Back in the 1970’s, we lived in Germany for two years. When it was time to return to the US, we had accumulated a crib, rocking chair, car bed, high chair, stroller, playpen, and baby, all of which we took home with us.
Now, after only eight months in Nicaragua, we have accumulated a microwave oven, blender, printer, and all the books and papers piled in the picture, none of which we expect to take back to the US. Then there are 16 keyboards and their supporting cords, hymnbooks, and instructions books. This week we moved into a new apartment, and it took four car loads to move all our “stuff.” Not a good sign for people who arrived with 88 pounds of luggage. What will we do in January when we have to move to a distant city?
We opted for a small cement block duplex in a complex called La Fortaleza, with closed construction rather than the beautiful colonial style houses that our realtor showed us in town. Night breezes are wonderful in a tropical place, but since we had a choice, we decided against the flies and bats that hang out in the open kitchens in the open colonial houses. The hardest part of the move was waiting three days to get internet. Our phone, email, financial affairs, and even the connection between our computer and printer all rely on wifi. Apparently we are in Nicaragua, but not of Nicaragua.
The woman who takes care of the houses and laundry took our laundry three days ago, and so far nothing has come back. Do we dare send any more?
We discovered by sad experience that it is impossible to accumulate any kind of stored food here, even with a closed kitchen. Dried beans went moldy in a closed canister, unopened packages of noodles were overrun with bugs that burrowed into them. Flour, rice, oatmeal, and corn meal got bugs, and chocolate chips melted. Cans get rusty, and our new house has no freezer and only a small refrigerator, so we’re learning to plan and shop a few days at a time.
Eating a late lunch and light snack when we get in at night, Frank has lost 20 pounds, many of which Ellen has found. (Some things are the same the world over!) I have signed up for Weight Watchers online, but what to do with suggestions of Greek yogurt, quinoa, whole grain muffins, and low-fat feta? No specialty foods are available here. We couldn’t even find a can opener in any store in town—from the hardware store to the open markets. Every month or so we go into Managua and shop at Price Smart, where we pay big Cordobas for imported frozen veggie lasagna and Good Humor bars. (See Weight Watchers note above.)