Pura Vida Travels - A Guide To Travel In Latin America








One of the interesting things we did on this trip was make a trip to an accupuncture clinic. My wife is a big believer in "alternative" medicine mostly because of the sucky quality of medical care that's generally available in Nicaragua. While the Sandinista's love to tout the fact that Nicaragua has "free" medical care for everyone the reality is that if you want to see a decent doctor and you want to see them sometime while you're still breathing you need to pay for medical care. The bizarre thing is that the Sandinista's unwittingly create a free-market system that controls costs very well. Because there is no private insurance people price shop services very carefully. This leads to clinics having "sales" on things like mammograms in order to attract business. So, even though you have to pay for your own medical care, it tends to be a fraction of the cost for comparable services in the US. My wife, for example, had to have a chest x-ray and it cost $25. That's probably less than 10% of what it would cost in the US.

The accupuncture clinic is quite an operation and a booming business in Managua. They have 2 huge dorm-like rooms where they treat patients with 30 beds in each one and the place was full when we were there. The doctor comes in and the first thing he does is place some rocks with Japenese writing on them on your chest. I'm not sure what that's for but he plays with the rocks for a while and then decides where to stick the needles. After he puts the needles in he marks certain ones with a magic marker. The ones that he has marked an assistant lights incense on. After leaving the needles in for 10 to 15 minutes the doctor returns, removes them, flips you over and repeats the process on your back. I would like to tell you the process is painless but according to my wife, unfortunately, it isn't. She says it's not unbearable but it's certinly not painless.

The Acupuncture Clinic
The Acupuncture Clinic
The Needles
The Needles
Honey, I Am Nervous
Honey, I Am Nervous
Needles In Your Stomach
Needles In Your Stomach
Needles In Your Arm
Needles In Your Arm
Relaxing
Relaxing
Plenty Of Needles In Your Back
Plenty Of Needles In Your Back
Its Pretty In Here
Its Pretty In Here
You Can Study Here As Well
You Can Study Here As Well
Make A Career Of Oriental Medicine
Make A Career Of Oriental Medicine
Does She Smoke This
Does She Smoke This
Lots Of Natural Drugs
Lots Of Natural Drugs
And Some Tree Bark
And Some Tree Bark
Honey, That Hurt
Honey, That Hurt
Thats All
Thats All

I see a lot of websites touting Nicaragua as a great place to live but I rarely see any of them mention the downsides. While I have really enjoyed living in Nicaragua for the most part I have to tell you about some of the BS you will inevitably have to deal with if you live there long enough. One Friday afternoon around 5 PM the bitter midget and his henchman in the photos below showed up at our house. They were from Union Fenosa, the power company, and they informed us that we hadn't paid our electric bill so they were going to shut off our power. When my wife produced the receipt showing that we had indeed paid our bill the story changed to we didn't pay last months bill. When my wife produced a receipt for last month the story changed again to the previous month. This silly little comedy repeated itself until they got to July of 2008 and my wife didn't have a receipt showing she paid the bill. They then informed us that if we just paid them the $70 there would be no problem and they would be on there way. When I told them to go f*** themselves they promptly climbed up the pole and shut off our power. (I don't have a future as a diplomat.) The point of the story is that if you live in Nicaragua you are going to be on the receiving end of a lot of shakedowns whether it be the police, government beauracrats, or even the power company.

Thieving Jackass
Thieving Jackass
Trying To Call The Bank
Trying To Call The Bank
Our Nephew Is Concerned
Our Nephew Is Concerned
The Bitter Midget Supervises
The Bitter Midget Supervises
Pizza Hut Will Make You Forget
Pizza Hut Will Make You Forget
Kids Dig Coloring
Kids Dig Coloring
Aunt Leonora Watches
Aunt Leonora Watches
I Am Afraid Of The Bitter Midget
I Am Afraid Of The Bitter Midget
Juniett Knows No Fear
Juniett Knows No Fear
My Wife Protects Me
My Wife Protects Me
I Am A Lucky Guy
I Am A Lucky Guy

Here's some random video shot while driving around Managua.



Click Here For More Nicaragua Photos


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