A “Too-Hard” November: Nica Nugget #109

November was just too hard, bracketed early on as it was by two Category 4 hurricanes which slammed into the same place on the northeastern shore of Nicaragua. As if seven months of the coronavirus weren’t enough. And coming right after a rainy month of October already. On November 3, the first hurricane, Eta, hit the northeast coast, miles away from us down here in the southwestern corner of Nicaragua as we are. But it still brought 8 days of torrential rain to us. And cold. In anticipation, fishermen had pulled their boats out of San Juan Bay. Workers had …

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Digging For Clams: Nica Nugget #107

I’ve been walking laps on the beach at low tide lately with my friend, Maureen, and one or both of “my” dogs. Well, technically I’ve been walking laps on the southern end of the beach since the rains of late have bisected the beach in unequal halves. Maureen lives in town, which sits on the southern and longer (by 1,000 ft or so) continuous stretch of beach that makes up San Juan Bay, than the northern side of the bay where I live. Separating the two sides of the bay and bisecting the beach, is the river. I could walk …

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Independence Day 2020: Nica Nugget #105

This year, Independence Day celebrations in San Juan del Sur didn’t include the grand parade I shared with you in 2018, but it did bring more local tourists to town and the beach than I’ve seen here in years. It rained and was overcast. But that kept the temperature down and made it especially comfortable to walk on the beach and people watch. I love seeing families enjoying themselves on the beach. It’s free. It’s fun. It’s foolish. It’s seldom, if ever, I’ve seen an angry or annoyed or sad person at the beach. Everyone’s smiling or staring out over …

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Robbed While Sleeping: Nica Nugget #104

Tonight will be the one-week anniversary of the night we were robbed while sleeping. The thief broke in through our locked guest room window. And then walked through our living room and into our bedroom. While we were sleeping. The thief picked up John’s metal tool kit which was on a shelf by John’s head, along with two overnight bags. The thief also removed two purses of mine off of a hook. And picked up the laptop from on top of a table right by me. While we were sleeping. At 2 am John woke up and noticed that our …

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Barking at Vibrant, Incessant Life: Nica Nugget #103

Our backyard. It extends for miles and miles really if you count how far we can walk through the jungle on dirt once we leave our front door. This particular day I walk up the canyon by our house. Ruffo is with me and off the leash. He was so happy to go on a walk after days of John and I being sick. Immediately though he took off, crashing through the undergrowth and out of sight. Soon I heard his barking and then the screaming back by monkeys who I hadn’t yet seen. One monkey must’ve been caught off …

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A Break in the Rain: Nica Nugget #101

While Hurricane Laura makes landfall in the United States, we’ve had our own unrelated tropical depression happening here in San Juan del Sur. Since last week, the skies have been overcast and rainy. The dirt roads have turned to mud and puddles. The air temperature has cooled. And my husband has come down with his annual cold, although now in August rather than in September like the past two years. I too was feeling headachy and congested over the weekend, so I too stayed indoors. But how frustrating and curious. We have been so incredibly cautious these past almost 6 …

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Two Years and 100 Nuggets: Nica Nugget #100

Today is my two-year anniversary of writing Nica Nuggets! And today I am writing Nica Nugget number 100! That’s 50 per year. Had I written four more, I would have averaged one per week over the past two years. As it is, I’ve found that I’m not that regular. There are times when I’m truly inspired, like during rainy season when the beauty here is overwhelming. The dry season, I’ve found, tends to dry my creative juices up too. My subject matter has also fluctuated. Now, during the pandemic, I’m restricting my contact with people, so I’m not meeting new …

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Art on the Beach: Nica Nugget #99

Have you seen these yet while walking on the beach along the bay of San Juan del Sur? I’m not going to tell you where they are, so that you can go looking and can have the joy of finding them yourself. Enjoy! And while you’re at it…see how many different species of birds you spot along the way. It’s time to look closer and deeper at this gorgeous world around us. San Juan del Sur, I love you.

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A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies: Nica Nugget #98

Yes that’s it’s official name: A kaleidoscope.Also: A swarm. A rabble. A flutter. For the past two weeks John and I have been walking into clouds of butterflies, all but hidden in the duff of the dirt or cobbled roads, only to be set aloft with our passage. They dance amongst the flowers. Some even clatter, as if with castanets, as they flutter in pairs past me in my hammock. John jokes that we should take some psychedelic drugs and just sit for hours and observe them. I laugh back that no external drugs are needed. They are their own …

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Three Months of Self-Quarantine: Nica Nugget #97

It is our three-month anniversary of self-quarantining. It began when Costa Rica announced that they were closing their border, because suddenly that made the Pandemic seem locally real (since the Nicaragua government was saying little and the Costa Rica border, which we often cross to access flights to the States and back, is just a 50-minute drive away). At first we worried about the possibility of there being disruptions to food, propane and purified water being brought into town. So we made sure our propane tanks were filled and bought two extra 5-gallon jugs and stocked our pantry shelves just …

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