Although my intentions have been somewhat wishy washy, as you can see by the start date of this blog, I am finally taking time from Candy Crush Saga to spend Easter Sunday getting back on track. Today, I set my alarm for 6:00 am so that I could exercise using my TRX before my Daily Meditation and then off to the beach to watch my friend Pope Noel paddle around in the ocean on his surfboard. Next on the morning agenda was Easter Brunch at my friend Carol Dorsett’s home in Rancho Santana. If you are wondering what I do all day long here, besides play computer games, the above may give you a clue. I am a busy lady.
This month has been a very successful one for me. I achieved total legality as a Nicaraguan resident. I have my NI driver’s license, with the appropriate insurance–just for the driver’s license–the current 2014 inspection and tags for my car. The best accomplishment I finally have my ForeRunner registered in my name. The license and the registration were with the help of a woman who guided the paperwork through all the departments at the police station (30 x 50 foot room) with me standing in the lines with her. When a gringo takes on the process by themselves, it becomes problematic dependent upon the disposition of the person on the other side of the desk and how they feel at that moment about gringos. So far I have been lucky as I am always pleasant, dressed like I am going to a special meeting, and thankful for the help that I receive. Other than the female coyote, I haven’t ever paid bribe money to get my documents.
It is sad to say that in Nicaragua the salaries of the doctors, nurses, teachers and police force are the lowest you can imagine with the police and teachers being at the lowest of the low. FYI a doctor makes about $800/month, a nurse $400/month. That is why the doctors and nurses who work for the Roberto Clemente Clinic stay on at the Clinic as their salaries paid by the non-profit Clinic are at least twice what the other professionals make.
Back to my car! In order to get the registration from the previous owner’s name to mine at the police department, like at the DMV in the US, you have to have a VIN number and here also the chassis number. Although I had those numbers on a document already, the police department requires their inspection and documentation–a process that is rather clever. First you find out where the numbers are on the chassis and the motor, then you clean the area with a cloth or something, rub the numbers with carbon paper, and finally place a piece of clear sealing tape over the numbers which are imprinted from the carbon to the tape. The tape is then adhered to the long document that was written and notarized by an attorney that states the car was actually bought and paid for and is able to be legally transferred. The young inspection policeman had about 20 or 30 motorcycles awaiting. We were at the police station at 8:00 am with all those others in line ahead of us. So including the two hour drive to and from Rivas, the registration took six hours.
The process for my driver’s license was an all day trip to Rivas with back and forth to Red Cross for blood test–type and cross match of blood type that is put on to your driver’s license–payment at the bank for the license (police department takes no money for anything) then back to the police department for Q&A and then finally photo. One good thing is that when everything is in the police department computer, they print your license with lamination right on the spot.
Many of my friends, who don’t live here permanently, bitch and moan about the police and the laws and the changeable interpretation of the laws. I find it rather fascinating that just because Nicaragua is a third world country people think there should be loosy goosy laws. I don’t mind standing in lines as long as there is a little breeze and I get to practice more Spanish. As I have stated many times the people are so friendly when you offer to speak, even rotten Spanish, you can have a very interesting conversation.
April is probably the hottest month of the year here and like the dry season in California, it is drier than you can imagine. I live on a main dirt road, so you can picture what the inside of my house looks like on a daily basis. Bringing down the Shark Navigator vacuum cleaner this January was the smartest thing I brought this year so far. My maid thinks it is the best too. For someone who is totally illiterate the maid learned how to use, clean, and take care of that machine in a week. I have almost all of my appliances, kitchen tools, water dispenser etc. covered with cloth covers that I made while in CA at Christmas. For the water dispenser with a 5 gallon bottle, the plastic bag that the vacuum came in works perfectly and keeps the grit off.
Yes, April is hot, dry, and has mucho polvo/dirt. It also happens to be one of the months for the best surfing waves here at our beaches. The road is now traveled by surfers who have no regard for the dirt they are kicking up by their speed as they are interested in hitting the waves ASAP. My family here–remember there are 30+ people who live in the compound–don’t have a vacuum or screens on their windows or ceiling fans and bemoan the fact that the motos and the cars race by creating dust that sometimes you can’t see through. Respiratory diseases are the most chronic conditions seen at the clinics. We are all praying that the rainy season comes soon.
This brings me to a new attitude adjustment. I am more serious than ever about getting my house built at Guasacate. Three or four times a week I drive over to the lot and stand in Ron and Ana’s house that is being built next to my lot. It is cooler up there and I can see and hear the ocean, watch the birds, the ocean fishing boats, and the clouds design characters then disappear overhead. The workers at the house, who have been making concrete for the floors, are no longer interested in what I am doing there. They continue to go about their work. After the earthquakes last week I looked carefully around the Guasacate structure to see if there were any cracks and I saw none. Ron says that he builds his homes like forts and I do believe this. Their house in Managua went through the big quakes without damage. Our development will never have to worry about tsunami either as we are up high and far enough from the ocean to be protected unless it hits the shore with a 100+ foot wave. Now I am praying that the right person will come along in West Sacramento and appreciate the ability to pick your own fruits and vegetables and have a disability friendly home with a therapeutic spa. I know the person/s will find my house and buy it soon so that I can build here.
In addition to Rivas trips I have been to Managua to Aproquen, the not for profit Burn Center, situated at the Vivian Pellas Hospital. I met with the Director, Dra. Ivette Icaza, a very sweet dedicated bright woman. I wanted to talk to her about using the wound care product that I have promoted in the US and use here for wounds. Dra. Icaza told me that she spent a week at each of the Shriner’s Burn Centers in Sacramento, Galveston, TX and Madison, WI. Aproquen is a remarkable facility. The organization has done wonders to educate the people about burns and how to treat them within the first 24 hours. Aproquen has an education program for medical professionals and another for very young school children. I am organizing both of these educational events out here in our rural area with the help of my nurse friends who work at the Roberto Clemente Clinic and the government saluds. I am hoping that we will be able to make this happen sometime in May. Since this past week was totally consumed here with Semana Santa, a really big vacation holiday, I will have to get very busy this coming week to set dates and find places to have the programs and house the trainers.
I am planning on coming to the US in early June for my grandson James Wilker’s high school graduation. There is no set date as yet although graduation is on June 12th, also my birthday, graduation most important.
The photos that I am including this month are: The view from Ron and Ana’s in the process house where I hang out.
The newest girls who are now three months old held by their cousins, Priscilla with baby Samantha, Lidieth with baby Melinda standing next to my house.
My traveling friends Barbara Wisley, Dixie Moore, Carol Dorsett had lunch at SOMA a restaurant owned by a couple from SFO.