August 6, 2021: All Around Awesome Day

Friday. The dogs slept in fifteen minutes. Then we went on a 2.2 mile walk. It was pretty nice out this morning, but I jogged for part of the way so was sweaty anyway. I could not be out for very long because I have so many meetings this morning that my whole day is just jam packed with them.

My first meeting of the morning was with a customer at seven thirty. Yes, getting the day started for real. That one went super awesome and was my cause for concern yesterday because I did not know what they wanted but rather than being bad news, it was exceptionally good news. And it took up most of my early morning.

Then I had my Spanish language memory training lesson at nine. After than the marketing team had a meeting at ten thirty. Then a sales meeting at eleven. It was getting close to noon before I had more than a few minutes to get away from all of the meetings. In between some of the meetings this morning I did manage to get breakfast tacos in the restaurant, at least.

We had our second person, thousands of miles away from the first one, get diagnosed with dengue fever this morning! He’s been sick for several days already, so he might be a week into it at this point.

Major construction going on at the hotel today. We have to replace the septic system or, more accurately, we have to add another one. So today the “trash area” as we call it is being torn out and very sadly, the palm tree that lives there is being cut down. Then a new septic tank is being installed. And a new ground floor put in on top of that. A pad for our two generators (we only own one so far) is going in there so that they will have a permanent home someplace safe and quiet away from most of the hotel. Then a roof is being built over it all so that when it rains the water does not just go directly into the septic system causing it to overflow. It is a major project.

For lunch today the new head chef made chicken cordon bleu for the staff (and Paul.) She is stepping up the game around here.

With the tree being removed, I am now very, very inclined to build up over top of the laundry and trash area and extend at least partially over the entrance walkway and make a room back there. Whether it is a hotel room or just one of our private rooms, I am not sure. But the street is very interesting where we are and having a room back there with a view of the hotels, a little view of the ocean, and all the visibility into the late night bar and street scene. Would certainly make me a lot more connected to the village.

Tonight is our team night out. It turns out that we are going out to celebrate everyone being so happy because the one mean team member who was making everyones’ lives awful got herself fired and everyone is just so relieved.

Around six Paul had some friends over and I hung out with them until about seven. We just sat out on the beach having beers and tequila. Our staff started straggling in around six thirty to be at the hotel ready to go out tonight. I skipped dinner because there was no time to play host and to get to the showers before it was time to go.

I showered at seven thirty and got actually dressed up for only like the third time in three months. Since I wrapped up all of my customs stuff in Managua nearly three months ago I have only left Las Peñitas once in all of this time and that was to go to León to deal with the bank and that was just for one to two hours and I did not even manage to eat anywhere. So this is my actual first time getting to go out and actually do something since moving to Nicaragua!

Leo and one of his driver friends were at the hotel at eight and we were ten of us heading out: Paul, Dominica, Ivonne, Juan Carlos, Ingrid, Jaho, Hernan, Erika, Wilbur, and, of course, me. We went into León downtown and started the night at the Gecko Bar. We were there for quite a while. We got several rounds of drinks (that were not very good) and an order of variados which is basically a big tray of typical Nicaragua bar food samplers. A very popular thing here.

Food and drinks took forever. We moved on to 23 Bar which was the originally planned destination. There it was more drinks but nearly everyone went dancing. Paul, Wilbur, and Ivonne had all already gone back to Las Peñitas making it an early night. We stayed out until after midnight but could not be out super late as some of the staff have to work tomorrow and some have classes. Leo came and got us and we were on our way back and were home before one in the morning. Ingrid was the only one to stay behind and checked in that she was home safe at two thirty.

Overall today was pretty great. Really positive news from work on all sides with several fully confirmed new customers and a couple of “not completely official” but rapidly moving forward “final stage” customer components. Super productive overall just getting loads of stuff done which makes me feel great in general. Then a nice evening of hanging out with the locals before an awesome night out with about half of the team on the town for my first time out dancing since I last went with Rachel in the first weeks of 2020!

August 5, 2021: My Shoes Are Fixed

Thursday. Got up and walked the dogs today, just a little under three miles. Not bad. Our power had come on last night at a quarter until two in the morning. So we had air conditioning for most of the night. We are so thankful for our generator, though!

https://youtu.be/yf2jyrVPzUM

Everyone (except for Liesl and I) went up to León today. Luciana has a follow up appointment at the doctor’s about her toe. So Dominica took my broken Teva sandals with them and they found a shoe repair place that fixed by shoe super fast for less than two dollars! Incredible!

Dominica took Luciana to breakfast at Mañana Mañana where she had some waffle and ice cream thing.

Luciana’s doctor’s appointment went pretty well. They had to do a little more trimming on her toe, but overall they said that it was looking good and things should be all fixed in about three months.

Work was really busy for me today. And tomorrow is going to be crazy, too. Especially in the morning. I skipped lunch today, just worked right through. Not really a problem as I have been eating too much, anyway. There is just so much good food here and it is so easy to have someone make it for us.

