* the fact that we don’t own a car and walk just about everywhere.. unless its really hot or our feet hurt, in which case there are plenty of taxis (or horse drawn carriages) around for a mere 10 cordoba per person (about 50 cents) to anywhere in town.
* having Marisol the cleaning lady come 3x a week, at the cost of $12 for the week – which is a very decent salary here.
* the fact that the street life is full and varied… kids jumping rope or playing ball, bikes with 2-3 people on them, horse drawn carts, the odd goat, the variety of stray dogs. Especially at dusk, as the sun starts to go down and the breeze from the lake picks up and people have more energy to be out and about, as the heat subsides.
* walking across the road for yoga, daily – walking across the road for a massage (for $20).
* keeping lots of manzanas (apples) to give out to the neighborhood kids who are used to a diet of gallo pinto (rice and beans) and pollo (chicken.) An apple is an incredible and rare treat. Yes, I am pretty popular with the neighborhood kids as a result.
* the overall vibe of the place… the locals, whose lives though difficult (there is a very high unemployment rate) are rich and full of family, friends, and fiesta….
* the foreigners who live here, whom we have met so far, are interesting — they tend to be well travelled, intent on having a positive impact on Nicaragua and for the most part react the same way as the locals to inevitable inconveniences of living in a developing country.
* the fact that we haven’t had water for the last three days. On the first day the whole city was without water – no one skipped a beat – par for the course… For some reason we still are doing without.. Ah, but we still have the pool and bottled water and today resorted to using the outdoor bamboo shower across the road at the yoga spa.
* anything is possible.. it’s the Wild West. As someone said, “you are limited only by your imagination.”
* the fact that I have arranged a co-op system with the the organic self sustainable Selva Negra farm up North in the cloud forests (where we visited last year for two days ). Fresh, organic vegetables and cheese will be delivered and then dispensed to partcipants. So far, four groups, but growing steadily.
* the knowledge that we are just a few hours away from beautiful wild beaches, Ometepe islands, cloud forests, jungle and plenty that we have not yet discovered.
* the amount of people who know us, and Mango by name, increases daily…as do the small chats in the street which contribute to our feeling that we are part of the neighborhood.
* is the humor of the people. Quick to a quip and quick to laugh.’
* it is not boring!