It’s been sooooo long since I’ve posted. As in, 2.5 months long. During that time, we have moved out of our apartment and into temporary housing, moved to Granada, set up our home, adjusted as much as we can to the heat, shipped one of our dogs, and attempted to learn the language and the culture.
E has been patient while I figure out what I want to blog about and how much I want to show you of our life here. While I live in one of the oldest and wealthiest cities in Nicaragua, much of the country is extremely poor. So my life isn’t always lighthearted and adventurous. Sometimes it’s heartbreaking, and I don’t think it would be fair to share only one side of my life here. But for the first few posts I’ll be sharing my home with you!
I haven’t had much of the “living” inspiration I thought I would have until the last two weeks. The home we moved into was not at all what I expected, and we’ve struggled with the idea of moving and finding a “prettier” place while we’re here. Staying and doing slight improvements to the house, while saving some serious cash, was our final decision. I’m really happy we decided to stay, even if it ends up being for half of our stay in Nicaragua.
One of the biggest benefits and drawbacks to living in Central America is the cost of living. Benefits include amazing organic locally grown produce at really low cost. Drawbacks include a serious language barrier and lack of easy access to things like home goods and craft supplies. I’m learning to adapt in two key ways.
First, I’ve realized that its better to have a general idea of what you need instead of something specific. This applies to everything from lamps to recipes. For example, we have a HUGE bookshelf that contains most of our goods (medicine, clothing, shoes, small electronics, books, toiletries, etc.). It’s functional right now, but not pretty. I really wanted baskets to organize everything, but no one we asked knew of a place in Granada to purchase baskets. We ended up taking a bus to a mall in Managua to pick up baskets for our bookshelves. They were horribly expensive, even for American standards, and I still am not completely satisfied with them. Two weeks later, I saw baskets made out of recycled material that weren’t quite what I had in mind, but were prettier and about 1/5 of the cost. I picked up one as a test, and love it.
Second, I’ve learned the value of custom and DIY goods. Labor, for many reasons, is incredibly cheap here. Shortly after moving here, we realized we had to order custom everything, from furniture to pillows, or pay more for cheaply made furniture. and DIY any decor items ourselves. So we created a master list and seven weeks later we’ve finished almost everything.
On my list of DIY projects:
- No Sew Curtains
- Terra Cotta Lamps
- Plants for our Shade Patio
- Curtains for our Living Room
On our list of custom projects:
- Bedside Tables
- Rocking Chair
- Computer Desk
- Desk Chair
- Dining Room Tables
- Shade Patio
- Bed Pillows
- Clothing Hooks
I’ll be sharing more ideas and pictures over the next few posts! I’m happy to be back and hope you are as well. I’ll leave you with two images from our life here in Granada.