, for this photo challenge, I am taking the opposite approach. What would life be like living without a door? You see, my neighbors are adding to their small dirt-floor house. Yesterday, I crawled over the barbed wire fence separating our properties to see the progress on their addition.

There are many ‘firsts’ in this addition, and they proudly showed me around their two new rooms. It is their first cement floor, their first barred windows, and their first cement block walls waiting for a smooth concrete finish.

IMG_8520But, they have run out of money, so they are going to live without doors until they can afford to have doors made. It may be a long wait because one strong handmade door will cost them several months’ pay.

“A door is an everyday thing, yet is often a symbol — of a beginning, a journey forward or inward, a mark of one’s home, or even a step into the unknown.” Yet, I wonder what life will be like living without a door? I can’t imagine life without a door…it’s a leap for me to step that far into the unknown…a journey of faith and trust extending outward in the world.

They live without so much as it is: no running water in their house, no gas stove, only a wood fire for cooking, no indoor plumbing, and an outhouse. Yet, they are always happy!
Marina even added a touch of color by attaching plastic flowers from Don Jose’s funeral to her new barred windows.

IMG_8523Do doors symbolize a new beginning, an opportunity, new possibilities, or potentials? Not for this family!
IMG_8525For this family, living without doors demonstrates their openness and trust between their inner and their outer world. They are so proud of their accomplishments in building this addition. All of their extended family members helped to build it…kind of like an Amish barn raising. I’m proud of them, too.

What do you think living without doors would be like? Have you ever met someone who lived without doors in their house? I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

Weekly Photo Challenge: My Magnificent Muse


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Muse.

My magnificent muse is Concepcion Volcano. Most of the time she sleeps majestically in my backyard and is a constant source of my artistic inspiration. See for yourself! Webcam for Concepcion Volcano.

No matter what is in front of her, one cannot help but be overwhelmed by her beauty and speculate about her origins and power.
IMG_4053IMG_288021saying goodbye copyIMG_4799

Continue reading