oncidiumfan's blog

Areas of the US that are developing and poorer than other parts of the US

http://www.policymic.com/articles/85537/if-the-u-s-were-graded-using-the... Comparisons are relative to US wealthier and poorer counties, not absolute in comparison with Africa.

When people talk about Nicaragua or the US as thought either was just one thing, I think about different maps and statistics I've seen for various areas of the US and observations while traveling in Nicaragua (now to Managua and Matagalpa many times, Esteli once, and trips to Ometepe and some of the north countryside here.

Found out more from Sebastian about why I ended up with the fish so fast

Pretty much what I had suspected -- the Tanganyikan cichlids had been beating them up. Fins are healing nicely. I gave Sebastian the fish that had lost an eye and we didn't discuss what he did with the guy, but the fish got to eat a bunch of guppies and spend the night in a heated tank before Sebastian took him away (I assume to feed his snapping turtle.

Stuff getting better: Fish, Cameras, and Nicaragua

The two guests were leaving the Sollentuna Hem when I was out before breakfast walking Lola were Nicaraguans, guy with a big Canon with the battery grip over his shoulder, FSLN flag in the car along with what looked like a wife/woman from a class above his.

Lake Nicaragua/Lago Colcibolca fish website

http://badmanstropicalfish.com/cichlid_of_month/Lake_Nicaragua.html

This is a country for really big fish tanks -- and some fish really don't make good aquarium fish -- dovii and managuense seem to be solitary except during breeding season. Current tank will be thinned to probably eight fish even though the convict variations tend to be smaller fish as cichlids go.

Apparently most Nicaraguan aquarists don't keep Nicaraguan fish

Couple of reasons: it's legal to catch national fish from what two different sources have told me, and to keep them (unless they're endangered or living in a protected area), but it's not legal to sell them (honored in the breach often enough, but probably why I have ten free convict cichlids).

At the Post Office today

I had a package and B&H had done its usual business of having one weight on the invoice and another weight when Correos weighed the package. First, was I bringing in this stuff to resell. We had a couple of permutations of that question and I explained that no, these were adaptadores for two different camera systems, and that when I bought stuff, I tended to add a towel for cleaning lenses and a SD card. So, instead of a bill for this order, I simply have to check to make sure everything is there and sign off on a couple of forms.

One of my sisters was at a resort in Grand Exuma

I realized I didn't get this sort of vacation at all, but that most North Americans don't get my idea of fun either (a week on a bicycle exploring parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey). The photos she's posting to Facebook are of a place with drinks delivered to the pool and palm trees, white sand, and blue and blue-green water.

Opened a bank account here today

Talked to all of three between yesterday and today and went in with my Spanish teacher and opened one since the interest on accounts seems to be about the same. This is more to have an account that I can use for emergencies and that will cover cremation costs than an account I planned to actively use, but I may use it for local purchases.

Found this -- don't know if it's been posted before

http://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/06MANAGUA270_a.html

This was written in February 2006 following a road trip to Jinotega. On a day to day basis, change isn't dramatically fast, but since the date here, the Matagalpa bypass (the Guayacan) has been finished and was in place when I came to visit Jinotega in May 2010. A bit later that year, I went to Matagalpa with friends and there was only one unpaved section of the over the mountain road. In May 2010, much of the road to Esteli though San Raphael del Norte and La Concordia wasn't paved, and that's now paved.

I joined the Facebook Nicaraguan Aquarium group

One of my interests has always been fish keeping and breeding even though I'm down to guppies at the moment. I think the first two or three or so years of being here are about the exoticism of the place, then either people find people who share their interests in this new language or the exoticism fades and nothing else replaces it.

Various Early August.

US AID has printed some very nice brochures -- two in English about guiding services in Somoto and Jinotega, and two city and outlying area maps for Esteli and Jinotega, available at the Solentuna Hem Hotel and probably various other locations around Matagalpa, Jinotega, and Esteli. The maps are in Spanish only, but the Esteli one has bus schedules that are pretty straightforward even without Spanish. There hasn't been a good map for the two regions before according to a friend who tried to get to all the locations mentioned in various guidebooks.

Tres años

I've now been in Nicaragua for three years, minus a few weeks when I went back to the US on visits. It's the land of far gentler cops than US average, except when the protestors tried to take over the airport which was resolved very fast and not on video, apparently. It's also an alcoholic motorcycle mechanic who does cocaine when someone brings some to town and he can grab something to steal and fence or talk people out of money. It's the Tortilla Girls giggling and wondering what I have in my house and asking what the dog's name is. It's getting into a cab full of sentimental music.

New Neighbor

Been going through one of the cruds that happens in the tropics more than I remember them happening in the temperate zones -- and a woman who was looking at a $400 a month Gringo trap special until she saw what I'm getting for $150 (one less bedroom than she wants and no patio) helped me deal with the local lab. No parasites, just one of those things.

Captivity Narratives

One piece in the New York Review of Books recently was about THE SEARCHERS and the real life captivity story it was based on. Made me think about the fantasy that some other culture will be transformed in something less than a couple generations. Cynthia Ann Parker, John Richard Parker and others were kidnapped by the Commanches and reclaimed (in CAP's case, recaptured) and turned out to be so socialized into the Commache way of life that neither could return to white culture. One other captive, James Pratt Plummer, did readapt to white society.

Stuff you really need to live in Jinotega

A ladder. The guys who work on your house will arrive by bicycle. A second ladder, step stool, sawhorse is also useful.

A sense of humor. Stuff will happen. Being able to laugh helps.

A first world vacuum cleaner if you don't like daily wet mopping.

A pair of Dockers for the slip resistant soles. Ceramic tile is slippery when wet, and it's not just in your house. There are other shoes that work, but I know Dockers have good soles for the conditions here.

As much Spanish as possible.

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