Settling in

We have been down here long enough to establish a routine and it is going well.  Sundays are always internet days, we come down to the hotel in Caseres to use the internet and have a few (how many is a few) beers, we talk to family, Mike checks out Facebook and I look for new fish recipes.  Mondays usually end up being cooking days for me since we don’t have to deliver fish, I will make beans for the week since beans take a long time to cook but I have discovered a recipe for black bean humus that takes a short time to eat, chicken broth so the dog will eat her dog food, she has gotten picky down here and will only eat her food if I put chicken broth over it!! and then usually pizza or some other dish that requires a lot of time for dinner.  Mike will work around the house, sanding the windows or working on his grill, he has added a cement platform and plans to put a roof on it so he can cook in the rain.  He has even shoveled out the bottom of my “nica pool” and now with all the sand out it is about a foot deeper 🙂  Tuesdays are a busy day since we have to deliver fish to all our customers in Granada, that is an all day event and we usually get home very late.  Wednesdays we usually go down to visit friends from Canada who are here for another week and have a few drinks (once again, how many is a few?).  Thursdays tend to be another productive day around the house, Fridays more fish deliveries and Saturdays are reserved for the hammock.  It’s a hard life but someone has to do it 🙂  When I think about how crazy my life in the states was, working more hours than I care to count, no time for myself and Mike & I might go days without seeing each other, all I can think is I hope it works out down here because I don’t ever want to go back to that!!!!!  So far each week we manage to make more and spend less money so we are headed in the right direction.  We still haven’t been able to get the Tona truck to stop at our house but we are able to add our order to the beer the hotel buys and get it at wholesale prices, we just have to return the empty bottles every Wednesday and they magically appeared filled on Thursday.

The first month

We have been here a little over a month now and things are going well.  We have the business up and running and showing a profit for the first month, very small but at least we are not in the negative.  We are going to have to show more profit if we are going to be able to stay in Nicaragua but we are headed in the right direction.  We have been reluctant to spend much money on the house that wasn’t absolutely necessary so a lot of projects are on hold.  I have been concentrating mainly on cooking and Mike has decided to strip all the windows in the house, the last owner painted all the wooden windows brown so he wants to strip them down to the wood and just put polyurethane over them for protection.  I have to admit the one he has done looks really good and it keeps him from wandering around the house looking for things to do.

 I made my first real batch of cheese today after doing a small test batch the other week.  It won’t be ready until tomorrow but I am looking forward to having something I can use to make lasagna.  I also found recipes for home make crackers and really good humus made from black beans which are readily available and cheap down here.  Last night we had stingray in a roasted garlic cream sauce which was wonderful.  I’m guessing most people are turning up their noses at stingray but it is really good.  You may have had it and not known it because it is one of the things some restaurants will use to make fake scallops and it taste just like scallops.

We had some new neighbors move in a few miles down on Wednesday.  They are teachers and able to spend the summers here in Nicaragua and then back to Canada for the school year.  It is great seeing other expats moving into our area, while we do have several friends in Granada that is a long drive just to visit someone so it will be nice to have another couple to hang out with  We have started Spanish lessons but in true nica fashion our teacher is unable to show up for just about every other class so they are going slowly and he is the only Spanish teacher in the area so if I fire him we will have to drive all the way into Granada for classes so I am hoping he will still work out.

I have gone over our spending for the first month, we had set a budget of $1000 per month for normal expenses; food, power, water, salary for the caretaker, basically everything not related to the business or legal expenses to get our residency here.  I was hoping that we had set it high and would come in way under but right now we are only about $70 under, hopefully next month we can beat that, I would like to get it down closer to $700 which I think is doable, we just have to stay out of La Colonial when we go to Granada, they do have cheaper beer and cigarettes than the local pulparias here but we always end up buying other stuff that we shouldn’t, if we could only get the Tona truck to stop at our house J.