28 June 2014


     Poles are up all along the visible sections of the right-of-way, which dramatically changes our scenery north and south; and finally it's time to put up the pole right behind the house. I'd watched from a distance as poles went up but this time I was going to get as close as ENEL would let me.  The pole close to the house will go next to the leaning man - where the stick is - right between the yellow and the red cashew trees.  And getting this pole up and in the ground would be accomplished by hand and just a few 'tools.'

     A major piece of the puzzle entitled "How the hell will these guys get that pole in the ground?" is a 'tool' the likes of which I'd certainly never seen before. Here it's being used as a cutting board to slice watermelon.

          And here it's being used as it is intended to be used.

     The yellow and red sticks you can see lying on the ground in the first picture turned out to be really important in the installation too. Made of metal, they have barbs on one end. As a pole is lifted into the air, each man with one of these sticks, stabs his stick's barb into the pole, helping to hold the pole in place as it's lifted and soil is tamped around the base to set it.

21 June 2014

Patagonia and the cashew flower

     We've got both yellow and red cashews growing right behind the house - the yellow just outside the kitchen. There was so much fruit on the yellow cashew tree this season, we had to prop up a couple of the larger limbs to keep them from breaking.

     As tasty as the yellow cashew 'apple' is, I much prefer the flavor of the red.

     But my favorite part of the cashew tree is its tiny, sweet-smelling flower...the tree is loaded with these little gems to the point of scenting the whole area.


15 June 2014

Breakfast delivery

      Some distances at False Bluff are easier with a bike.  I think the bicycle was his idea- and a good idea it was.  Here are four calala being delivered in time for breakfast! They're a favorite with nearly everybody.

13 June 2014


     These pictures tell, step-by-step, how the Caribbean helped move the poles from our front yard at False Bluff up the beach, one pole per man as the weather deteriorated (Cayman Roca visible in the distance in the fourth picture).  First thing the guys did when they arrived that morning was strip to shorts...I should have anticipated what came next, but a lot about this entire project has been surprising to me.

11 June 2014

Rough limes

     One of the things I treat myself to daily at False Bluff is fresh limeade made with 'rough limes.'
     No one can tell me just where that name came from or what the 'real' name might be.  I surmise the 'rough' comes from the bumpy rind. So far our rough limes come from a neighbor or the market in Bluefields; but we've got at least five trees that should begin producing next year.  Can't be too soon for me.
     Green, green on the outside and bright orange inside, this lime is extraordinarily tart.  Makes an excellent drink.

07 June 2014


     The poles were in our front yard at False Bluff and now each one of them had to be moved to a specific location.  The right-of-way, which runs parallel to the beach, had been cleared; but it's hundreds of yards west of, or away from, the beach; and having men carry the poles for miles up the right-of-way was not an option...although having men carry the poles was the only way the poles were going to get anywhere.

     Anticipating having to put each pole in a specific place, engineers had simply marked the future site of each pole with a stick, something cut from whatever was close at hand.  Then between the beach and the 'marking stick' a narrow pathway was cleared that would allow each pole to be moved to its final resting place somewhere along the right-of=way.  These narrow pathways would be the shortest distances that men would have to carry the poles...if the men could get the poles to where the pathways opened at intervals along the beach.

     There aren't roads anywhere on this stretch of coast; and the 'bush' or undergrowth is so thick along most of it, that short of clearing everything, there's no way for any kind of vehicle - even a tractor - to carry a pole from the beach to the right-of-way. (One day, walking north along the right-of-way, a nice cool breeze hit me from out of nowhere, with no sign of leaves or brush moving...took me a couple of seconds to realize that what I was feeling was the breeze off the Caribbean, moving through one of the cleared pathways.)
     This ENEL project, however, required that the poles must move, one by one, from our front yard to the location at which each would be set in the ground....and I was going to learn that the Caribbean itself was going to help make this happen.

05 June 2014


     What the hell is a RAAS?  
     RAAS is the "Region Autonoma del Atlantico Sur," or the Autonomous Region of the Southern Atlantic.  And RAAS has a northern twin, in name and political make-up if nothing else:  RAAN, the "Region Autonomo del Atlantico Norte" - no translation needed for that one.      
     Nicaragua's government is that of a unitary state, as are most of the world's governments...like the United Kingdom or Spain.  The United States government, on the other hand, is a federation. 
     There are fifteen departments in Nicaragua, what are called states in the United States; and then there are the two autonomous regions of RAAS and RAAN.  Nicaragua's constitution established the Charter of Autonomy which provides for limited self-government for these two autonomous regions (which are not departments) that make up the entire eastern part of the nation. Geographically RAAS and RAAN make up a bit more than half the country's total land mass.
     False Bluff is in RAAS, about 8 miles by water from the RAAS capital city of Bluefields.