Nica Nuggets 11/25/13

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11/25/13

Good Morning Nicaragua!

This is a community newsletter for the English-speaking population that resides here. Our readers consist of expats, locals, Nicas returning to Nicaragua, people working here in businesses, government workers and people just trying to learn English. I like to think the Nica Nuggets brings value to the readers by providing meaninful information about life here. I am conservative about some things, liberal about others but pretty much middle of the road. I will give my opinions and thoughts on things but as much for entertainment than a profound thought process. Hopefully you will not always agree with me which is the essence of discussion and thought.

This newsletter is a platform for anyone to write an article on some aspect of living here, thinking of moving here or even why you are leaving here. Please take advantage of it. Nicaragua is not for everyone, thank goodness. Speaking as an expat, there is something about Nicaragua that attracts and holds many of us for reasons that are hard to articulate and difficult to define. Yes, there are days I could just scream about something that seems so illogical but then I remember I am a guest in this land of colonial cities, gentle people, endless beaches and active volcanoes. The low cost of living was one of the prime reasons for coming here but not as a serious motivation for staying here. Amy and I are more alive here than anywhere else we have lived.

Someone once said that after six months of living here, they fell completely in love with the country but six months later they hated it but later fell in love with Nicaragua again. An apt description since this is a country of contrasts. Where else do you see a Mercedes Benz pass an ox cart on a major highway? Nicaragua is a poor country yet rich in resources. Where else have you seen so many people doing things to help the community?

OK, enough about things you probably already know. Here is another bag of Nica Nuggets!

Corazon Contento

The聽Corazon Contento (HAPPY HEART) is a center in Granada, Nicaragua serving people with special needs.聽Corazon Contento integrates the services of early intervention聽(infants-preschool aged) and occupational workshops among other programs.We seek to help individuals with special needs in Granada to realize their maximum potential and to integrate them into the community. This video link shows some of the activities at Corazon Contento.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=982e95sbmDQ

Everyone is invited to the inauguration of their new building on Friday, December 13 at 1:30 PM. They are located at the corner of Atravesada and Inmaculada across from Sandino Park. Come and show your support.

Bill Ashman

Affordable Care Act

Some people like the new ACA and some hate it. Regardless, the article link below explains how it affects expats.

http://www.ticotimes.net/Weekend/Weekend-Columns/What-US-expats-need-to-know-about-Obamacare_Saturday-November-23-2013

A Question to the Readers

OLPC or one laptop per child was very popular years ago. We are starting a program on the Pacific Coast that could use those kinds of computers. Is there a NGO that will help us provide OLPCs to the children here?

We would appreciate any assistance.

Jack

People/Animals in Nica Land

People/Animals in Nica Land

People:Did you ever get a huge chuckle out of some of the t-shirts worn by the Nicas here in Granada? Sometimes I wonder if they can read what’s printed on them. Most of the shirts originate in the US and were probably given or …

Read the whole article.

Two
Great Jobs Available in Granada

Two Great Jobs Available in Granada

Executive Assistant

Opportunity International Nicaragua links the most promising community economic development strategies with microcredit strategies to accelerate and elevate the poor out of poverty.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Schedule executive meetings, weekly schedule and travel plans
  • Assisting director in all possible works: meetings, preparing documents, presentations, etc. both in and …

Read both job descriptions.

In-Home Fitness Training

Now available in Granada

Don鈥檛 like going to the gym, why not have the gym come to you?聽Look and feel better through a regular exercise program tailored to your needs and done in the comfort of your own home, working with a professionally certified fitness trainer.聽The benefits of exercise are many and include:路

  • Controlling weight;路
  • Slowing the aging process, e.g. loss of bone and muscle mass;路
  • Improving overall health, e.g. lowering blood pressure and aiding sleep;路
  • Reducing the chances of injury;路
  • Increasing physical and mental agility; and路
  • Improving appearance.

