Life in the Jungle

Although life living here in the jungle farmlands of Nicaragua is beautiful and I enjoy living here, there are times when I wonder what in the world I have gotten myself into. I’ve realized that life here just takes more. It’s not easy to live here. It takes more effort than in the States. Yet, many times, I just laugh at the craziness of it all. So, I thought I might provide y’all with a glimpse into the top 10 tools I use often here in Nicaragua.

1. Water Heater. No hot water here. Sometimes we barely even have water as it only comes once or twice a week. But when it’s chilly here and a cold shower is unimaginable, heating up my water on the stove, pressurizing it, and having four minutes of hot water is such a blessing.

2. Clothes wringer. Yes, I feel like I’m back in the pioneer days with this one. But it helps a lot to be able to wring out my clothes before I hang them up to dry, especially in the rainy season. Dry clothes are better than moldy clothes every time.

3. Clothes washer. This tool looks a lot like a plunger. But this little guy helps me wash more than one item at a time. I put the water, soap, and some clothes in a bucket and plunge it with this thing for a couple minutes and presto—clean clothes!

4. La pila. Unless of course the clothes are reallydirty or are extra big, like towels and blankets. I clean all those on the washboard of my pila. A pila is a basin-washboard combination. The pila is also super helpful when it comes to giving my dog a bath, too.

La pila

5. Yeti. These large, well-insulated coolers are awesome. Since there’s not enough solar for a refrigerator this is where I keep my foods that need to be kept cold. Although I still have to go to the store every three days to get ice, they work really well.

6. Machete. Yap, even the gringa has one of these. You might be surprised by the many uses for this tool: killing scorpions and other big unwanted jungle bugs, weeding the garden, cutting the grass, and cutting down coconuts and bananas from the trees. No, I haven’t used it as a weapon yet, but it makes me feel prepared, just in case.


7. Buckets. One bucket is for collecting rain water to use for the toilet. I also use other buckets to clean my car, water the plants, and many of various other tasks as well.

8. Shoes. Although, they are a necessity to wear constantly to keep the parasites out of my body, they are also useful for other things, you might not think of. My number one use for them is killing mosquitos, spiders, tarantulas, fire ants, beetles, and other unwanted creatures that make their way into my house.


9. A needle. Of course this has an obvious use—repairing the holes that randomly show up in my clothes. But they also come in super handy when you get lava glass stuck in your hands or feet. What’s lava glass? Oh, it’s just the hair-like pieces of glass that fall out of the sky since I live super close to the Masaya Volcano.

10. Baygon. This handy pesticide is one of my best friends. I use this stuff to kill any unwanted creatures – especially those I don’t want to get to close to (tailless whip scorpions) or those that outnumber me 10,000 to one (termites).

As you can see, life can be crazy around here. This is just a fraction of all the things I actually use, but a good glimpse at life here. I am super thankful that God has chosen to place me here to serve alongside His people. He continues to teach me so much. Not just about living life in the jungle, but about who He is, who I am in Him, and His wonderful plan for His people.


Bethany Alms serves with MTW in Nicaragua.


Bethany Alms in Managua Nicaragua on Nov 30, 2017

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