House now with photographs

House now with photographs

I had the framing done here by the same guys who printed the original photos (which have held out beautifully despite being taped to the walls of the other house without any protective glass in front. Total cost for three large photos and two smaller ones in gesso (painted plaster) frames was C$1300, around US $50. This photo shows four of the five. The fifth one is on the opposite wall from the three visible over the seating group. Gold and copper seems to work well with the avocado green.

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looking like home!

You give me inspiration as well as good advise. I plan to show up in Estelí in January with 2 suitcases and perhaps a few boxes.

Charles Slane

Check out Matagalpa, too.

Esteli had the wrong street feel for me -- and Matagalpa feels reasonable and has the "enough but not too many" expat to Nicaraguan ratio that I'd consider optimal. More of both tourists and expats than here, possibly fewer than Esteli.

Jinotega is about two hours and fifteen minutes from Managua by express bus. Matagalpa is a bit closer (hour and a half); Esteli is probably about the same. They're all around an hour and a half from each other by local bus. Nice range of places to check out. My own preference is to be off the Pan Am highway, and near some things that are open late with people living over the store/shop/hotel.

Huembres Market in Managua has some of the Masaya made furniture and it varies quite a lot. Most of the chain stores (Gallo mas Gallo, Curacao) deliver and have decent enough beds (leave the plastic on the box springs) and refrigerators, cooktops and the cabinets that are purpose built for cooktops with a place for the cylinder, a drawer for cooking utensils and a side cabinet with a shelf for pots and pans. That's cheaper than a full stove with oven. Many people buy a microwave or convection oven for baking things (I've been looking at convection ovens) since a gas oven will heat up the kitchen quite a lot (not always a problem in Jinotega, but both other cities are warmer). Cabinet has a tiled top and so I can drop matches on it to let them cool and can put hot pots on it without problems, but it's made of particle board otherwise and looks a bit shabby after almost three years. Cooktop and cabinet combination are easier to move, or you just buy a new cabinet elsewhere.

I brought cookware -- four pots -- one copper lined with stainless steel that I hardly ever use, two All-clad, one Staub enamel on cast iron. Good cookware is relatively hard to find. I also brought my knives, but those aren't as hard to find. Amazon resellers ship some things here (SmartWool socks, Aeropress with stainless steel filter) and other things not (I had a friend send me a brush bar for my floor cleaner). Dust and mud -- try the local solution first and use a string mop. If that makes you crazy, buy the best general vacuum with a HEPA filter you can and add a stick vac to the mix. The idea vac for here would be wet/dry -- there's an Oreck that PriceMart sells through its web site that looks like it would qualify. My Floormate 500, which I found used, has dry vac, floor cleaning, and wet vac. Or hire a housekeeper.

If you're in MedranoExpress's territory, they're good for slow shipping of things you don't need immediately. The price is by volume and they'll bring the box to your house and pick it up. Make sure everything in the box is on the shipping manifest and that you list serial numbers for all electronic gear.. Aduana has fussed with MedranoExpress about undeclared items and now undeclared items simply disappear from the box. Works but is very slow. Need to have a Nicaraguan style address on the box for delivery. I went back to the US after five months to settle business and pack the box. I suspect you could store the packed box with friends until you had a fixed address.

I can buy almost everything I need in Jinotega. Some stores will do special order and get things from Managua. If it's not in Managua, though, it's unobtainium here.

Rebecca Brown

on cook ware..

a couple of the good used usa clothing stores..sell a lot more things than clothes..have gotten some good cookware at them

Depends

I've gotten cast iron skillets, including a 8 inch Griswold, at USA Articulos and other used goods stores in town. There were some bigger Griswolds but a Nica-bred, US trained cook snapped them up before I could get them. Otherwise, I haven't seen anything as good as what I brought down. You may be luckier in Managua.

Rebecca Brown

Very

Nice!!

I gotta congratulate you!

You got a genuine economical deal on this house and furnishings.
Very nice even with the green paint.
Would be $300 or more per month in SJDS.

The furnishings are mine other than the built-ins

...in the kitchen. I think people here pay a slight premium over rentals in smaller towns; and SJDS seems to be about $50 to $100 a bedroom more.

Jinotega doesn't generally have fully furnished places to rent, rarely even has rentals with a stove and refrigerator. I bought a cooktop and cabinet for it a bed, and a refrigerator as soon as I moved into the other place, then had a table and chairs made.

Rebecca Brown

rebbeca...

looks real good..enjoy it