    Why deny yourself the benefits of exercise just because you don鈥檛 like going to the gym?聽聽With In-Home Fitness there are no gym membership fees to pay and all the necessary equipment is provided.聽聽Reasonable rates. Discounts available for multiple weekly sessions.For more information contact: Joel Stronberg at joelstronberg@yahoo.com

    DB – After seeing this before and after shot, I immediately signed up my wife. At my age, I thought even the “before” looked pretty good. It might just be her聽glasses that make the “after” look so much better.聽

Government to Improve Teacher Education

It was announced last week that the government was set to begin a program to improve the training of primary and secondary teachers around the country. During the next school year, from February to December, 4,000 secondary teachers will participate in university classes in order to obtain their degrees. Meanwhile, over 6,000 other high school teachers will study in continuing education programs on-line or on television. And 10,500 teachers of first through third grade will be trained in new techniques for teaching reading, writing and mathematics. More than 1,000 teachers will be trained to teach English and finally 3,846 principals and vice-principals will receive training. Murillo said, 鈥淎ll of this training program will be financed out of the regular government budget and it will include money for transportation and food for the teachers who will be taking the courses.鈥

Murillo also announced the installation of 300 computer labs in the nation鈥檚 public high schools. She said that programs will be instituted for 50,000 adolescents and young people to take agricultural courses at 1,000 rural primary schools and that 2,500 rural young people will be able to study technical courses at 14 high schools next year. She said that school texts and programs are being changed to promote pride in farming and a love of the earth.聽(Radio La Primerisima, Nov. 12 and the Nicaragua Network)

DB – This is very good news. I believe I read recently that legally, school teachers were only required to have a primary (grade) school education. There is a need for more teachers with good training. We are seeing many more public schools now teaching some English.

Another Source for News

Especially Granada

While the news is a bit biased, La Verdad does have a lot of local Granada news. It is in Spanish but just Google translate it.

http://www.laverdadnica.com

Why I Travel

Why I Travel

Not knowing exactly why I was doing this, I only knew that it was part of a pattern鈥攏ot completely controlled by myself鈥攐f searching. Exactly one week after my parents arrived back in the states from a four-day trip to my father鈥檚 homeland, I was packed on a plane hurtling through the air towards that unknown half of my heritage: Nicaragua. …

Read online.

School, Church, NGO Property For Sale

I viewed this property recently and it is a great property for a school, church or NGO usage. It is located near the lake on the North side of Granada.

3/4 of a manzana of flat land with fruit trees. Plenty of room for sports programs. There are three large classrooms that appear to be solidly built and a large meeting room or auditorium with a raised stage. There are three bathrooms and various other small structures. The improvements alone are worth more than the $35,000 asking price. Possible terms available.

Contact聽Marcus Pearson聽cosechanic@gmail.com

Granada Farmer’s Market Update

I (Disfruta Granada) have been asked by the growing Farmer’s Market community to spread the word to everyone and let you know that there is indeed a Farmer’s Market each Sunday. It switches each week between two locations, Cafe de Los Suenos on La Calzada and Tiangue Verde on Calle La Libertad. The hope is to involve different sides of the city and have a greater demographic of people passing by.

This week it will be at Cafe de Los Suenos, on Sunday the 24th. It starts at 9AM and finishes at Noon. It is now the 8th or so Farmer’s Market that has been put on since the revival. They are currently looking for more producers with a big focus on building up the local Nicaraguan presence. This next week there will be a new cooperative from Mombacho joining the ranks with organic foods and traditional sombreros. There is artesanal Breads, jams, peanut butter, Coconut Oil, beautiful paintings from cafe tint, jewelery, homemade clothing, organic vegetables, homemade soaps, organic coffee beans and a lot more to come!

In the spanish speaking community it is known as La Feria de Los Productores, and currently that is the name Tiangue Verde is putting more energy on, while the Farmer’s Market is still always mentioned, it is hoped to slowly be evolved into a culturally vibrant event. The projection is to eventually create a space where producers can come and meet, share recipes and experiences, make contacts, relax, and maybe eventually sell something. The real idea here isn’t to focus on selling, almost all of the producers already have their own shop space, but to have a bridge between the producers and their consumers, to shed a little more light on the process and create an opportunity to learn and share.

