Ometepe Island – simply our favorite place in Nicaragua
Nicaragua was of course about bamboo
Peta, co founder of CO2 Bambu, on a bamboo sourcing trip.
Ben presenting at Ted Ex Managua ~ bamboo, climate change and bamboo floating houses.
Julio, CO2 Bambu’s Technical Director and Ben’s key colleague during years of extraordinary social impact, creating jobs, building eco homes for victims of hurricanes, in the bamboo forests of Northern Nicaragua.
Over a period of 6 years, we built a bamboo housing industry in a country with a dramatic housing shortage, and a massive amount of construction grade bamboo…
Our home was an oasis of calm…
Around the corner from our house on Calle Corrales, Granada, Mombacho – a large volcano
Our home starts, as always, with our animal friends. Mango (Aussie on left) and Duane were best friends and part of our family, and very much part of our adventures in Nicaragua.
Casa Peak ~ the indoor/ outdoor house we designed together in Granada
Over 6 years, we provided foster care to about 30 cats and a couple of dogs… Mango was a male, but he had a great maternal instinct, especially with kittens.
All four of our sons visited Nicaragua, for different lengths of time. Oren stayed for 3 years, got his first job in CO2 Bambu, then went on to start a sports-related NGO to help street kids benefit through involvement in sports.
Nicaragua was also a great source of inspiration for Peta’s paintings. A series of 40 large stray dogs paintings emerged from our life in Nicaragua.
Even though Nicaragua is conservative, Ben was able to continue sculpting as friends, such as L from Australia, were often willing to be his models.
Street scenes, our neighbors… Life, in Granada, happens on the porch, preferably in rocking chairs, with kids playing in the street…
We often stop to chat with our neighbors about their day, their kids, the weather. Nicaragua is a socially-engaging culture. Not much shyness here.
Looking through the front gate of our house, a marching band was quite a common scene. Any time of day, night, there is always something to celebrate. We learned early on in Nicaragua that “if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing it loudly”.
Miguel, incredible shiatsu healing, once a week
Marciella, a neighbor/single mom with five girls
Our favorite almost daily fruit lady who brought us coconuts, avocados, carrots, pineapple, watermelon, lemons, garlic to our door
And our bamboo loft was also a unique place…
Granada was our home for 5 years – the colors of the city and the authenticity of our neighborhood made it a wonderful place to live
And then there was the hoped for platform for our sons
Good times with Oren in Granada. We saw him mature into a social impact entrepreneur over a few short years.
At Laguna de Apoyo crater lake
Of all destinations, our most fabulous discovery was Ometepe, which we have now made our “permanent home” (even though there happens not to be any home yet on our property).
Our little piece of paradise ~ Ometepe
Taking the ferry to Ometepe
And so many wonderful friends cycled through our lives…..
Brooke .. helping with foster kittens
Jumping into Laguna de Apoyo with Nikki
Anna (from Denmark)
Charo, anthropologist, yoga teacher and good friend… Many lively discussions…
Yoga became a central theme
Many furry friends joined our lives for a while –none more loving than Princessa, a loving, graceful four legged soul who adopted us early on
Salvador born to Georgia (wild cat) in our house
Princessa… pushed her way into our home and hearts