The rain came at four thirty this afternoon. Earlier than it usually does. There was some thunder, too, so of course Mia got nervous. Poor dog is still scared of every storm.

There was a break in the rain around five thirty and I took the dogs on a nice two mile walk. It was sprinkling most of the time, which was great. It was nice and cool with gorgeous deep grey skies and all kinds of lightning across the sky. Perfect weather for a long walk.

Just fifteen days until Allen moves to Las Peñitas. His last Utah based staffer was done as of today. He has already shipped a bunch of his stuff to come down here.

This evening Michellez came over and the girls all wanted pizza. So we just gave in and had pizza, too. Each of the three girls ate one half of a pizza from Puesta del Sol. Dominica and I split a Norwegian pizza (smoked salmon) and Ivonne had a little bit of it and a tiny leftover bit was shared with the staff.

So last night staff asked Ivonne if they could all go out to León to go dancing tomorrow. She had told them “no”, it was a bad idea as they would all be too tired to work. But when she told us about the idea we were immediately like “whoo hoo, that sounds like a great idea” and, as Ivonne likes to say, “I think it is a bad idea, but it is your hotel.”, so we are all going and our hotel chauffeur is going to drive everyone. It should be a lot of fun. This will be our first time going out in almost two years! Everyone needs this.

I took the dogs out at nine for their last walk of the night and I clocked in a rather light walking day at just a little over fourteen thousand steps for the day.

I had to do book edits tonight. Boy this is all very exhausting. But I am over the halfway point and moving faster and faster as I get into the groove.

Found out today that Kat had missed getting her vaccine in the States due to weather. She never then rescheduled. She went to a music event last week and, not surprisingly, now has COVID. There is very little going on with COVID down here. But boy are we hearing a lot about how bad it is back in the EEUU / USA.

August 4, 2021: Lots of Spanish and No Power

Wednesday. The dogs got me up at the normal time and I took them for a walk. Mia did not seem to be in the mood to walk, even though it was overcast and relatively cool, so we did maybe a mile and a half at maximum. A short walk, but enough. Both dogs were able to do their business.

It was a good morning for a shorter walk since I have my Spanish class at nine this morning and it is a double length session, so a full hour, as my class for tomorrow had to be moved to today. This is week four, I believe, of doing Spanish lessons. I do ninety minutes a week of the Spanish lessons themselves, typically three days of one thirty minute lesson each. Then I have homework. And once a week I have a class on “how to learn” that I take with a neuro-scientist who works with me on techniques for how to learn things. I then have one thirty minute brain training session (homework) to do every day for that. Plus I do DuoLingo and Drops daily (both on roughly 540 day streaks) and Memrise as well (only about three weeks of that.)

I got to working on my Spanish at seven. I would have started much earlier but as soon as I returned from walking the dogs this morning I had missed a few support calls and I spent at least half an hour on the phone dealing with a customer.

I’ve been getting way too much breakfast the last few days with these amazing breakfast burritos. So today I told Dominica to just get herself one and I would just have her leftovers. Otherwise I get one of my own and her leftovers! If I am still hungry after half (or more) of her burrito, I can just order some fruit or something else easy and healthy. A burrito and a half is way too much.

Spanish class was exhausting. A full hour of being grilled continuously in Spanish is a lot for my brain to handle. Especially as it is no longer simple conversations, but rather it is specific verb conjugation discussions.

Today’s hotel excitement is that our septic tank is dramatically past capacity. This is not exactly news, but something today, or probably yesterday, caused it to back up so our laundry and kitchen waste water is sitting above ground filling the laundry area and covering the walkway! This is a major problem. Since we do not actually own the hotel fully yet, it is that much more of a problem. So we have to coordinate with everyone and agree on how we are going to handle it.

We already have one quote for the new tanks and filtration system. Just waiting on a second quote before pulling the trigger. We have everyone that is involved agreeing to a plan of action at this point, which is the bigger deal. We are ready to make it happen and hopefully it is something that can be done tonight or tomorrow.

For lunch today Dominica and I had fried tofu bites and house salads. Liesl had pancakes. Luciana had her regular bagel with cream cheese. That has been her favourite for quite a while now.

I had a busy afternoon of working on many small projects. It was not horrible but it kept me from getting to a lot of things that I would have preferred to have been working on.

This evening we had shrimp and fish fried rice for dinner. Our kitchen makes the most amazing fried rice ever. We can never move away from the hotel because we get the best food imaginable here and we are so spoiled. We will never be able to live any other way ever again after this.

Just for fun, our power went out this evening around seven, maybe just a little after. At eight we decided to go to generator power. We cannot run the air conditioning when on generator, but it is dropping down to much cooler outside tonight than we set the air conditioning to normally, so it is not a big deal overall.

So the entire hotel staff wants to go to Leon to the ZonaRosa to go dancing on Friday night. Dominica thinks that this is because I dance around the hotel so much than it is infectious. So we are bringing in a van to take everyone out. That will be a fun hotel outing.

