Thursday, January 13, 2011


Things that work: 
  1. Paths. There are 3 running, walking, biking paths within a short distance of where we are living. Two of the three are along the ocean so the views are amazing. The other one provides a bit more of a hilly challenge but less scenery. While we haven't spent much time on them yet, I anticipate we will as we become more settled here. 
  2. Grocery carts. Sounds odd but they don't just move forward and backwards here, they also slide sideways. It takes a little getting used to at first but once one learns to navigate them, the flexibility is really nice.
  3. Taking the girls to the library. I wish I had done that earlier this week. For those of you who don't know, due to the government being on vacation, we still don't have the rubber stamp for them to start school. We should get it tomorrow, Friday. So we have been "homeschooling" with math, spelling, Bill Nye the science guy, and a number of web-based materials I have found for them. They are bored but moving through it. Today we went to the library and they finally are really engaged in some books that they found there. They read for awhile while I worked and have continued with their books since we got home. YEAH!
  4. Art classes in Sopelana. We found an art studio where the girls can take class each week. Its about 4 metro stops away but it's a great place and they will have a chance to create art projects in many forms from clay to drawing and painting, and much more. One of the boys in the class may be in Maia's class at school as well.
  5. The doorbell buzzer. We have figured out how to let people in and finally how to talk to them to ask who it is before buzzing them up. The little things...
  6. A table for working. We just bought a used table that I think will be great for Dean and I to work, although we still don't have chairs for it. Dean is working from a folding chair today and I'm still at the couch, but my feet touch the floor. Always a plus ;-)
  7. The oven. Yes, it works. I'm still having some trouble figuring out some of the settings but I can bake potatoes and my lasagna appears to be cooking. The verdict is out on taste as some ingredients are hard to find, like ricotta. I'm trying something called queso fresco so we'll see.
Things that don't work... so well
  1. The washing machine. It has been bugging me since day 1 that I have to remove half the clothes and run additional spin cycles so they aren't dripping wet before I hang them to dry. Finally the owner got a guy out here to look at it. It's officially not working right and should be replaced. Not worth fixing. 
  2. Receiving packages, or at least ones of a certain size or sent via certain companies. Dean shipped his bike and it is being held hostage in the cargo area of the old airport where he needs to appear in person to the customs officials before 1pm M-F. Not an easy task with no public transportation to that area and a short time frame for anyone we know who has a car and a job. Package number 2 sent by FedEx is being held hostage in Madrid. Again a matter of customs and them needing more information. Hopefully that one will be delivered soon now that they have all the pertinent ID information on file.
  3. Malls. Yes, they now have them. I have seen many changes to this country in my last 25 years of visiting regularly. Malls however, just don't fit. It's too, well, Americanized to feel right. That said, they have bowling which Dean and the girls enjoyed as well as a movie theater. So, I suspect we will be back as it is only a short bus ride away.
As you can see there are more things that work than things that don't so that's a good sign. No big plans for the weekend but we'll see which way the wind blows us. Stay warm, those of you experiencing real winter.


  1. How can the girls be board with Bill Nye the Science Guy? He's the best!
    Those sideways moving shopping carts would have been handy to have in Nicaragua : )

  2. As for Bill Nye, I have no idea how he could possibly be boring either. I love his stuff. They are setting the bar pretty high. And yes, a sideways cart would have made filming quite a bit easier.