Greetings from the swinging little beach town of San Juan del Sur on the southern Pacific coast of Nicaragua, home to a total of about 16,000 Nicaraguans and expats from all over the world. I arrived here on Saturday 2/13 after a 2.5 hour drive from the capital city of Managua. This town was once a sleepy surfer town but has grown into a town of sun, surf and fun for locals and expats alike. Nicaragua is a very poor country but people are helpful and friendly. I came to visit San Juan del Sur because of articles I read, attendance at seminars put on by International living and a desire to investigate possible retirement locations outside of my home in the USA. I guess one of the big attractions of places like Nicaragua is the low cost of living in many Central American countries like Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama but cost of living alone is not a good reason to retire to a country with a different language, different culture, different currency and a different history, political system and a different way of doing things. This is the dry season in Nicaragua so I am unlikely to encounter rain and the brisk ocean breezes make the heat less noticeable. Last night I visited El Timon restaurant and bar where a young Nicaraguan guy sang popular old US pop songs like the Frank Sinatra standard “My Way”, the Roy Orbison hit “Pretty Woman” and many Spanish language hits as well. The audience of locals and expats ended up dancing in the aisles and around the tables to the beat of the singer’s back up band. Lots of alcohol consumed but not by me! I used to really enjoy wine but as I have gotten older, my tolerance for alcoholic drinks has going down greatly, so last night I abstained completely. I had a chance to chat with two couples from Vancouver, Canada who had only met each other the previous day because they were staying at adjacent hotel rooms. Being away from home tends to lead to friendships that would never happen at home. I am still adjusting to the Nicaraguan culture and because my Spanish language skills are so poor communication with the local people is somewhat difficult. Today I plan to investigate the range of possible rental apartments and condos in San Juan del Sur to get a better idea of what is available and what the price range is. I am told that one can live nicely here on a monthly income of just $1200 rent included but we will see! Photos and a more “visceral” response to the local culture coming soon.