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Current location: Apartment, San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

01.03.11

Price of beer in a bar: US$1.85/liter
Song currently stuck in my head: Is This Thing On? (!!!)

Water.

We don’t drink the water in San Juan Del Sur, though we often do. We buy 5 gallon bottles of drinking water every 2 or 3 days and use these when we want to drink a cold glass of water. If we’re heating the water (coffee, boiling food, etc), we use tap. We also use tap to brush our teeth and wash our dishes. I’m not sure why, but this appears to be the norm. We occasionally notice minerals in the water after we’ve boiled it, though this hasn’t happened in a long time. The girlfriend frets about a lack of calcium in her diet but eschews the seemingly calcium rich water. Kidney stones are a common problem throughout the region. I think the water was worse (“harder”, I think would be the appropriate term) in Esteli, but we never used bottled water there.

In Utila, the local water was brackish; even the “city” water. You shower in it but no one cooks with it or serves it or ice made with it and you try to keep your mouth shut in the shower. We had to buy a lot more bottled water there, but mostly because the oppressive heat wrung it out of us as quickly as we could put it in.

Placencia city water is fine.

For the last several days in San Juan Del Sur we’ve been largely without city water. An occasional trickle would show up and disappear, a cruel tease of a shower might develop for 30 minutes… that kind of thing. Many of the buildings here have cisterns; big tanks of city water on their roofs used as reserves. We do not and the sudden and massive influx of vacationers for New Years was more than the city water system could support. After the flow gradually slowed and the short outages steadily grew over the days surrounding Christmas, things finally came to a practical standstill. Apparently many of them left yesterday because we suddenly have water again; full stream, glorious, life giving water. I took my first useful shower in about 3 or 4 days yesterday.

I trust everyone had a good New Year’s Eve. We hit a couple of local bars and took in a firework show on the beach. The local tradition is to burn a scarecrow-like figure stuffed with firecrackers, the “old year”, in effigy at midnight. Eat your hear out, Logan’s Run.

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