The last few days of my bike trip were spent with my friends Deb and Ron in Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. We met through our blogs, and Joel and I house sat for them last September for 3 weeks and absolutely fell in love with Ometepe Island. It is a unique and beautiful place, and in a short time we had friends everywhere.
I almost felt like I was coming home as I returned to this beautiful island. I remembered my way around, and I remembered the people who lived in the various houses I passed between the ferry to my friends’ house.
I stayed an extra day because Monday was Ron’s birthday. Festivities were planned and they sounded like fun. There are a few back stories to this event, one of which is told better by my friend Deb in her blog. Click on the link to learn how the neighbor’s doctor came to spend his vacation staying at her house with his mother and two sons, and a bit about what it means to be a doctor in Nicaragua (hint – a doctor doesn’t earn enough to afford a hotel for vacation).
There is also a post about the neighbor’s house, and the new addition they put on for the doctor’s visit. It has a cement floor, a step up from the dirt floor in the main part of the house, and they hope to afford doors someday.
The last photo of Petunia and her piglets. There is also an interesting story about her mastitis and the treatment in Deb’s blog here. I had never heard of using a toad to treat infection and swelling so I mentioned it to a few people here back in Panama. One said oh yes, she knew of someone who had an infected and swollen leg, and rubbing a cane toad on it helped her a lot. Another said his wife has very swollen legs when she was pregnant. A friend brought a toad, rubbed it over her legs, and the next day the swelling was gone. Apparently something about the toxic skin secretions of the cane toad are very healing to these problems (thought there is no mention of this in the Wikipedia article). Who would have thought! There is always something new and interesting around here.
Oooh, I must remember to include the happy birthday song!
But, like all good things, my visit came to a close. I biked to the ferry which took me across the lake. By the time I got off and got my bike back, there were no taxi’s but it was easy to just bike to Rivas, the main town just a few miles away. It took me a little while and a bit of help to find the bus station. I wish I could have taken photos of the dozens of streets clogged with street vendors, cars, bikes, pedestrians, horse carts and everything you could imagine. But, I was very busy trying to follow the nice lady with her little girl on her handlebars who was leading me to the bus station.
I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of Nicaragua, and I hope to come back again. Even on this visit it was very interesting to see more of Rivas, and there are many other cities and areas I haven’t seen at all. There is so much to see and do in this world, and even just in our own area.