There is often live music from local musicians, spreading the Nicaraguan lore. Open guitars to join in, if you wish… Free coffee and Tea to sip while talking. And a whole range of products to learn about. For those who are wanting to help create a space like this, we would hope that you come by, and keep coming by. Even though we have support and commitments from outside organizations to help this event grow into a real cultural battery, it can’t grow alone. So come by and enjoy, even if its for 5 minutes, be a part of this growing movement, you’ll be thankful you did, this time next year.聽And for those who wish there was a Farmer’s Market but only find motivation to go once a month..

DB – Well, this is certainly good news. Not sure I agree there needs to be two locations in such a small town but whatever gets it going is great news. Please, everyone, visit the Farmer’s Market as often as possible.

Kits, Cats, Sacks and Wives

How Many Were on their Way to St. Ives?

Rescued, a mama cat and 2 kittens.聽 Mama is about 8 mos. old and her 2 boys are each 2 mos. old. They are spayed/neutered and ready to go.聽 They are all quite tame, and are a lovely charcoal grey.

On my way back from taking the above family to the clinic for their operations, I stopped a young boy from tossing a bag with a kitten in it off the bridge.聽 I took that kitten in to the clinic, too, and he has been neutered.聽 He’s about 3 mos old, grey tabby, sweet natured.

They say no good deed goes unpunished, and I have no space for these animals and no options for keeping them elsewhere until they’re placed.聽Perhaps you or someone you know would consider adopting a kitten (Mama is really a kitten, too.)

Please help.聽 Lucy Bartlett 8 649 2404

DB – I was not sent a photo of the kittens so added one of my own. These are professional model kittens in the photo. They would not look nearly as cute without makeup, special lighting and lessons on looking defenseless.

New Transit Laws

The proposed laws will increase fines by an average of 60%.聽 Highlighted are the following:

Driving while intoxicated

Alcohol on your breath will get fined 400 c贸rdobas ($16). Breathalyzer results of 聽.5 鈥 1 will be detained for 12 hours and fined 4,000 c贸rdobas ($160), but registering over 2.0 will face possible jail sentences of six months to two years and fines up to 5,000 c贸rdobas ($200).

Motorcycles will be limited to two people, and no children under the age of 8 are allowed as passengers.

Reckless driving will carry fines of 4,000 c贸rdobas ($160) for racing and illegal passing at traffic intersections.

Speeding and hit-and-run accidents will carry a fine of 2,500 c贸rdobas ($100

Crossing solid lines will be fined 500 c贸rdobas ($20).

Read the whole article at:

http://www.nicaraguadispatch.com/news/2013/11/transit-law-to-increase-fines/8374

DB – Well, we need some of these especially to control the taxis and buses. The national speed limit is 80 kph (48 mph) which means almost everyone is speeding but would love to see the buses slow down. Sorry to see the motorcycles limited to two people since so many families depend on that mode of transportation. It is rare to see more than two people on a motorcycle outside the city on the highways. Crossing solid lines is a problem for everyone since there seems no logic on where there are solid lines. No mention of the most commonly enforced infraction – driving without seatbelts.

Lack of Sanitation Facilities

Interesting article on lack of sanitation facilities in Nicaragua by departmento and its effect on things such as tourism, health, etc. Facilities are much better in Granada, Managua and San Juan del Sur yet there are no public bathrooms available putting the pressure on local bars and restaurants.

Not sure why, but the favorite place to do your 聽uh… business in Granada is the back of the San Francisco church.

http://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/home/Lack_of_Sanitation_Delaying_Development

The Coci-Nica
鈥 A Better Christmas 鈥淐anasta鈥

The Coci-Nica 鈥 A Better Christmas 鈥淐anasta鈥

Most people in Nicaragua cook over wood fires, especially poor people. More often than not, their stoves are of the simple, open 鈥渢hree rock鈥 style. You’ve probably seen a Nicaraguan woman cooking in a hot, semi-enclosed, suffocating space. She and her family are breathing lung and eye-damaging smoke while being exposed to frequent accidental burns. The …

Read the whole article.

Nicaragua Golf

Some of us would like to play golf once in a while. We were thinking of getting a van or vehicle the first Tuesday of each month and go play Iguana or Gran Pacifica. Let me know if you are interested. BTW the rumor has it that Guacalito will offer public golf at about $50 soon..

