Five years ago when we first came to Nicaragua and purchased a falling apart house in the Granada historical district, one of our intentions was for this to also be an investment in our children’s future. Not so much a financial investment, as an investment in creating a platform to demonstrate a less consumer-oriented lifestyle and a vehicle to expose our four boys to a different culture. We both felt that one day, this house would become a home away from home, in the sun.
So, while it might seem like a surprising and somewhat sudden turn of events, in fact what happened this past month is merely the unfolding or manifesting of our initial vision.
Our baseline scenario for Nicaragua was that we would build our “dream house” (check!), we would start an environmental impact- focused business based on bamboo (check!), we would not only visit, but one day live in Nicaragua (check!) and, we thought, over time, our boys would visit and take advantage of the opportunity to do something to supplement their American lifestyle.
All four boys had visited Nicaragua, over the past 5 years, rarely at the same time.
We were enjoying the new-found empty nest. So what has evolved to change things?
Move Number One:
Oren, 22, was living in Northern California and decided to come for 6 months to do an internship with CO2 Bambu. Update: Oren has settled nicely into his new Granada “home”, having scored our bamboo studio down the street. He now works full time for CO2 Bambu doing market research for the forthcoming Bamboo Living activities in Central America. When he is not working, he is well integrated in the community and is part of a Nica basketball league, the only gringo in the bunch.
Move Number Two:
Ezra, 24, was living in Portland Oregon. A gardener / farmer in the making who gained hands on experience by spending time in several WOOF farms in California, Michigan and Oregon, Ezra arrived last week for a three month stint in Central America, starting out with a month in an intentional /sustainable community on Maderas Volcano of Ometepe Island. They grow most of their own produce, practice yoga, meditation and hold workshops on such topics as natural building. He is there on a work exchange, offering his gardening skills.
Move Number Three:
Adam, 20, was living in Austin, Texas. Going to University of Texas for Latin American studies, he has always had a dichotomy between the traditional trajectory of getting a degree from a reputable college and pursuing his passion, which is cooking. When Adam was in Nicaragua visiting for the month of December, he met a highly regarded US chef who was making plans to open his first restaurant in Nicaragua. The thought of working as an apprentice in his restaurant was more than appealing. At the time, it seemed it unlikely that the stars would align to allow him to take advantage of this culinary career opportunity.
But the idea of working in a restaurant solidified and gained momentum over several months. Then a couple of weeks ago, we got an “epiphany” call. Basically, he had made the big decision to put his schooling on hold and get a job in Austin, working in a restaurant.
Shortly after, we were in San Juan Del Sur, saw a Sushi and Japanese food restaurant had just opened. Of course we went in, and found to our surprise that Chef Q (whom Adam had met 6 months earlier in Granada) had indeed opened his first restaurant, as predicted. We checked in with him to see if his initial offer to have Adam work in his kitchen was still valid. He gave a thumbs up. We called Adam and laid out the variation on his Austin restaurant plan which had just surfaced. And now, as we write this, Adam, who arrived in country less than 5 days ago, has been in the kitchen for his first 14 hour day of kitchen adventures.
From the kitchen of the restaurant, he and his new-found kitchen family have a view of the bay of San Juan, with all its white floating boats, waves and steady flow of travelers and locals. The hamburger joint next door has live Reggae music on Friday and Saturday night, which makes for an atypical but good combo with sushi.
Adam is working and living in San Juan del Sur.
is working and living in Granada.
Ezra is working and living on Ometepe.
Hey – Josh! The Central American music scene is waiting for Euphonic Conceptions to start its Latin American activities. You know you’re going to do it! So, come on down…