This digital reader life hack gets you free library books anywhere you travel.

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We bought this great book before we knew we could borrow it instead.

One of the problems that I faced in my first year of living in Nicaragua was that I acutely felt the loss of not living near a world-class library system. We had brought our own physical library of books but as you know with kids, they consume books like paper towels when they love to read and we found that ordering books from organizations like Better World Books didn’t work for Nicaragua, they were simply stolen from out of the mail.

We began to rely more heavily on our Kindle Paperwhite digital reader for purchasing new titles. Aiden was at that time just starting to read chapter books but he could get through them so quickly! Books were becoming a frequent purchase and there was always a need for more titles- not only for Aiden but for me, too.

LITERARY LIFE HACK # 1: Connect your digital reader to your local library back home.

A year into our move, I remembered a pamphlet I had picked up at the library as we were leaving Charlotte, North Carolina (USA) that mentioned connecting digital readers like Kindle to our Charlotte Public Library account.

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Thank goodness we borrowed these books because there are 11 in the series!

So I sat down and read through the directions and minutes later I was selecting books online at the Charlotte Library website and Amazon was delivering the books to my Kindle for free!  In fact, I connected each member of our household who held a library card and for each person we could check out 10 e-books or audio books. Good deal!

A year later, when our Charlotte library cards expired, I called a Charlotte library branch from Nicaragua to get the memberships extended. The library requested when I called that we come into one of the branches in person, but they were able to handle the extension over the phone when I explained that we weren’t able to come in (by the way, this is another reason why I love having a Magicjack Go device that gives me a USA phone number just for these kind of calls that do come up when you live abroad).

So know before you go, if you have not joined your local library yet, please do it before you start your world travels!  But if you didn’t, there is still hope…

LITERARY LIFE HACK # 2:

Continue reading “This digital reader life hack gets you free library books anywhere you travel.”

Packing for the kids to head to Granada, Nicaragua!

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Moms and dads are always pondering about what to pack for a long term stay in Granada.  It’s hard to know what can be easily picked up when you arrive and what really requires some preplanning to have ready to go in the suitcase.

Most everything can be purchased in Nicaragua in some form or another.  However, it is often not at the price you wanted to pay or the quality that you hoped to find.  Shopping is also not the enjoyable experience that it is at home and there is no online retail to be had in Nicaragua.

For those reasons, I highly recommend doing any necessary shopping before you leave home and pay the extra luggage costs for additional baggage.  Those fees will seem cheap in comparison to the time and money you will fork out if you wait to find it when you arrive to Nicaragua.

Here is my list of helpful items to purchase before you leave home:

Toys

What to Bring Toys
Legos are super expensive in Nicaragua so bring a few bags with you. And don’t forget your Pokémon cards if you are a fan!

No matter how many days you are staying in Nicaragua, please bring some favorite familiar toys for your kids.  The same toys they like back home, they will like here, if not more.

When in doubt and it could reasonably go along with you, bring it.  Pack your trading cards games, bags of Legos, dolls and action figures, water toys, and anything else that you feel would help them relax and engage playing on their own or with other kids they meet.

Daily clothes, shoes and school uniforms

Stock up on your kid’s daily wear before you leave. Clothes wear out quickly in Nicaragua and are not easily replaced.  Continue reading “Packing for the kids to head to Granada, Nicaragua!”