Granada Baseball Schedule

Several people have asked about the Granada baseball schedule. See the calendar link below.

http://vidagranada.com/calendar.html

Apoyo Resort & Spa

Apoyo Resort & Spa

Eco Nature 鈥淎poyo Resort & Spa鈥 is located in the heart of one of the most beautiful Tropical Dry Forest Reserves in the region, in the middle of the 鈥楢poyo Laguna Nature Reserve鈥. Only 10 minutes from Granada and Masaya with 130 rooms making this an excellent location to be near the two most beautiful cities …

Read the whole announcement.

Young Woman Assaulted

As many of you know, I try not to report much bad news or politics in this newsletter. Unfortunately, I must report a heinous crime that was committed this past Friday in Granada. A young woman was raped then seriously beaten very early on Friday morning by two men.

We were just getting to know this person. She had started a school to help people to learn English. Her business model would not only allow people to attend the classes at reasonable prices but also provide scholarships for the less fortunate. Several of us were working with her to help achieve her dreams and goals.

My understanding is that she did not have Internet at home so decided to go to her school to get some work completed. Between 3:00 and 4:00 AM two men accosted her on the way to her school. She was beaten very badly.

There are crimes that are caused by extenuating circumstances or by a person’s predicament. This is not one of them. It is difficult to imagine what could have possibly been going through the minds of these two men as they began an act of such depravity. A police report was filed and the police are doing everything they can but there is little to go on.

Our sympathies to a wonderful young woman and to her family who have come to comfort her. While I am not a religious person, I do hope there is a special place in Hell for these two men. Be careful out there!

Note – While writing this I received a call from the police that they had captured the two guys and that there was a third they would be getting. Please consider that the police worked day and night to catch these animals.聽

Our thanks to La Policia of Granada!

Golf at Milagro at Gran Pacifica

Multiplay Package – play for less than $2 a hole!

SPECIAL GOLF PACKAGE!聽Did you know we that we offer a multiplay package?You can enjoy 5 rounds of 18 holes or 10 rounds of 9 holesfor only $150 + IVA
We’d love to tell you more about Milagro del Mar and Nicaragua!

NORTH AMERICA聽+1 770-249-2945

NICARAGUA聽+505 8836-0070

EMAIL聽joanne@milagrodelmar.com

Ola Verde

Thanksgiving Dinner聽A lo Californiano

Recetas y sabores deliciosos, ingredientes frescos

Men煤

Pavo con relleno Californiano

Pur茅 Ola Verde de camote聽 (Indice glucemico bajo)

Ensalada聽 verde聽 de la huerta聽 con verduras org谩nicas

Salsa聽 cranberry

Pan integral 脫聽 Pan sin Gluten

Gravy

Vainita con cebolla morada y hierbas

Pumpkin Pie

Pie de lim贸n sin gluten

Precio U$ 17.25

Tambien puede hacer su pedido para llevar, antes del 26 Noviembre 2013

From Carretera Masaya 1st Entrance into Las Colinas, 100 m East
Tel: (505) 2276-2652 鈥 olaverde@ibw.com.ni

Managua, Nicaragua

Yoga Classes Start on November 27th. All classes are open to the community.

Submission of Articles

Shyness and being an expat do not go hand in hand. We need articles and all of you know something of interest. Write about the shock of coming to Nicaragua, what you like best about Granada, an interesting trip you took, your success in starting a business, financial tips, building tips, Nica music you like, etc. Come on! I鈥檓 not a great writer but I鈥檓 an interesting writer and so are you. Submit a rough article and we will clean it up for you.

Just send the article directly to me of at least 500 words. You may also send a photo in JPG format and smaller than 150,000 bytes. I will resize it if necessary.

Note 鈥 Due to the number of weird expats living here and some pessimists which should return to the country of their origin, we reserve the right to refuse articles or to edit them. Sorry, but some of you are just not happy about anything. We do accept constructive, intelligent opinion pieces.

Disclaimer

Statements and opinions expressed in articles, reviews and other materials herein are those of the authors, editors and publishers.

While every care has been taken in the compilation of this information and every attempt made to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Nicaragua Community will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through associated sites. Remarks of cynicism or sarcasm may be dispersed among the nuggets because that is just the way I am.

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