Archive | September, 2010

Beer Geek Survival Guide: Nicaragua

I would like to share a little gem from two of my friends who spent six months here on the Caribbean coast back in 2009. Ken and Ali are genuine connoisseurs of everything beer. If you are at all curious about the selection offered in Nicaragua, take a look at what Ken says:


“Who dat man what carry dat sack a sticks an have three strings on him guitar? Dey call him Bitterwood!” He chicken steps as he belts out his tune, jerking his legs opposite his guitar in like a rock n roll parrot allowed to evolve on a secluded island. Bitterwood is originally from Tasbapauni but […]

Nicaraguan hurricane alerts explained

Yellow Alert!! This morning on the radio there was an explanation of the official Nicaraguan hurricane alert system. Why? Because deh starm is comin! Blue alert: “dat mean deh tret is very small” Green alert: “deh tret is small” Yellow alert: “best get prepared because deh starm is comin” Orange alert: “get prepared because der […]

Save the dogs

The aging US aircraft carrier Iwo Jima has been stationed off the coast of Bluefields for about two weeks. Stationed on board are teams of engineers, doctors, veterinarians, dentists and all the support crew required to enable them on their goodwill mission to do what they can during their short stay. A makeshift health clinic […]

The source of a woman’s power

It isn’t her angelic beauty or her twinkly-eyed charm. It isn’t the money in her bank account or the awesome rondon she makes on Sundays. It isn’t even her vagina. Nope, ask any coastal woman, creolla, mestiza or miskita, and she will tell you that the source of a woman’s power is her unshaven leg […]

Getting a boat from Corn Island (or lessons in dealing with Nica authority)

We had gotten the 6:30am boat from Little Corn to the big island to catch the 9am departure of the Rio Escondido directly to Bluefields. Tuesday and Wednesday had been national holidays so we had taken advantage of the long weekend to get away for a bit. Unfortunately for us, the Rio Escondido was on […]

Getting a boat to Corn Island (or lessons in dealing with locals)

“But everyone said the boat arrives between 3am – 3:30am and leaves afterward!” I said in Spanish, reminding the head of the Capitania what he had told me the previous afternoon. “Well,” he replied humbly, “it was early today.” We missed the boat to Corn Island. Actually, we missed two boats to Corn Island, the […]

Sea turtles

I remember thinking, “this pork has a lot of funny little bones.” When I asked which part it came from, the cook said, “flipper.” And that was my first experience eating sea turtle. I have only eaten it a handful of times and only in the communities where it is customary to eat what is […]

Nicaraguan concept of time

As you probably have noticed, people in Nicaragua tend to operate on a slightly different time schedule. The word “late” seems to be reserved for those who never arrive. Nowhere is this more evident  than on the coast. Blame the heat and humidity. Blame the lack of transport. However, much of the reason is cultural, which […]

Emelda’s story part 1

I could tell she was hesitant to tell me, but Emelda and I had become friends and I can be somewhat persistent when I feel like I am on the verge of something interesting. I had been asking about her previous jobs. She was a cook, before that a cleaner, before that she worked in […]