Saturday, March 30, 2013

We've got wheels!

Pat checking out a bike
Finally, after a year of walking almost everywhere we have wheels. Sure, they aren't as cushy as the car we sold back home and there are only two wheels, but they will make life much easier.

There isn't a bicycle shop here in Pearl Lagoon so on our last trip to Bluefields we scouted out a couple of places (one with used bikes and the other with new). Within a relatively short period of time we were the happy owners of two new bicycles. We chose these ones for a couple of reasons:

1. They have fenders that in our opinion are essential during rainy season.
2. They had bike racks and kickstands already installed.
3. They were new rather than used.

The bikes were $129.00 each. Once we had made the purchase we had to get the bikes back to Pearl Lagoon on the panga. We were charged less than 100 cordobas for this service.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Coconuts, Coconuts, everywhere.....

You can't help but notice all of the coconut trees here in Pearl Lagoon and the surrounding area. Almost every yard seems to have at least 1 tree and they are abundant all over the landscape. It makes you wonder what can you do with all their produce?

One of the biggest uses for coconuts, here on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, is in the cuisine. You will find coconut oil, meat or milk in many dishes - from their famous coconut bread to their equally famous rondon. Not only humans but animals feed on coconuts. We have been surprised to see a number of dogs chowing down on a coconut!

Dog eating coconut meat

Most households have either a large grater-board to breakup the pieces of coconut meat or they have a rotary grater like the one in the picture below. The advantage of the rotary grater is that your fingers don't get chewed up like they do with the grater-board - it saves on bandages! You can buy one of these rotary graters in Bluefields for about 300 cordobas.

Coconut Rotary Grater

Getting the coconut meat out of the shell

One coconut will yield approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups of ground coconut meat - ready to use in your favorite recipe.

Ground coconut
Here is a recipe for No Bake Coconut Oatmeal Cookies:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
6 Tbsp cocoa
1 Tsp vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups coconut

Combine milk, butter, sugar and cocoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla, oatmeal, and coconut. Let cool and then form into small balls. Slightly flatten and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

no bake coconut oatmeal cookies

What do they do with all those coconut shells? Well, we've seen them used to make pathways - a great idea since it keeps your feet out of the mud.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Disposing of Garbage in Pearl Lagoon

One of the first questions we had when we moved here was - "Where do we put our garbage for pickup". Boy, were we surprised when we found out that there is no system for garbage pickup here. No, every family takes care of their own garbage and that means that they burn it.

As you walk through town you will often see patches of burnt areas where people have disposed of their garbage - it's a shame but I guess at this point there isn't any alternative.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Atlantic Coast Baseball Series is coming to town!

The baseball stadium in Pearl Lagoon getting a paint job.
This year Pearl Lagoon will be hosting the Atlantic Coast Baseball Series. This is a huge event for this little community and the excitement has been building for weeks. In preparation for the event the whole community seems to be getting involved in a variety of ways. Cleaning crews have been raking up and burning trash to ensure the streets and pathways are litter-free; new accommodations have sprung up along Front Street as well as others being tucked away on some of the back roads; and many of the local women are preparing to feed the hungry hordes of visitors with their delicious local cuisine. New restaurants and bars have also sprung up all over town.

The stadium has also been prepared for the event. The ground has been leveled and prepared for the players. The stands have been repaired and the stadium itself has been painted.

The series runs from March 8 - 22, 2013.  For more information please check out the Rightsideguide.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Feeding a hungry Chocoyo in Pearl Lagoon

We thought that Pancho, our little rescue Chocoyo, was a picky eater. We have tried to feed him with all kinds of different fruits and vegetables and can only get him to eat banana and maybe a little watermelon. He turns his beak up at mango - a fruit we were assured that Chocoyos love. He also won't touch sunflower seeds except to play with them. When we moved away from León I couldn't find his favorite birdseed at the grocery store to stock-up on and now I am almost out....

It appears that we were worried for no reason - Pancho is telling US what he likes to eat.......

Sharing Pat's breakfast oatmeal

Licking off the chocolate topping on a cookie

Pancho eating yummy coconut rice

Pancho eating pasta with tomato sauce

One happy bird!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Veggie Store on wheels - Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

In Pearl Lagoon we don't have a grocery store or market to buy our fruits and vegetables from. No worries though because almost every day you will hear a loud speaker calling out "chiltoma, cebolla, sandia, mango". When you hear this you know the veggie man is in town! Just like in a grocery store you go up to the counter (or box of the truck) to check out the prices and freshness of what they have that day.  The "helper" has a small scale that he uses to weigh out your selection. You may be able to bargain with him if you feel his prices are a bit too high.

vegetable truck in Pearl Lagoon
For only C$240 ($10.08 CDN) we bought all the fruit and veggies in the picture below:
Vegetables - Pearl Lagoon
 Pineapple, large watermelon, carrots, 2 lbs onions, 2 lbs tomatoes, 3 oranges, 6 green peppers, 6 mandarins  3 chayote squash and 3 small mangoes.