How to Rent a House in Nicaragua
I’m back in Nicaragua! It was difficult leaving my family, but I’m glad to be here.
Apparently, there is a lot of work to be done. Over a period of three days, I have mowed our giant lawn with a push mower by myself. When I asked about a weed-eater, they told me it was broken and they use machetes instead. Ha! I can’t imagine how much work that must be.
I have spent the last two afternoons wandering around town with another staff member looking to rent a house for a family that is coming to do one of our training schools. I have learned a lot in the process. First of all, no one has a numerical address for their house. Addresses are something like: “From the grocery store, four blocks south, yellow house.” Second, there are no classified ads if you’re looking for an economical house in our town. What you have to do is, walk up to someone sitting in front of their house in a neighborhood you like and ask, “Do you know of any houses for rent around here?” If they say yes, you gather the cryptic description of where the owners (or landlords) live and go to their house. Once you get to the owners house you knock on the door and inquire about the house for rent. If you’re lucky, the owners are at home. If not, you might get to speak to a child or a neighbor who will tell you when to return. We spent a lot of time wandering the streets like this talking to people only distantly connected to a rental house. Third, when you finally do find a house, realize that houses with everything you need are expensive. We’ve been looking at houses to rent for between $60 and $300 a month. For this price you don’t get a lawn, stove, refrigerator, air conditioning, washer, dryer, etc. One house we looked at we were told had a garage to put a car in. It turned out the garage was right next to the kitchen- without a dividing wall. So you would basically be sitting at the table in the kitchen and be able to smell the gasoline from your car. I don’t think I would have designed a house that way.
Anyway, we did finally find a suitable house and the family is excited about coming. The school I’m staffing starts January 23. Until then, we have a lot of prep work to do and I should get back to it!