Archive

Archive for the ‘Nicaragua’ Category

1 Year in Nicaragua

November 1, 2011 3 comments

I am back in Canada again for a short stint.  Today is my first year anniversary on arrival into Nicaragua, and ironically I am spending it in Canada.  Since November I have learned a lot as a person, and seen many things that were very difficult.  I realise that I am a lucky person, and I know that there is much work to do to accomplish what I strive towards in Nicaragua.

I got sick when I arrived back in Canada a few weeks ago.  My body simply shut down and became sick after stopping and getting some prolonged rest.  I was sick for just under two weeks, and had lots of time to think about things.  Everything about Canada is different when compared to Nicaragua.  I realise that we have it quite good in Canada.

Some differences that are quite profound between Canada and Managua are as follows:

  • No need to constantly look down while walking.  It is uncommon to find holes in the streets, or sidewalks, or protruding pieces of metal, garbage, etc.
  • The amount of sidewalks in Canada – you don’t notice them until you have to do without them.
  • The beautiful parks we have – not so many nice parks in Managua, and the majority are littered in garbage and dangerous at times.
  • The ability to walk around at night – In Managua, it is not always wise, or safe to walk around at night.  Trusted taxis or rides from friends are preferred ways to move around.
  • The vast amounts of recreation available to the masses – In Managua, we have a few choices of fun things to do – seeing a movie, eating out, drinking a beer, going to the gym, and going to swim…..that is about it.
  • Availability of good cheese, meats, breads, etc.
  • Availability and variety of restaurants – there are handfulls of good restaurants in Managua – but the ethnic food (Chinese, Indian, Greek, Thai, etc.) is sorely lacking
  • Multiculturalism – the vast majority of foreigners in Nicaragua just there to work, or volunteer.  There is not much diversity in the ethnicity of people living in Nicaragua – In Canada that is never a problem.
  • The weather – it is crisp and cool outside now in Canada – I miss 4 seasons.

These are by no means a knock on Nicaragua, but sometimes it is good to get a break, and get back to Canada in order to appreciate what I never appreciated before.  A few trips to Canada a year, can refresh and renew my outlook on life, and get me ready to contribute more effectively in my endeavours with SchoolBOX.

 

Categories: Nicaragua

Mice!

May 12, 2011 2 comments

I woke up this morning, and to my delight found that my mango laced trap contained a mouse.   I disposed of the mouse in proper fashion as well.  The glue traps do not seem to be working, they just seem to be picking up bits of hair and dust.  I guess that is what you need to live with when your doors and windows are constantly open.

The fumigator came today, and fumigated the house again with some special rat stuff.  Hopefully it works, as he said it will take 7 or 8 days to see results.  We will see!

Categories: Nicaragua

Mice and mangos

May 10, 2011 5 comments

It has been a while since I have posted a blog.  It is getting difficult to find time to write about things once you get into a routine.  Things are going well in Nicaragua.  There is a lot of different and interesting working going on at SchoolBOX (www.schoolBOX.ca), and in March I moved into a new house.

This house has all the amenities that my other house did not have – windows, and 24 hours of water!

In our house we have visitors of all sorts:

  • Ants
  • Geckos
  • Flies

One visitor that we cannot seem to get rid of are mice.  A few weeks ago I was forced to kill a small mouse.  The mice seem to be living in other houses and go through the tunnels under the houses.  This morning we found one running around the kitchen.

In the evening, we went over to the supermarket and bought glue traps, and mouse traps.  I laced these traps with delicious mango.  Hopefully the mice will find this enticing enough.  We will see in the morning if the mango did the trick.

Categories: Nicaragua

World Series Game in Managua

February 7, 2011 1 comment

The posts have not been coming so quickly as in previous months.  Things have got very busy at work, and other things are taking priority.  I will try to make a point of getting more posts up, as it acts as a sort of digital diary for me, and it serves as a medium to let my parents know I am still alive, or not in jail.

I attended a World Series game in Managua.  It was Game 2 of the World Series, and I went with three friends.  We got the second best tickets for $C100, which translates into about $4.50.  The best tickets were $9 and they were in the open bar zone.  That seemed a little dangerous on the 35 degree day with no cover.

I must say that the game in itself was a crazy experience.  I have never seen a baseball game in Central America before.  The game itself was pretty standard, but the atmosphere was an event in itself.

I have pieced together some photos of the event so that I could do it justice

The stadium was almost full. The game started at 11am, which is quite early, but later on we would realize that it started this early, so that the crowd would not get rowdier.

