The Story Continues and Now the Work Begins

Corn Island, Nicaragua
March 1978

It was pretty hard to get a truck out to our place

There was so much work to do on our newly acquired property. No-one had ever lived on it so there wasn’t even a road to get to it. Just a sandy track that was mostly used by Mr. Campbell and his horses. It was sure to get most vehicles stuck. We were happy to see that the middle of the island, which was a true swamp, was filled with popta plants. From living with the Misquito Indians in Honduras, I had learned the technique of building a thatched house using only the popta palm tree.

Let the party begin

The plan was to build 3 small houses leaving room for 9 others along with a communal cook-house/rec center. Finding someone to help us was almost impossible. One of our friends said that no one wanted/needed the work, but if we could somehow turn it into a party we might have a better chance of getting help. Sounded reasonable, so we made a plan! We bought a bunch of food and beer, and asked any abled body male if they were interested. To our surprise they all showed up.

That’s me hauling out about 500 popta leaves out of the swamp. We needed 30,000 just to finish one house!
Boy them are some short-short pants.
Now the serious construction work began. We also needed about 200 popta trunks for one house.

In no time at all – really about three months of hard-hard work – we were beginning to see the makings of our first house. The only tools that I had to work with were a machete, a hammer, a drill and my most useful tool a 99 cent kitchen knife.

Looking good!

The islanders thought that we were indeed crazy. They called this type of house a “trash house.” No one, they said all too often, in their right mind would live in something that only their great ancestors would build. Most days, a group of them would come down to Shallow Water, sit on the beach, have a smoke and a drink, and watch us work. Even though on Corn Island this type of construction was only used for building temporary structures, I knew that the popta leaf, if aged and properly laid, was good for about 20 years.

I Could Get Used to This Life

Caddo Lake State Park


This will be my last day at Caddo. I had a wonderful morning paddling around for almost 3 hours. An hour was spent going out to the river, and rowing up it while just enjoying all of the new home construction going on. You wouldn’t even know that there was an economic catastrophe going on. Seems like this financial epidemic, as usual, is really only affecting poor people.

I just can’t get enough of photographing these majestic cypress tress.

On the way back to my campsite I stopped to photograph a white heron. He was trying to fish, but some gringo kept taking his picture.

Ordinary yes, but still majestic!
I see ART.

I thought that I would finish off this post with a photograph that I took on my first day here. I was out in the kayak and it began to rain crazy like. I just laid back, the inflatable is really comfortable, and let the cool rain wash over my sweat soaked body. It was a great start to a wonderful time here.

Surprise surprise, It’s raining in the bayou.

Still a Break from the World

Caddo Lake State Park


Things are just going really well. My little inflatable has been a wonderful addition. It allows me to get up close and personal with the bayou.

What a relaxing way to photograph nature.

I usually at least get a boat ride in the morning, and then one in the evening. It is usually just too hot and humid mid day to go out. The worst part is the worry of somehow losing all my camera gear over board. I don’t have a great track record in that department, do I?

Another nice addition is this popup shower/ porta potty. It was about $25 and allows me to not have to use the bathroom facilities which I am assuming, at this point in time, are not all that sanitary.

I have literally taken hundreds of photos of and in the bayou, many of them are just fabulous, if i must say so my myself. The hard part will be going through them all and finding the best of the best.

I’ll post some when I do.