Friday, March 22, 2013


In February 2012 I did a similar post after spending about 5 months here.  Well, now I've been here for a year and a half and wanted to do a 2013 update.  Here we go....

1.  PEE...I'll sum it up by relating a recent conversation I had with an older neighbor as I walked Ollie.
Her:  No, no, don't let her go here.  It's dirty.
Me:  She's already went, don't worry.
Her:  Oh, I didn't know.  It's just that everyone with pets lets them go here on the lawn (not her lawn, by the way; community property).
Me:  I'll tell you what.  When you can train your men to stop peeing on the street, we'll train our pets to stop peeing on the grass.

Yep, that's what I'm dealing with every day.  Men hiding in corners in the middle of populated areas, little boys whipping it out right in front of me to go in the gutter rather than run in their house to the bathroom, and the faint whiff of acidic urine every time I open my front door.  We ladies can hold it until we get home, why can't they??!!
2.  THE GRINGO HUSTLE...I understand it's a part of life here but I'm so tired of trying to find out what's the real price of something vs the price they're charging me.  
3.  NOISE....I swear EVERYTHING here is made to make noise.  On a regular morning, starting at 6am, here are the things I hear:

  • bus passing screaming "Managua, Managua, Managua"
  • fruit person/people yelling out what they're selling
  • La Prensa (newspaper) belting out their advertisement song
  • multiple 18wheelers and motorcycles that never had a muffler put on
  • neighbors greeting each other (everything Nicas say is done as a scream)
  • dogs barking
  • roosters crowing
  • church bells and/or the "We Love Mary" song (if I'm lucky, this starts at 5am instead of 6)

The baseball game lets out?  Honks, screams, noise.
Religious celebration?  Fireworks, honks, screams, bells, noise
The lights just came back on?  Screams, noise

Are you seeing a pattern?  I swear I'm coming back to the U.S. deaf.
4.  BEGGARS....I'm at my wit's end.  I don't give anything to anyone ever and yet on a daily basis someone is asking me for money because I'm a gringa.
5.  MUSIC...In normal circumstances I love music.  But when it's played from multiple homes at the same time at a decibel level that allows the ENTIRE neighborhood to "enjoy" it, it gets really annoying.  Really fast.    Yes, I am now that old lady the yells out, "Keep it down over there, will ya?!"

1.  THE EGG LADY....I know it's shallow but I love the fact that a block away exists a little old lady that sells farm fresh eggs for 40 cordobas cheaper than the grocery store.  Plus, she's sweet to me and has an amazing little bulldog she lets me play with.
2.  MOMBACHO...I mentioned this last time, but I still love and am amazed at the fact I can walk out of my house every morning to see an a rainforest volcano staring back at me
3.  THE MARKET...Yes, it's dirty.  Yes, it's stressful because there's a million people all yelling at you at once to buy their stuff.  Yes, you have to negotiate your butt off the end of the day you can come home with an entire bag full of fruits and veg for NOTHING!
4.  MY STUDENTS...when I wrote this post last year, I didn't have any progressive Bible students.  I guess that was a lot to expect in just 5 months.  But now, 18 months in, that has definitely changed.  I have quite a few students whom I truly look forward to seeing every week.  They're regular, they prepare, and while they're not going to meetings they are making progress in various ways.  How?  Here's a few things they've said lately:

  • You taught me how to use my Bible.  Now, when I see a Scripture, I know how to look it up.  My church never taught me that.
  • Changing is really hard.  But I see that when I apply Bible principles in my family, they're happier, and I am too.
  • I know Jehovah expects me to teach my child about Him.  Will you show me how to do that?
  • For the first time in my life, I'm talking to God and reading the Bible.
I literally had goosebumps writing that and remembering how happy I was when they told me :)

5.  CHEESE AND SALAD....Yes, I know that last year cheese was on the hate list.  However, I found a good cheese supplier and a type of cheese I like and now, yes, I'm addicted.  And the cabbage slaw they put on everything?  Bring it on!  I had to learn how to make it because I was craving it all the time.  Hey, it's healthy, cheap, and easy and makes for a fast dinner with melted cheese and a tortilla :)
* You want to learn how to make it too?  Check out this Familiar Foreign video.


  1. Uhm Lil Shawn you were DEAF before you left for Nica.

    1. Ok, so maybe that's true but I SWEAR it's gotten worse since I've been here.

  2. Haha don't forget the Horse Carriages inciting havoc from Olie and Cookie in the Hate section!!!

    1. Ain't that the truth. Of course, truth be told, my crotchety old lady is barking at everything these days.