La Vuelta

It’s been a long 2 months away, Internet World.  First, my trusty laptop finally gave up the fight — after working for 6 months held together by a wish, some shoestring, and duct tape.  Then I went home to the States to visit some family.  My visit was perfectly timed – I got there in time to see the amazing fall colors, spend Halloween with my little sister, and cower from Hurricane Sandy.

After so much time away, I have so much to write about!!  My first adventure driving in Nicaragua, my first time being party to bribing a cop, or having my camera stolen by customs?  Or my hunt for longer term work in Central America,  the early stages of Mercury going retrograde, or the many revelations that come from spending time with family.  Where is a girl to start?

Since my computer was the cause of my absence, I’ll start with my adventure to try to get it fixed.  See, this little computer is a trucker.  The piece where the power cord plugs in broke off about a week before I left for my Central American adventura.  I was lucky enough to have a friend patch things back together, which kept me flowing and writing up until now.  The patch included an external wire that constantly came unattached from the computer, which luckily only meant that the wire had to be soldered together.  That was accomplished for 10 cordobas – or about 50 cents – by the ever-accommodating Alfredo, who worked at Pure and would run my laptop over to his friend the solderer and return it in working condition.

When I left Pure and packed my laptop into my backpack to make the treck out to Isla de Ometepe, I was caught in an unexpected rainstorm.  I arrived, damp computer on hand, and realized that my laptop made a strange hissing sound whenever I turned it on.  Luckily, there was another handyman on site who offered to tinker my computer back to health.

This surgery kept Lassy the Laptop going for another month before the cords began to unstitch their soldering once again.  Not knowing the man in town who Alfredo went to, I turned to my artisan friends and their small soldering machine.  These fixes kept my computer in power for 2-3 days at a time, but the cords kept coming unstitched.  Finally, we tracked down a professional solderer, but the computer never came back to life.

Thus began my hunt for a computer repair guy!  My trusty fallback Google is strangely silent on searching for local resources in Nicaragua.  Que lastima!  That meant lots of asking for friends of friends and then waiting for said friends to accompany me with my computer lest I get ripped off for being a Gringa.  Unfortunately, my friend of a friend was sick for some time and unable to go with me to the tienda.  I braved it alone, hoping for fair treatment.

Fair treatment did not come – first with an offer to repair the computer that was much higher than I was willing to spend, and then with a surprise charge to look at the computer after many reassurances when I dropped the machine off that it would cost nothing to look at. This gave me an excellent opportunity to practice my Spanish while angry.  I learned all kinds of words to describe being ripped off and taken advantage of.  The man’s mouth dropped when I stormed his shop for my computer and gave him a piece of my mind.  He had been under the impression that I was an English speaker only.

Disheartened, I brought the computer to a neighbor, who’s brother had informed me was good with electronics.  He referred me to a fixer of things electric.  Three consultations later, I had three agreements that the computer was indeed unfixable.  I packed it off to the States in the hopes that I could get a different answer there, but alas, Lassy the Laptop had sung her final song.

How grateful I am that I was gifted the lovely laptop I know type on!  Expect more posts soon, Internet World!  I missed you.

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