The Expat Files: Iguanas on my Roof

A sketch of the Casino at Montelimar, Nicaragua - once Somoza's beach house.A sketch of the Casino at Montelimar, Nicaragua – once Somoza’s beach house.

I stumbled across an interesting book this weekend; Iguanas on my Roof – Funny, Sad, and Scary OVERSEAS ADVENTURES of a Foreign Service Family in Third-World Countries during the Vietnam War and Watergate Era  .I immediately recognized the title – we had iguanas on our roof. I remember when we first moved to Nicaragua trying to sleep with some tremendous racket overhead. I crept outside and leaned a ladder up to the wall, climbing up to find out what it was. There were a half-dozen huge iguanas and an equal number of cats all chasing each other around on the corrugated galvanized roofing. I couldn’t tell who was chasing who – but it was a mess. After I learned what it was up there – it was easy to ignore the cacophony and sleep.

Most of what was in the book was familiar to me, even the sections from the Philippines and Nigeria. There are certain stock scenes common to life in any poverty-cursed tropical place. Every incident brought back memories of similar episodes and adventures from my own youth…

The final chapter is titled, “We Went Back Home.”  Where is home? I don’t understand the concept. People talk to me about being “homesick” – I have no idea what they are talking about…  You see, It felt differently to go through a journey like that as a kid. When you are young… it is simply how things are. You don’t know any better… For me, for example, the place and time where I had the most trouble adapting was when I went to college in the states. My nickname for a couple years was “Banana Boat” – as in, “Bill, you’re an American like the rest of us, but you act like you just fell off a banana boat.”

 

The land of lakes, volcanoes, and sun. A painting I bought on my last trip to Nicaragua.

The land of lakes, volcanoes, and sun. A painting I bought on my last trip to Nicaragua.

It’s late, so late. I think I’ll pour a little Flor de Caña (I was so happy when that became available in Dallas), get my writing in, and call it a day.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “The Expat Files: Iguanas on my Roof

  1. Holy cow, I want to live inside that painting!
    I think I’d find it nearly impossible to get any work down all day if that was placed near my desk. It’s dreamy and inviting.
    I bet there’s a terrific novel buried inside that work of art.
    Cheers

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s