When you think of typical baseball food in North America, we think of hot dogs, nachos, fries, beer, etc. In Nicaragua, there are some of the same elements. The major difference between the food here is the chaotic nature behind the selling. There are bbq stands everywhere, and people throwing up cans of beer into the stands. I bought this dish from a bbq stand, and it consisted of rice, beans, tortillas, salad, and beef. Great stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The team name was the Indians or Boer in Spanish. They had two mascots sponsored by Claro, one of the larger mobile phone operators in the country. As you can see, safety is not a priority, as he repeatedly climbed the backstop netting to hype up the crowd. He even had an assistant, a young boy of about 9 years old, who also climbed the fence.

 

 

 

 

 

A man was walking amongst the crowd painting faces. He used a stencil, but he did not use ordinary non toxic face paint as they would in North America. He used industrial strength spray paint. The fumes were horrendous, but everyone in the crowd seemed to want one.

 

 

 

 

At the end of the game, the riot squad came onto the field, and also a school bus drove to the front of the visitors dugout. They school bus collected the visiting team so that they would not get pelted by water, fruit and other items.
Categories: Nicaragua

New video – Rural Community in Nicaragua

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Happy New Year.  Apologizes for the lack of posting in the past few weeks.  I have been quite busy, but will post some new content this weekend.  I have been experimenting with some new video software.  Check out this video, and provide some feedback if you can.

http://goo.gl/Nvten

Also remember that if you become a fan of SchoolBOX on facebook, we get a $2 donation.  It is very easy to do, and it will only cost you the 5 seconds in time it takes to click this link:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/SchoolBOX/204667908062 or on the graphic on the right hand side of the page.

Thanks!

Categories: Nicaragua

Random thoughts through Honduras

December 23, 2010 1 comment

Fireworks in Cantarranas, Honduras

I am spending a quiet night in Copan Ruinas in Northern Honduras.  Over the last few days, I have travelled up from Managua to Nothern Honduras, and have had a great time.

Here are some thoughts:

  • The bus ride from Managua to Tegucigalpa was quite uneventful.  It left a bit late (which is the norm), and took a bit extra time then thought originally (which is also the norm).
  • The police seemed baffled that the bus driver had our passports, and did not believe us.  It seemed that they have never done a check at a border before
  • Tegucigalpa seemed a bit more dangerous than Managua but it actually had a town centre.  It was nice to stroll around an old centre that contained a market.  Managua is quite spread out, and you need to take a taxi everywhere.
  • I went up to a village outside of Tegucigalpa called Cantarranas.  It was the village of our friend Rosmel.  They were having the last day of Carnival, and it was a great time.  Many people drinking, eating and dancing in the streets.  It was great to be in a smaller village after being in Tegucigalpa.
  • The highlight of the Carnival were the fireworks.  At one point, a guy dressed in a fireworks suit was lit up and ran through the crowd shooting fireworks at everyone.  It seemed to be a big hit, but the 3 foreigners ran for their lives.  Apparently it is a fun tradition.

Carnival in Cantarranas, Honduras

  • 3 buses, and 11 hours to get from Tegucigalpa to Copan Ruinas to visit Ellen Finn, who is running her own organisation that builds schools, promotes education, and helps the community.  Amazing person.  I will post a blog on this in a few days
  • Honduras is signifcantly colder than Managua.  I like the temperature difference, as it is quite comfortable to sleep at night.  It helps that I am in the mountains
  • I am loving the constant supply of water, and hot water showers.  It is a big difference from life in Managua.  This is what you get when you stay in hostels and hotels.  Very comfortable holiday indeed.

I will be heading up to Guatemala City for Christmas tomorrow afternoon and will be meeting some friends.  The tentative plan is to head over to Antigua next for a few days after Xmas, and then somehow head back to Nicaragua for the weekend.  I would love to head back on through the Carribean coast, but we will see how the timing works, as transport can be tricky during the holidays.

Categories: Nicaragua

The guide to Managua Taxis and Flash Kidnappings (avoidance)…

December 17, 2010 5 comments
The typical taxi in Managua

Even before I left for Nicaragua, I had heard stories about the taxis in Managua.  Taxis outside of the capital, in Nicaragua are generally safe, and I have not heard many stories of any issues.  Taxi cabs in Managua have a horrible reputation for robberies and kidnappings.  Although nothing has happened to me as of yet, I have received many pieces of advice on how to proceed with taxi cabs in Managua.  I have passed on many pieces of advice to other travellers as well.

The dangers lie in being picked up by a taxi, and others jumping in and being kidnapped.  The driver is usually in on the action.  The robbers basically get your bank card, or credit card, and drive you around to different ATMs (ABM in Canadian speak) and empty our your account until you have hit your daily limit.  They then dump you off in an area of town far away from where you were picked up.  I have even heard of the robbers giving you enough for the taxi fare back to your point of departure.  Very friendly robbers here.
Note that within any big city, there are dangers.  I believe that if you are informed, you can at least minimize the chances that something will happen to you.  Here are bits of advice to avoid robbery or flash kidnappings in Managua that I have collected from Read more…
%d bloggers like this: