Friday, December 30, 2005

Jays - they're everywhere



Photo by David: Here's a white throated magpie jay. We also saw Nicaraguan grackles, plenty of turkey buzzards, green parrots, white egrets, green herons, one hawk, swallows and tropical kingbirds. See more birds of Nicaragua here

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Altagracia Adventure


Henrietta, Lee, Wes and I took the bus to Altagracia to buy parts to connect the new roaster to the old propane tank. H has very good spanish but no one knew what the part was called. The hardware store said they couldn't help us. We headed to the BOSIA office to find Dorrita to see if she knew what we needed. Miracle! there was a tank with the valve needed in the office. valvulos por tank de gas did the trick so we took D to lunch and she put us on the right bus back to Balgue. In Balque Telma found us a ride back to the Finca. The so-called road is astonishingly bad. At least this is the dry season because I can't imagine a worse ride. (Until a few days later on the way to Merida!)

Lee and Wes aka Les aka The Igors hang out at the tienda in Altagracia after lunch.

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El Proyecto Tostador: chapter 2

Milagro de milagros - todas las cosas para el tostador estan en Finca Magdalena.

We arrived at the finca Wed. afternoon and managed to get all the pieces here - the loading on to the ferry was quite exciting and dramatic. Locals said that the traffic on the ferry the last week or so, probably related to holidays has been a little crowded :). A magic moment was seeing the guys jumping off the ferry as we started to leave the dock at Rivas - they were in the midst of negotiating a few more Cordoba from Diane when the realized we were moving. They had to jump onto a boat next door in a real hurry in the last few seconds before they would have to go all the way to Ometepe. Needless to say the negotiation ended abruptly with Diane chuckling.

We had arranged for one of the island buses to do a "charter" directly from Moyogalpa ferry dock to Finca Magdalena - we took the new road, and grand it is, hand-layed pavers, up to the isthmus, where the road work ended and the old road picks up, which means about 5-10mph for the next hour or so - first-time-to-Ometepe folks in our group were quite impressed with the road and the pace.

Doña Carmen was at the porch when we arrived - she gave me the biggest, most welcoming hug I can imagine, and many socios were talking about el nuevo tostador. I am so happy and privileged to be here - has the feeling of coming home to the real world.

Yesterday, Thursday, Doña Carmen and I directed, i.e. sat on chairs on the porch and watched, the assembly of the grill.

(Erick had met us at the Managua airport with the big, heavy box - Diane had arranged back in Sept. for Erick to purchase the grill at the Managua Pricesmart. When we exited the baggage area at the airport, around 9pm Wed., Erick was just driving up in a jeep with the box in the back!)

The grill is together, but as predicted the gas fitting is screw-on and the tanks around here are push-on. So, today, the group took off for Altagracia (on the Concepción side of the island) to look for parts needed to adapt to the local tanks - Lee and Wes are in charge of this mission. Did I mention my gout attack - well it actually began last Thursday and I guess I basically ignored for the project-critical attention. Yesterday I rested, but the base of my left toe was pretty painful and quite swollen - got on the ibuprofen, lots of liquid, and today, Friday, the pain is starting to subside, swelling is still apparent.

As you, the reader, can tell this is a rambling journal - just trying to get the events in "history" down before the next event happens. So I am here at the finca, plugged in to the internet - the wireless down at the cocina is down, but being somewhat a member of the honored guests I get machine-room privileges, I also can go in the kitchen and the storeroom at will - which I consider very special.

We have photographically documented everything and will probably start getting photos up here in the next day or so. One more thing for now - yesterday, Yamileth and Everito, quién tiene tres meses, came to visit - the photos of me and Everito will appear here - a little overwhelming, and wonderful, my feeling of family here.

If the gas fittings mission is successful today we may be roasting this afternoon or tomorrow - very excited at the prospect. Will report.

Ahora es tiempo de almuerzo - oh, and if you know Spanish, please excuse my feeble attempts but I will try making stuff up, randomly, in these posts. The language immersion is all ready having its desired effect, like struggling with the Spanish to a visitor here who actually speaks English - my confusion is refreshing and cleansing, oh and comical <- David Mitchell says us gringos are better comedy entertainment for the Ometepinos than any sitcom on tv.

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