Abrazos from Esteli

By Mark Crump

Sunday morning quietly embracing my sleepy head… time for a coffee and to get this old framework moving a little. We have had some eventful days in the past few weeks, along with some restful nights and a few sleepless ones as well. Liza is making this a home… her kitchen is ever developing into a factory of delight and satisfaction. She is experimenting on recipes, creating things she has never imagined she would. Yes, I am the guinea pig, but how hard is it to eat home made pizza with a crust so thin it near snaps and crunches when you bite into it ! Her own pizza sauce, I am told this day we will attempt to create a spaghetti sauce together, after we return from the Mercado with 5 pounds of very ripened tomatoes. I am happy to see her so involved in the kitchen once more… life and work had stolen this pleasure from her for a few years of late.

It amazes us both – how busy one can become, even when retired and living in a mountainous paradise without a job, without a daily purpose in mind until you muster it up… once that first cup of coffee awakens your soul. We talk about what we would like to do in terms of coming days or even a week in advance… yet find ourselves in review saying we still need to get to this or that. Where does the day get to….? Sipping a cold drink on the front porch, or if it is too sunny and bright- out the rear in the shade of the casa with a breeze constantly crossing your body keeping you comfortable. Perhaps a drive to visit friends in the country, spend a few hours talking and laughing at most of life’s mystery as it has unfolded from in front of us…. Or a trip to the Vivero… on the North end of Esteli… where the large selection of plants and shrubberies, flowers and nearly anything else which grows in the soil can be had for reasonable money. WE currently have cilantro, rosemary, oregano, herba Buena ( mint ), some flowering ground covers, some leafy colourful things and a few other things I have no idea what they are… but I do like how they look! We talk about ideas Liza finds on Pinterest, and then modify them to accommodate what we would like to see….go and gather materials and off we go to create whatever we like. Part of the fun is in trying to locate the materials to make these creations… or substituting to use what we can find here. Liza is amazing at this substituting ! We discover ideas and modify to suit. Latest is a pair of upholstered living room chairs. Find a design we each liked on the computer, modify what we wanted to change on them…. Print a sketch out or photograph … with pen in hand, make them our own personal furnishing… then off with sketch / picture to the local craftsman to start the process of explaining what is important to us… and commence negotiating a price for their craftsmanship. WE are expecting these two lovely chairs and ottoman to be completed this coming week. All hand crafted to suit, just a few blocks down the Avenidaby people I say hello to everyday and with the satisfaction of the goods being our own kind of unique, nobody else has these specific chairs – and best of all, they did not float over from China !

We had another delivery from Donald… our friendly talented carpenter who managed once more to amaze us with his crafts. This time he delivered the wall unit for each of the bathrooms here (seems like most Nicaraguan folks have no need for putting anything out for being handy in their washrooms? ) Liza drew up a floor mounted simple wall shelf unit… Donald created a piece of furniture which we could put anywhere in the house… like a small open faced curio cabinet. Mine is a wall hung shelf unit ( I must not require as many tools every morning to make myself presentable ? ) A small table which matches our kitchen table for the microwave to sit upon… all made of solid wood with his skills. Liza has started giving him a kiss on the cheek now in admiration of his skills… he leaves our casa with a little glow of blush on his face and always looks at me as if wanting to know I don’t mind her appreciating his craft as we both do. Sort of a parting gesture now, he usually asks if we have another sketch of the next items we would like him to build for us ! I am certain we will come up with something else for him to turn into reality in a few more weeks.


Adios amigos. Until the next time…. Abrazos !

One Comment

  1. Justin

    December 10, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Love it up in Esteli, well…not all of it, very noisy there and thus placement is very important. I am curious to know your funiture maker as most of the pieces I have seen there are really ..really bad or imported, nothing in the middle. THanks