29 October 2022


The first thing I noticed when I got to the Avianca location in Miami International Airport for my first flight with that airline was the curve in the ceiling and the roof.  The curves in both were familiar and comforting, like being at home because that's a pretty typical roof line in Bluefields, Nicaragua.

Avianca, MIA

BICU, Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University 

Hotel Escuela BICU 

When I began to look at available information about this roof style I learned the following:

  • there is a reduced emission of harmful CO2 gases; 
  • the roof construction is relatively easy to build;
  • the roofs are quite wind resistant;
  • there is always an increase of air flow through the building (I can verify this is pretty nice in areas where air conditioning is not the norm);
  • and - long thought to be true, but now in question - the roof shape transfers more heat away from the building than peak-roofed buildings

22 October 2022


     We have lots of papaya trees at False Bluff.  They grow fast from seed and bear fruit early....two nice characteristics.

     The fruit is either big or not big, depending on the variety of the tree; and we have both varieties.

     This is a just-peeled papaya from one of the trees that produces big fruit - and it's a pretty typical size for the variety.

     I'm sure there is a taste difference between the varieties but I can't tell.  However, I prefer the big fruit because there's so much more to eat - and that means everybody gets a huge bowl full like this.

16 October 2022

AVIANCA - some airlines never stopped flying to Nicaragua

American Airlines recently announced they will begin flying to Managua again - after more than two years.  The airline made it official enough so that it showed up on the US state department page.

So I booked a flight using a ticket I had purchased more than two years ago.  However, I'm keeping my fingers crossed since that ticket was repeatedly put on hold as the "we're going to fly to Managua" statements turned out to not be true.

Prior to American's announcement, flight craziness for travel between the USA and Nicaragua nudged us into trying Avianca for the first time in our years of traveling there. The differences were like anything different...they took a bit of getting used to.  But overall we have been both surprised and pleased.

Part of the surprise was that Avianca served a meal...not just two cookies or a half ounce of tiny pretzels...but food. Not hot on a plate with utensils and a napkin...but food.

Another of the 'differences' was where in the grand scheme of the Miami airport (MIA) Avianca is actually located. We're accustomed to more than a decade of the "D" gates. Avianca gates are "F" and are about as far from D as you can get.

Although the drawing of MIA, below, shows D and F are pretty close together, getting to F from D is not as simple as it looks. Good exercise though. So, in the future, we will probably take the cheapest flight to Miami and then Avianca from Miami to Managua. The walk will do us good and we'll save a bit on trip insurance since we just won't bother with insurance on the flight to or from Miami.

10 October 2022

Coconut tree root

Tropical Storm Julia, aka category 1 Hurricane, hit the southern portion of Nicaragua's Caribbean coast a couple of days ago.  Landfall seems to have been Kukra Hill.

There was extensive damage there and in Pearl Lagoon (north of Kukra Hill) and in Bluefields and El Bluff (south of Kukra Hill.  

And there was damage at False Bluff.

The end of the 2022 hurricane season has inflicted a lot of damage in a lot of places and we feel both lucky and relieved that though there was damage at False Bluff it was relatively minor.

One side note is the incredible root system of the coconut palm tree that makes it such a survivor.  Coconut palms are, indeed, lost.  In fact we lost this one....but coconut trees put up a hell of a fight.

03 October 2022

Shopping for produce in Bluefields...

There are small produce markets all over town which is really convenient for the many shoppers who walk.  Taxi rates just increased and relatively few people own cars.  Even if you own a car, traffic can be a mess.  But when your fruit and vegetables can be bought just around the corner, shopping is easy.  Buying meat is almost as simple, but that's another story.

Most of the people who run the small produce markets throughout town shop early in the morning at the city's main market which has its own wharf.  Farmers from out of town show up very early with boats full of produce.  Anyone can buy here...small market owners, people who run restaurants, individuals.  I have bought fresh fruit here but I fall into the 'put it in a bag' group.  Some people load trucks.