If I remember correctly in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, the soothsayer said to Caesar, “Beware, the Ides of March”. Although it isn’t quite the Ides of March, it is a time to beware of here. Diablo winds are blowing dirt in every direction; the surf is too high and too cold for the older diehard surfers; scorpions abound; and on a positive side many friends are here to make my life interesting and enjoyable.
Let’s start by explaining the posted photo. This is the dining table at my condo where I can easily seat 12 people, although more comfortably 10. I have had many dinner parties at this table in between periods of time this past two months when I have had renters and live like a gypsy at other’s homes. My new favorite meal, besides baked salmon that I purchase at PriceSmart, is India Viejo. India Viejo is a traditional Nicaraguan stew like meal made with ingredients that are indigenous to the area where it is being prepared. I love to serve this meal because few of my gringo friends know of it. It is usually a big hit served with a salad and maybe a dessert. The dessert truthfully depends upon how much wine and/or beer has been consumed during the sunset drinking time prior to dinner. OK, so now truth is out. Sunset gatherings mean watching the beautiful sky and ocean colors while consuming mostly alcoholic drinks with friends. Sunset is a phenomenon enjoyed by locals and expats alike. Locals generally omit the beverages.
Everyday is some form of a workday to me or so it seems. Gail Geerling and I have been working on several projects. The usual project is Gail training me on her business in the consulting arena that includes business, property management, and real estate. Gail is also helping me get title to my condo. The condo project has been a series of learning issues for both of us. It is helpful to have a cadre of attorneys who are specialists in their fields of choice work. I am fortunate in that over the years I have been here I met a number of different attorneys who will answer questions and point me in the appropriate direction. Eventually with a lot of patience and persistence the tasks become less onerous and completed on time–either Nica time or American time, choose one or the other.
The Diablo (my name for it) wind has been horrendous for about two weeks. Beside tree limbs that require detours around them, there are dirt layers on my skin that I can literally scrape off. I only feel more sorry for the unfortunate people who live on the ocean side of the dirt roads where the dirt collects heavily since we have offshore winds from Lake Cocibolca. My sailing friends have said that on some days the winds reach 50 or 60 mph with gusts higher. I am staying at a friend’s house for a month while the condo is currently rented. Her house on the ocean is an open design where dirt is a daily/hourly cleaning project. The winds also bring pica pica. Wikipedia defines pica pica as “itching powder intentionally used to torment”. This is very true especially if your skin is already bone dry from the wind. I am going through Cetaphil moisturizing cream by the jar–a product I used to recommend to my aging patients. Yes, ME as well.
There are a lot of property owner friends here for the past six weeks. I hosted a surprise birthday party for one of them at Lori’s Nica Market in Limón #2 where we had almost 20 people show up for a great dinner and camaradarie. Lori and I worked out the menu and cost of the roast chicken dinner including two drinks and two different desserts. Everyone except the two VERY surprised birthday couple chipped in to share the minimal cost of a wonderful fun party.
Speaking of parties there have been a variety of party events that I attended in the past two weeks. Two fundraisers that were not only fun but highly financially successful. Comedy Abroad hosted by FIMRC (https://www.fimrc.org)–where I won four different raffle food related prizes–and CREA (https://www.creanicaragua.org) held here at the Ranch. I didn’t participate in their auction, although it was fun to watch.
In case some of you may think I miss my favorite activities of past life, I can assure you that I think I died and went to heaven here. Except for my love of ballet, I found JAZZ in my backyard next to Rancho Santana. Last Saturday night two friends and I had dinner at SoLost, a new boutique hotel and restaurant within a 5 minute walk–yes, we walked the beach–from RS. They had two young Nicaraguan jazz musicians playing violin and saxaphone. Both are classically trained musicians and obviously love what they do. The venue reminded me of my youthful days visiting the small jazz clubs in San Francisco and hearing jazz greats of the 1950s–Lionel Hampton, Dave Brubeck, Modern Jazz Quartet–and then in later years seeing more of Dave Brubeck, Stephan Grappelli and the Marsellas Family. Can you believe, these young musicians were next door?
Before the power goes out again and this doesn’t get sent, I’m going to stop here and figure out how to add some pertinent photos–don’t bet on this one though.
Ok, I can’t get photos without at least two hours of research. Next blog may be a photo display.