|Quick! Can you pick out the gringo in this picture?!|
One challenge is the tourist visa. Right now, to be a temporary resident involves a lot of time, a lot of under the table bribes, and eventually a $5,000 deposit so that if one day they'd need to export you from the country; well, at least you could go first class. So most of us are here on three month tourist visas meaning every three months we have to either leave the country for 72 hours or go to Managua and pay $1/day up to 90 days to extend our visa. Both are very time consuming and the Managua version is also very expensive for Nica standards.
Another challenge is the gringo hustle. I've written about this before. Basically, if you're a foreigner there's a different price quoted to you for EVERYTHING. Sometimes it's a real mess and a lot of time and negotiation to get to the "correct" price of things.
You'll stand out. Or at least I do. I'm a tall, thick, ruddy, strawberry blonde in a land of small caramels. It's like being the only cornflake in a bowl of raisins. It takes a while to get used to the stares. And the question, "Shawn, why are you so red?" Dang it! And here I thought I had finally tanned!!
Your stomach will always be a question mark. This is one of those places where you can't ignore an odd gurgle because here, it's not indigestion...IT'S PARASITES!