November 29, 2021: My Crazy Daily Vlog is Exploding, Hard Decision to Skip Christmas

Today we had to make the really tough decision to forego returning to the United States for Christmas. If we were going to go we would have to have our tickets already and the cost and risk of doing it is just not plausible. This is going to be really hard on the kids, but with the omicron variant of COVID surging in the USA it is extremely dangerous for us to return. Not only is there the health risk of exposure, of course, which is the first variant that really puts the kids at risk; but the bigger realistic risk to us is the cancellation of flights. There’s so many countries closing borders right now, flights being cancelled and so forth. If we came home we easily would get stuck unable to leave Nicaragua, or stuck partway back, or in the USA unable to get home.

November 27, 2021: We Have a Teenager

Liesl Turns Thirteen

Happy thirteenth birthday to Liesl! It is so hard to believe that we have a teenage daughter now. How did we get so old?

The idea of birthday presents is pretty hard in Nicaragua. There is essentially nothing that the kids want and what they do want they get all of the time, like new video games and such. Liesl just got a brand new Asus laptop while we were in the USA and so for her birthday today she got the hand-me-down Nikon D90 DSLR with the Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens that she loves so much. She has always wanted that camera and now it is hers.

It is a lot like the Canon SLR of my dad’s that I grew up with. It is the camera that I used as a child and always wished that I could have one of my own. And I did buy my own but not until I was about seventeen and then I bought my first Nikon, the N5005. The D90 is still a super capable camera producing outstanding images and the 18-200 lens, while nothing ground breaking, does an amazing job. That camera and lens have been my workhorse camera since Liesl was born, including my solo trip to Germany and The Netherlands in 2009.

November 26, 2021: Roadtrip to Matagalpa

The Mirador at Matagalpa

Today is our first real day of just getting out to road trip in our new country of Nicaragua. We drove from Las Peñitas to León to Matagalpa today and visited the mirador, the cathedral, met up with Nohemi, and then drove back. We took the GoPro and recorded a new episode of DriveWarp that will be coming out in a month or so and we did some filming up at the mirador.