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I'm reconsidering my Nicaraguan early-retirement plans.

Bugs.

OK, I knew when I came down that there would be bugs. Mosquitos, gnats, scorpions, etc. I can live with those. But there are lots of little ant thingy looking bugs all over the kitchen. We have to be careful where we put food. Almost everything goes in the fridge. I've already tossed the sugar. Can you believe bugs loved the sugar?

Whose bright idea was a house with an outdoor kitchen/dining room/swimming area? Don't ask. But, it's part of the adventure and we'll adjust. Actually, when I say "we" I mean "me." Anyone who knows me knows that I don't really like eating outside with bugs. Polly says we'll call it "camping."  The last time I camped it was in a 35 ft RV with air conditioning and 3 TV's! Yep...kinda spoiled.

Here's another thing I wasn't planning on hearing "Hey, dad, there are some bats flying around out here and inside!" I haven't seen any yet, but the housekeeper has confirmed bats. Plus, there was bat crap on the tile floor, so that was a big give away, too. Just one more part of the adventure and I DID say we wanted to see wildlife. Just not in my kitchen and living room! 

We roamed the town a bit today to get the lay of the land. It's a really beautiful and interesting place. Well, it's not all beautiful. It's got some beautiful architecture with many of the old churches having been built by the blood sucking Spanish who came over 5 hundred years ago. It also has some not so nice areas of high poverty and crime. Wait. Didn't I just describe New Orleans?

I'm not going too much into the history of Granada. Wikipedia does a better job.

We had our first real encounter with the part of the trip that I knew would bother us the most...meeting some of the homeless children at the park. We stopped to buy the kids a popscicle and right away, 4 or 5 kids about 5 or 6 years old surrounded us asking us to buy them something. We had read in advance some suggestions about how to handle this, but nothing can prepare you for having a cute little girl pulling on your shirt and asking you to buy her something to eat. She was speaking in Spanish, but I knew what she wanted in any language. Polly had it worse because she understood them. Grady and Annie didn't quite understand until we explained it to them. How do you explain abject poverty and child hunger to kids who gets so much?

Polly and Grady gave their popsicles to 2 little girls. Annie was almost done with hers. I didn't have anything. We've read about how to handle this situation and there's no good way. One thing we did read was not to give money to the kids as it sometimes goes to adults. It was recommended that we buy little bags of food at corner stalls and give them out.

EMERGENCY UPDATE! Yes! I saw bats last night! And they weren't crapping on stuff. They were eating and dropping the part of the fruit they didn't want on the sofas. So, at least it's not bat sh^%. So we got THAT going for us!

Note: This is a Spanish keyboard I'm using. I have no idea where the parenthesis, colon, etc. are. So bear with my weird punctuation.

I now return to my regularly scheduled blog...

After our trip to the park, we headed home for the rest of the day. The kids are obsessed with the pool and I'm obsessed with laying my happy butt in the hammock NEXT to the pool.

Our guide, Rodolfo, has suggested lots of wonderfully authentic Nicaraguan restaurants we should go to and we're looking forward to trying them out. But last night, I told him, "I need food I recognize and I needs lots of it!" I really hadn't eaten in 23 hours and it was starting to tell. I was a bit shaky and I needed lots of food, not authentic. So, we went to the Garden Cafe. I got authentic AND lots, so that was a bonus. The only people there were Gringos like us. But they had meat, by God, and it was good. Ahhhh....and for the 6 of us to eat with beer, bottled water, etc. it was $30...including tip. Chaching!

We had a big rainstorm last night. By big, I mean it topped off the pool and flooded Grady and Annie's bathroom. Grady and I lay in his bed together and listened to the rain dribble down the wall. I had to pull the bed away from the way to keep our pillow dry. Annie, on the other hand, could not have cared if Noah himself had shown up to escort the bats away, 2 by 2, she just kept on sleeping. Grady was also upset about the howling dog outside our window that sounded as if he was tied up and getting stormed on. It was quite disheartening. But in a land of such poverty, I imagine it is tough for people to feel sympathetic toward animals. They are for working and eating. And if they do neither, they are afterthoughts. To an 8 yr old who loves his cat more than me, this attitude is hard to accept. Gandhi said, "You can judge a society by the way it treats its animals." I think we do pretty well there.

Off to a volcano called Mombacho tomorrow and ziplining. Grady is about to wet himself thinking about ziplining. Annie is about to wet herself, too, thinking about ziplining, but for a totally different reason! I just am thinking that the zip lines were probably hung by the lowest bidder and we'll probably all die.

Adios, mi amigos!



 


Kenzie
06/16/2012 4:47pm

Hi we are on our way to get a bat since that sounds pretty darn exciting. Mom is cutting up fruit to put on the new couch so our new pet doesn't go hungry! The thunder storm sounds like fun. Did Grady ever get to sleep? Keep writing about your adventures cause I want to hear all about the zip line. Did you pee your pants?
Jalapeña

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Amy
06/16/2012 8:47pm

Well now if this little vacation doesn't cure Uncle T of his eating with the bugs phobia then I guess nothing will. I predict by the end of the trip he will be at one with his bug friends and willingly will share his food with them. That must have been one heck of a storm to have rain coming through the walls. The good news is that if Annie slept through it then she most definitely doesn't suffer from Sponsler sleep issues! I can't wait to hear all about zip lining! Please don't let Grady give away his food, as a matter of fact if he spots anything he wants to eat just grab it out of the people's handsa nd let him have it!

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