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Thursday, February 24, 2011

A new day

Nicaragua trivia: Did you know that…. Nicaragua has the only fresh water sharks in the world.  Did you know… that Nicaragua is a huge producer of peanuts, but a jar of peanut butter is a rare and expensive item.

Where to begin… another week has passed and the adventures continue. The gas man finally came, not only once but twice. He finally set us up with a very large gas tank (100 lbs) This should have lasted us for several months. However his expert skills left us with a leaky valve. What was to last several months only lasted a week. Thankfully he did come shortly after the tank was empty and fixed it. At the top of the adventure list is the 5.4 earthquake that I was unaware of. I was apparently driving when it hit and you cannot feel earthquakes while driving (at least not on Nicaragua roads.) Kim and Jaden were excited to feel the tremors. Upon talking with our good friend and occasional translator (ok, ok …. All the time translator) Nicaragua can have several earthquakes every year. Many more earthquake adventures await us. Also this week we made a trip to see another good friend and local preacher “El Doctor” (relax Mom and Dad nothing to get excited about) Our son Jaden got too much play time with a local dog and picked up a skin parasite. The treatment worked, however, the medicine to stop the itching(which was diaper rash cream) ended up creating a very itchy rash. Leaving Jaden more itchy than before. Prior to this incident our children were determined to save all the dogs in Nicaragua from starvation. I was concerned that I might be stuck setting up a hotel for dogs. Now every dog is a leper and if they approach Jaden or Kora it will be at risk of life or limb. Kora is now obsessed that every red spot, bump or possible freckle is now a growing parasite in need of immediate medical attention. I can’t complain too much, the doctor visit plus the cost of the medicine all came to a whopping $5.00. Yes, you read that correctly; medicine, tube of ointment cream, and physician visit was a total of five dollars. This also included a follow up house visit!!

I admit that we still need our translator on a regular basis, but we have completed our first level of Spanish classes and we are now able to thoroughly and completely understand every word of a 1 year old (that may be an overstatement) We are now starting our second level and expect to be left more confused after that. We were told that we will be able to understand most of our conversations after about six months. We will see about that.

I have been running here and there, waiting for hours in lines while I try to complete this form or that form for license plates, truck registration, and now for a Bank account. Local friends have had an extraordinary impact. It would have taken me months to get everything worked out. A large number of thanks to everyone here that has helped us. Kim and the kids have been spending the last week helping at the school. As you know how fluent Kim is in Spanish (as seen by our results from our 1st level of Spanish) it is interesting to imagine how she communicates with the kids at school. I don’t think you will want to challenge her to a game of charades any time soon. She will smoke you. Teaching the kids games like “Red Rover”, “Duck, duck, goose” and “Red light, green light” without the use of words demonstrates her mad skills.

We also had fun playing a new game called “break in to your house.” Kora came up with the game. This game is for 1-8 players and suitable for ages 5 and up. First, you make sure that all the keys are left in the house. Note: It helps if your doors don’t have a knob and lock immediately upon closing. Then when everyone is out, close the door and see if you can get in using only what you can find outside. This was a lot of fun and something the whole family can play. Good times, good times.

We are preparing for our first visitors from the states, and looking forward to our time with them. We hope and expect many more visitors in the coming months. We offer an open invitation to all, but must warn you that Nicaragua requires upon entry into their country a jar of peanut butter or obscure item that is hard to find that is deliverable to the person you are staying with. Just call or email us and we will let you know what new item Nicaragua is requiring for entry. Give to us and we will be sure to get it to the proper authorities.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines day

Hey, remember the gas man last week that said he would be coming tomorrow, he should be here tomorrow.  So maybe next week he will decide to come by. Let me just warn you that moving to Nicaragua does not rescue you from listening to Justin Bieber or whomever your daughter believes is the best artist ever. As I sit on the couch, Kora has her music blasting and Jaden has dressed our dogs up in t-shirts and shorts. The family and Summer are creating valentine cards tonight for the children in the neighborhood next to us. They got candy to handout with cards. I am sure it will be fun.

Not sure if I mentioned this already, but the churches here don't have clocks on the back wall to let the preacher know that he is nearing lunch time. Kora suddenly blurted out the other day how she misses the short sermons that our preacher Kenneth gives (this may be the first time he has heard that). Goes to show how perspective can influence your perceptions. It was a holy Sunday for Kim today. On our way to church today, Jaden saved the day as he was just the right height to explain to Kim why she might be feeling a breeze on her backside. A new pair of pants she bought a local thrift store had a large hole across a certain region that will remain undisclosed. Thankfully we chose to attend a church close by where we could zip home for a quick change.

We were out driving the other night and I was amazed at how many people were out on the streets talking, walking, riding bikes. Nothing like in the states where everyone sprints for the door so they don’t have to talk to their neighbors. We will spend hours cleaning our garage so we can drive in right in and close the door. Or if we have too much stuff to fit in the house and our garage looks like Sanford and Son then we will risk injury or even heart attack to run to the door. Meanwhile, here in Latin America they will drag their stuff out of the house so they can talk and mingle. Even the dogs and chickens stay up late in the night to have a party and talk to each other. At last night the neighbors dog decides to sing a solo for the neighborhood and not of 4 or 5 minute typical song. I am talking about a 30 minute ballad, it was ridiculous. Across the street from Mozart the dog is Puff daddy rooster that apparently has not wound his internal clock lately, because he has no sense of time. They tell you that roosters crow at sunrise, but that is a lie. At anytime between 1:00 am and 5:00 am that rooster lets out this awful sound that I believe is suppose to be a cock-a-doodle doo, but its more like a caa caa caa doo dah. We are stockpiling ear plugs.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A summary of the last few weeks

My wife has told me that I need to give more details. I am more of a summary kind of guy, but I will make a greater effort to share some details regarding our last few weeks. For me, I have been running here there and everywhere. Apparently buying a truck down here requires a full week to complete a purchase. I have been to the police station at least three times in the last week and will probably be back again soon. I was so amazed that they required an emissions testing (testing to see if you are smogger), especially after I followed a bus that created a smoke screen for the whole city of Leon. Satellites would not have picked up on the city, but they were concerned about the emissions on my truck!! How did half the vehicles pass the test? This week my wife and Summer tried to blow up our new house.... Twice!! They started the gas oven to cook up a wonderful meal, but missed the lighting part. As they went to light one of the burners, they blew the door open on the oven. Thankfully no one was hurt, however now they won't have to shave their legs for several weeks. All the craftmen, electricians, delivery men say they are coming tomorrow, but tomorrow never seems to come. The man bringing us our gas was suppose to get us our container a week ago, but guess what... he will be here tomorrow, just like the last 6 days. In the meantime we are left to trying to blow up the house with a small gas tank over at Summers apartment. The kids are trying to adjust and still struggling to do so. They have their ups and downs, but yesterday we went to Managua to pick up something from a preacher in Masaya and made a quick stop at McDonalds. Our children rode in a truck on bumpy roads and Kora suffered car sickness all for a satisfying happy meal and a ten piece chicken nuggets with fries. I'm loving it!! Well, I have much more to tell, however, as a man my quota on words has been reached for the day. I hope that this has found you well, and I pray God's blessings on you. I will try to post some pictures on the next blog.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Nicaragua time

The time is very different down here. I thought that maybe it was a translation problem, but now I understand. When they say later today they mean tomorrow. When they say later in the week they mean next week, and if they say in a week or two, you might as well find someone else, because it is not happening.