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My big toe



Relevant pictures seemed inappropriate. Fairy floss, anyone?

And what a fun-filled couple of weeks it's been. Once again, Nicaragua is celebrating the virgin. We asked our Spanish teacher Veronica if there was a month that they didn't celebrate the virgin here, but apparently that's unheard of. Anyway, on to the events!

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Short story: <i>Jerry's Flat</i>



Just inside the doorway of Jerry's flat, if you take one step in and then turn and look to your right, there's a cupboard of some kind.

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Short story: <i>The New Baby</i>



There's a lot of building, a lot of hustle and bustle and arrangements and strange people with tape measures and hard-hats and somewhat undecorous mustaches, going on about the place and I for one don't like it at all.

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Short story: <i>Beware of the Swan</i>



Mr Smith peeped out through a crack in his lace curtains at the entrance to his driveway. He sucked in his breath through his teeth and exhaled worriedly. He pulled the curtains closed again. He straightened them so they would look undisturbed from the outside, where a car was quietly nosing into his driveway.

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Short story: <i>In the garden</i>



I like to sit in the garden, just here on this stone bench. It’s cold, the stone. Only in the heat of midday, if the sun is shining very hard, will the stone begin to warm up. But I don’t mind if there’s a bit of a chill.

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Short story: <i>The butcher</i>



When the butcher’s wife left the house late one afternoon, he knew something was up.

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Short story: <i>Colourblind</i>

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Short story: <i>The blue dress</i>



The last time I travelled on this road, I was hitching.

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Short story: <i> Billy and the medicine-man</i>



The medicine-man sat at the bar, with a tattoo that swelled over the bridge of his nose and wandered over his cheeks like tears, pooling down in the dips and hollows of his neck under his ears.

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A picture would represent 1000 words, if I'd had my camera which I didn't...


This photo is an irrelevant side picture of a particularly attractive butterfly, but I am about to tell an anecdote that I would have loved a picture of but didn't have a camera.

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Home sweet home!


Parade at our front door.

Okay, so the water and power situation is now at least consistent. We get both power and water all weekend. There is no water every weekday between the hours of ~8AM and ~3PM, and there is three hours per day of no power, running on weekly schedules. All very respectable really.

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Returning to Nicaragua


The ceiling at the Teatro National

Our final day in Costa Rica saw us hitting the buffet for the last time, getting all our stuff together, settling our bill (which was less than $400 and that included about four meals!) and heading back to the bus station, having been out of Nicaragua for over the required seventy two hours.

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Day three in Costa Rica


How cool is that toucan?

Okay, so this was our final day in Costa Rica, and we were doing a big tour to “Tortuga Island” (tortuga = turtle). Sounds fun, but involved being AT A DIFFERENT HOTEL AT 6AM. Fun factor rapidly declining.

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Day two in Costa Rica


A marble statue at the “Teatre Nationale”

Our second day in Costa Rica was the day we didn’t have any tours booked, so we decided to get out into the city and see things. Like museums, and theatres, and whatnot.

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Day one in Costa Rica



Breakfast buffet. Are there two sweeter words in the world? Anyway, after snickering about how clever it was to have hot showers, we swanned downstairs to the pool area, to partake in our buffet breakfast.

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Our Costa Rican adventure


Ready for a ten hour bus ride?


The school holidays are happening around now, and that means that it’s time for our obligatory leave-the-country-for-seventy-two-hours-then-we’ll-restamp-your-passport time!

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Catch-up



Since I last wrote, it still hasn't really rained. Apparently, Nicaragua is going through something of a drought. This means a couple of exciting things for us, which we discovered particularly in the last couple of weeks... water and power rations!

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Safety helmets, gas-masks and sacrificial virgins



Since I last wrote, the marching band from the Merced church has settled down; we aren't getting any more 4:30am wake up surprises so I guess Saint Maria Auxiliadora has been duly celebrated. It has been pretending to rain, although I don't know that I'm overly impressed by the "wet season" yet... raining every day. Huh! We'll see. However, the lack of extreme rain every day means that we have managed to get out and do stuff that would otherwise have been overly damp. And I might add that when it rains, it really, really means it.

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Zipping down Mombacho


My first zip line.

So today (Sunday, May 14th) we did what is called a "Canopy Tour"... which is a very exciting combination of climbing gear; gloves, helmets, the lot... trees, platforms, ropes, swings, and repelling... Yeah.

Intricate hand-signs and shopping with clabber girl



So our day to day life consists of the usual stuff, like going grocery shopping. Which might sound easy, but is actually an art form. Luckily, we are in Granada, which has the second biggest range of foodstuffs in Nicaragua, but it's still a battle. Firstly, the supermarkets are completely unpredictable. [...]

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