I took the dogs for a late night walk in the dark. Only three of us with real power from our generators… The Simple, Suyapa, and Sua. All three of us are fully open for business. Roca has a generator but it powers their sign and not the hotel so you can see them, but they aren’t lighting up the street or offering powered services to customers. So I walked the dogs only as far as Sua and then back home. That should be enough, but it is not very far.

With everything going on today and no street lights, I only did about 8,200 steps today. That’s half a normal day for me! One of my absolute top “dislikes” about this area of Nicaragua is that the street lights are on regular power without any backups. So if the power is out, the streets are dark.

The problem with the power being out in Nicaragua is that everything just slowly gets warmer and warmer as time wears on. And the more you do anything, like run fans, the faster the air temperature rises.

A funny thing, to me, is that in Spanish we do not say that we have lost power. Instead we say that we have no light. Which is confusing since you can have light that isn’t from the electric. So you can have lights on but no lights. But that is what they say.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day.

August 3, 2021: First Haircut in Nicaragua

I actually got to sleep in until almost six today. One of the latest days of me sleeping in since moving to Nicaragua! Which, by the way, is over two and a half months already. It is amazing how the time just flies.

It

It was a very short dog walk this morning. None of us were feeling it and Mia was sick again and threw up some plastic bits. So I did not want her to walk more than necessary. She had been sick just before going to bed last night. That she was sick again on our walk this morning made me a little nervous. And a good excuse to give me feet a rest.

Alex came by this morning and stayed for a few hours. Then I had to run to get to meetings. I had my first Spanish class for the week. Just half an hour today, but I have an hour long class tomorrow. That will be very mentally exhausting for sure. I never do an hour long class. My whole morning will be spent preparing for that.

Today felt really exhausting. I am not sure why. I got to bed a little on the earlier side last night and slept in a little this morning. But it just felt like I was really tired all day long. It was quite hard to get any work done. I mostly gave up on doing anything that was mentally taxing.

About five this evening the rain returned. The power went out for a few minutes just before the rain started so I took the chance to step outside and record today’s SGL video vlog for YouTube while there was no way for me to work. By the time that I was done the power was back on and I was able to get the uploads going.

I took the chance this evening to shave my head for the first time since being back in Nicaragua. I only have a small razor so it took a while and I am not sure how good of a job that I did. It is hot here and having any amount of extra hair for me is a problem as it makes me sweat that much more since I only sweat from my head. So tomorrow’s video should look a little different. I felt better having that done.

Dinner tonight was veggies and fried tofu. It was really good and quite healthy. I needed something light tonight so it worked out well. While we were eating the power went out again. It was less than five minutes. Overall we have been pretty lucky with the power. We are still very glad that the generator is there just in case, though.

The girls’ friend Michellez came over this evening and played with them for a few hours. They watched Hotel Transylvania 2 and did some art. It was about ten when she headed home. It was still raining when I took the dogs on their final walk for the night and, of course, they came back and jumped on our clean bed and got muddy paw prints all over it.

I had work to do as late as a little after eleven. I also did my memorization meditation exercises and then was ready for bed.

August 2, 2021: Very Tired on a Monday

Monday. It is technically a holiday today in Managua, although we never learned what holiday it is supposed to be. The hotel was pretty busy all morning, though. We had over a dozen people all morning. We just keep doing so much better than expected.

I only did two miles with the dogs this morning. Sometimes we need a little break.

Dominica and I took the dogs for a walk together around noon and noticed that it felt super warm. It is only ninety three today, but Google says that it is a “feels like” one hundred and two. We noticed, for sure. In theory it is because rain is headed our way this afternoon.

I felt really tired much of the day today. It was a struggle to stay awake. I had plenty of coffee. Maybe I am not getting enough sleep.

I took Clive for a walk this evening just in time to see the sky get quite dark. So I ran out immediately after getting him home and brought in the chalkboard that sits out front and then grabbed the GoPro and went out to film today’s episode with the gorgeous storm rolling in.

We had quite a lot of rain come down this evening and it lasted for several hours. That cooled things off a lot.

I took an early break from work around five thirty to get dinner. Then it was a long evening of working for me.

This evening we had a crew working through the night to install a new sink in our bar. So our water was shut off around nine thirty. They only had it off for about an hour. But the new sink has a leak and they need to work on it again tomorrow night.

Late tonight I managed to get in my memory training session. It is so hard to get time to do meditation work. There is no thirty minute period of the day, even late at night, that kids and even employees don’t need me! Maybe that is why I am so tired!

I got to bed at a decent time tonight. Trying to get a full night’s sleep as I have been a little tired recently. Clive always getting me up at five thirty in the morning no matter what is going on can be exhausting as there is no way to adjust for more sleep.

I got my Spanish classes scheduled for the week. I was lazy about that. I have them the next three days then my memory training class on Friday.