OMG: Obama shakes hands with Raul Castro

The press coverage of this historic event is both amusing and depressing. It has been turned into serious news by many press outlets and political caca by the typical Cuban-Gringo politicians.

The base article seems to be from AP with this one being at least close to the full story. You then see, for example, FOX emphasizing the horror expressed by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and ignoring the point that Castro one just one head fo state in a line.

Israel says Iran has ‘terror bases’ in Nicaragua, other Latin American countries

And the rest of the world only uses thoirs for pencil ushers?

Blog de Néstor Avendaño - Economist

Tuck this one away in your file of sources of information.

The number crunchers should like it. (and it Google translates well)

Interesting Story on the "Tumbadores"

From tumbar...knock over, knock down, knock off, bowl over, overthrow etc.


Another of the routes for Colombian cocaine is through Nicaragua, where the situation has been deteriorating.

In September 2008, a tumbe led to the episode that local security analysts identify as the moment Nicaragua woke up to the fact that drug war violence could take root in the country.

Baby Shower

T'was Saturday night, the mini-super fiesta. The invitations (colored fotocopies on nice paper, stuffed in baby blue envelopes) said it'd start at 6PM. A little after 7 the first few came in - that's just being courteous in Nicaragua, not to arrive before at least an hour after the stated start time. Twenty tables (solidly made fold-ups) + 80 chairs (white plastic generics) were rented for the event. The crew set all up that afternoon, with fitted white, embroidered tablecloths + blue overcloths. Each double-table had a baby-happy-floral centerpiece made by a friend in Telica.

Major Cities in Nicaragua by Population (2013)

This is a list of the largest cities in Nicaragua by population in 2013. Nicaragua has 0 cities with a population over 1 million, 6 cities between 100 thousand and 1 million, and 40 cities between 10 thousand and 100 thousand.

Making a Legal Connection

After December 16, all persons who are using an illegal electricity connection and have not submitted a formal application to the TSK-Melfosur International distributor, could go to prison.

The chairman of the Committee on Infrastructure, Jenny Martinez, said to give an extension to the illegal customers would require an amendment to the law "Six months was a fairly reasonable time for people to catch up".

December 16 will mark the 180 days granted to almost 200 thousand illegal connections.

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.

La Purísima "¿Quien causa tanta alegría?"..."¡La Concepción de María!".

The Spanish imposed Catholicism (perpetuated over the years) has produced some of the most popular and deeply religious celebrations that have also managed to maintain a regional flavor.

La Purísima is one of the most important of these festivals and is celebrated with fervor and enthusiasm. December 8th marks the celebration of the Immaculate Conception and honors the Virgin Mary. It is celebrated with deep conviction in all of the towns and villages of Nicaragua.

It’s Aguinaldo time..

The 13th month or décimo tercer mes in Spanish, which is a one month Christmas bonus required by law to be paid to every employee. The amount must be pro-rated if the employee has not completed a full year (see Article 93 of the Labor Code). The amount must be paid by the employer during the first ten days of December. The law also specifies that the penalty for a late payment is one day’s salary for each day the Aguinaldo is late.

another baby's coming

In only 3 days time we'll have a big baby shower here. My wife's younger sister is due to give birth to a boy baby 5 Dec; it was set for 20 Dec, but at her last examination, the doctor upped the date. Some 54 invitations went out, but three times that number of people are expected. This last week she & the girls made party favors, blue baby 'booties' with cray paper and ribbon and plastic faux-safety pins, terminal cutesy stuff, each with his name-to-be Ethan Emanuel M.L. carefully lettered on ribbon.

Departure Tax CR

The $5 tax every person must pay when leaving Costa Rica by road will be collected at Bancrédito branches starting Dec. 2.

Payments also can be made at all Immigration Administration facilities, Coopealianza branches, travel agencies and bus companies that provide transportation to Nicaragua, Panama and other Central American destinations.

In addition, Bancrédito will install ATMs at the border crossings of Paso Canoas, Sixaola and Sabalito abutting Panama and Peñas Blancas on the Nicaragua border.

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

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.

Gringos In Jinotega

Since I am going to be spending my winter in and around Jinotega I was wondering if anyone knew of any expat gatherings or waterholes where I could causally meet some expats.

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