Feel Good – Help A Local Costa Rican Family in Need

Farmer’s Market Rincon de Uvita, Costa Ballena, Costa Rica open Saturdays 8am – 1pm

p10101882My productivity as a writer is increasing, and when the writing helps those in need, that’s even better. In his book The Geography of Bliss Eric Weiner travels the world looking for the happiest place and/or people who have the essential ingredients of a ‘good life’. A foreign correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) he is typically expected to discover breaking news, which usually involves death and destruction. As he says, “It’s rewarding work, but can be a real bummer.” So he takes a break from Read more...

Managua, Nicaragua – The End – But Never The End

Staff and volunteers at El Porvenir office
Staff and volunteers at El Porvenir office

We spent our last days back in Managua getting a tour of the main office of El Porvenir, meeting the dedicated staff, getting a taxi tour of the central market, and the highly guarded, decorated and chain-linked waterfront. We climbed the semi-active Volcan Masaya, and ended the experience being taken to dinner by Rob Bell, the director of the El Porvenir office.

Central Market Managua
Central Market Managua
On the Waterfront
On the Waterfront

Taking our last evening walk, we were urged to be in before dark, not to wear jewelry, cameras or purses, and to watch our backs. Read more...

Nicaragua – The Good, Bad and Ugly

Riding the roads in the back of the truck
Riding the roads in the back of the truck

A few statistics on Nicaragua:

· $1028 – Second lowest per capita income in the Americas

· 48% of population live below poverty line

· 30 – 40% of homes have a woman head of household

· President – Daniel Ortega – Sandanista Party – for the 2nd time.

Two of our traveling companions, one from the U.S. and one from Nicaragua, are political history buffs. During our many hours of traveling to and from our survey sites we had plenty of time for lively, interesting, informative discussions on the Read more...

Living in the Past – El Sauce, Nicaragua

El Porvenir Staff, El Sauce
El Porvenir Staff, El Sauce

Jimmy stays with us at the only hotel in town, El Blanco, run by a Katherine Zeta Jones look-alike, with an added Latin American plumpness. Elvis lives in El Sauce and is finally able to go home. I decide to enter the data from the previous afternoon and give thanks that Jimmy is staying in the next room and comes to my call with help on the myriad extra steps one must take on the PC I’ve borrowed from his office.

Mercedes in her kitchen
Mercedes in her kitchen

We start the morning at the El Porvenir staff’s favorite Read more...

The Survey Begins – Nicaragua

Oxen carrying firewood
Oxen carrying firewood

Up with the dawn – as usual – Bob and I walk the waking streets of Dario. See it cool and quaint. Men with oxen make their rounds delivering lena (stove wood) gleaned from all nearby bushes and trees, for the breakfast fires. No wonder there’s a sparse treeless environment surrounding every village. Women with children carry straw baskets on their heads filled with the day’s wares; fruits and vegetables, fresh baked bread and rozquitos (flour cakes filled with cane syrup), pork and chicken; looking for the perfect location to set up for the day.

p2271307The small Read more...

Nicaragua with Water for People and El Porvenir

Hotel Las Mercedes
Hotel Las Mercedes

Immediately upon arriving three hours late in the capital city of Managua, Bob and I get tremors of third world country glitches. The chip installed in my phone doesn’t work, but it’s a nice relief. The representative of our hotel tells us we have no reservations, but we check in anyway. We don’t actually meet up with anyone until the next morning. Everybody’s late. After breakfast Bob and I meet and greet the other two World Water Corps, Water for People volunteers. Elaine, our team leader from Denver, is an EPA employee who lives close to the Read more...

Life in the Treetops-Part 4

More Bird, Butterfly and Monkey Business

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We could spend hours on our balcony watching the life in the canopy, one that most people will never experience. Thank you Meg Lowman, the pioneer in studying forest canopies all over the world. She was the first to construct platforms and zip-lines to sail her through one of the only unexplored parts of the world – the forest canopy. She lives and works in my hometown of Sarasota, Florida and is one of our celebrity professors from New College. She made me want to visit the upper levels of the earth. Thank you Read more...