Christmas Holiday in Nicaragua

This is the first year that I haven’t traveled back to California for the many December birthdays and the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.  Since this is my home now and all of my children came to Nicaragua this summer, I felt like I needed to stay here and share the festivities with my friends and families in Nicaragua.  Like in the US, the Christmas decorations began appearing in the stores in October even before the Day of the Dead decorations were presented for sale.  Marketing is endemic.

We are currently enjoying cool days, nights, and rain which is late for this season.  Although we have had good rain, we are still not up to the past ten year average.  It looks like mud for Christmas around Rancho Santana with slippery roads even with 4WD.  The tires fill with mud and tend to slide unless going very slow.  Driving in mud is one of the pleasures of rural living. (I’ll take mud over snow any day.)   I keep a pair of outside sandals at the door.  Think next year I’ll invest in a pair of garden/mud boots.

The past two months brought lots of work to me.  Dr. Raman Basha came to the Tola area for his fourth Basha Health Clinic which we held at Carmen’s Spa in Limón #2 for ten days.  Basha brought with him an assistant, Rebecca Gitana Torres, from NYC. We worked a lot everyday in the morning.  Dr. Basha did acupuncture and after dark we did Thermography–total body scanning.  We did have some beer breaks in between.  All in all the Clinics were very successful.  The local folks who came were treated gratis.  Surprisingly we even had a group of people who came all the way from Rivas to be treated. Rivas is one hour away; one family came two days in a row.  As a result of the success, Dr. Basha and I decided that he would return to the Limón #2 area every 90 days in 2017.  It makes sense for us to have the Clinics here in our area, although we had previously thought Dr. Basha would have the next Clinic in the Laguna de Apoyo area.

While Dr. Basha was here, I had the condo rented for a week so we all had to move out.  Dr. Basha and Rebecca stayed at a great hotel in Guasacate–Hotel Popoyo and El Toro restaurant, while I moved up to Rancho Santana friends Abby & Felipe’s house.  Lots of excitement during this week away as well.  One day I received a call while we were working at Carmen Spa that there was a tsunami alert that was FOR REAL.  Since Basha and Rebecca’s domicile was very near the beach and on flat land, Rebecca was anxious to get over to Guasacate and collect their things.  We had a flurry of activity for about an hour, retrieved their precious things and headed up to a higher ground restaurant in Las Salinas.  Many of the local folks in Guasacate were enroute up my house on the hill above El Toro.  After one hour, the alert was called off, the waves never got above three feet.  At the same time on the Caribbean Coast Hurricane Michael hit Bluefields and Corn Island.  Rivas was on alert for hurricane damage as well but it turned south before it hit land and calmed down.  We didn’t even get much rain out of all the commotion at that time.

In early November I was a guest at the wedding of one of my friend’s son.  I rented my condo to the family at a very reduced rate so moved out during that time too.  The wedding was small 35 guests but beautiful and so much fun for three days.  Dinners at La Taqueria here at Los Perros beach and the wedding and dinner at La Boqueta at the Rosada beach.  It was fun to see some of the NY ladies walking in the wet sand–yes, it rained that morning–in their stiletto heels.  Needless to say, I have a pair of sandals that are sort of fancy and work for me on sand.  (Dress Up for me is putting on earrings.)   The group of young folks who were part of the wedding party and their friends were such a delight to get to know.  It was very obvious that everyone cared a great deal about each other and their relationships with the wedding couple.  There was the choreographed wedding party dance and the groom throwing the bride’s garter over his shoulder into the pool where the guys all ended up in their wedding suits–minus their jackets.  Father of the groom knew the score, came with his swimsuit on under his clothes and stripped to the swimsuit at the appropriate time of the dunking.  I can’t remember when I ever enjoyed a wedding that was so much fun for three days.  Maybe the fun part is that of being a guest and watching it all happen rather than being a participant in the event.

Last week I had a first time experiencing sunset from my Guasacate house that is under construction.  All I can say is WOW.  Now more than ever I can’t wait to get that house finished and move up there.  It was one of those clear and cloudy days.  You could see Costa Rica during the day from the property and at sundown, the clouds were scattered and like sheep puffs that reflected the colors of the setting sun on the sky and ocean, a spectacular sight.

Almost everyday in December I have a birthday person in the US to call and sing to on their special day.  It certainly is a lot cheaper to make a Magic Jack phone call then to pay for a plane ticket to the US.  I will be going back in May and June  2017 for three of my grand daughter’s graduations–Esther from college, Robyn and Jessica from high school.  It is hard to believe that my grandchildren are getting to be adults already.  Yikes!  As for birthdays, I like my mother’s quote, “It is only a number on a piece of paper.”

Time to sign off here, look for some candles to put in the menorah on the table, and dig out the Christmas table runner.  Yes, I still maintain some favorite traditions for myself.  Not sure what the tenants who are here for Christmas week will think of their schizophrenic host’s decorations.  Home is always where my heart is.  I invite friends and family to come visit in 2017 especially after June.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Joyful Peaceful Holidays.