More Nicaragua Stories

It’s strange how I had to go all the way from Kelowna to San Juan del Sur to find a copy of the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.  I had never heard of him, but picked the book up from the coffee table and began to read it as I liked the topic.  He writes about the importance of remaining in the present moment, and I must say with practice I’m able to do it for longer and longer periods of time.  Try it, and you’ll see how difficult it is.

One small disappointment about San Juan del Sur was the lack of shopping opportunities.  I managed to buy two lovely pieces of pottery and a bit of cheap jewellery, but would’ve bought so much more.  People with whom I spoke said Nicaragua reminded them of what Costa Rica was like 15 years ago.  In other words, tourism is a very new concept, but all of that is going to change.

The minimum wage in Nicaragua is $35.00 per week.  The people live in open, tin-roofed shacks, with dirt floors.  However, in the town of San Juan, you can already see the odd house looking very decent.  I took a photo of one pained a beautiful pastel pink, and festooned with decorative iron work.  In a few years the $25.00 per week hotels that dot the beach will be gone, replaced by Marriott’s and Hilton’s.

At the resort we slept upstairs in the loft of mom and Gerry’s rented villa.  The ceiling is lined with bamboo, and a fan whirls 24/7.  Luke called it The Flintstone House because they build everything with stone there.  We saw two people slip and fall right down at the lower restaurant due to the slipperiness of the stairs.  It makes you walk gingerly in the middle of the night.

I had taken a suitcase full of school supplies, as the resort raises money for a foundation.  One morning we were driven out to a pre-school where we handed over the stuff.  I said that I thought this would do them for a year, to which the instructor said it would last them for three years!  We are so wasteful.

The foundation also pays for a vet and a clinic which helps both wild and domestic animals.  As a result, there are several spayed cats which live at the resort.  Gerry hates cats because he’s allergic to them, so whenever one came near he would throw water on it!  One evening at dinner, when one of the cats came close to the table, he took the ice out of his glass with his fork and threw it onto the cat, which bolted.

I said, “That is the most reprehensible behaviour I have ever seen toward a cat!” to which Gerry replied, “And imagine what the cat is saying.”  He is so funny.  Imagine Woody Allan’s dad, and that’s Gerry.

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