As I have time I am going to add the things I journaled while in Nicaragua. I might censor a little bit of the stuff with too much personal introspection. I'm not THAT vulnerable, and also add a few thoughts here and there...
2/12/10 - Friday
We arrived about 9 pm in Managua ... a mariachi band greeted us as we went through luggage. It was a strange blast to the senses after arriving in a foreign country, bu tit was cool, too. We jumped on buses and rode until I think about 1 am to San Ramon. I couldn't see anything out the windows - extremely dark roadsides - but I could certainly smell the agriculture. I'm glad we get to ride back to Managua in daylight next week. That souns crazy, next week ... I miss my kids already, so it's going to be interesting to see how I hold up! The dorm here (the "Quinta" as they call it) is basically a mansion. I had no idea what kind of sleeping arrangements to expect, o this is a pleasant surprise. Off to a great start!
2/13/10 - Saturday
We woke up and had orientation - then we sorted all of the medicine and other items that came in the bins that we packed and carried on the plane, getting them ready to take to the clinics in the villages. A lot of work on the tedious side, but it will be worth it when we see how it's used I bet.
The rest of the day was supposed to be free time with the "Veterans" team going out to work in a village only. I managed to get myself assigned to help them though, which was a great move. We rode about 20 minutes up the road to a school straight up the mountain. The views looked like LOST, except for the shacks peppering the landscape. I rode in back of a truck with Stuart and another kid and was fairly scared, haha.
The school was a little two-room building with dirty floors and open-air windows. At one point something dropped on the ground and one the vets remarked that it was cleaner than the floors of the average home and picked it back up for use. I wasn't sure what that meant, but saw later when I walked around. Homes, with few exceptions, have dirt floors and cracks in the walls and roof that let in more dirt, water, etc.
The clinic was pretty cool. There were a couple of hundred people waiting there, most with little kids that looked sad and sick. People weren't very friendly there as opposed to Panama and Mexico. We'll see if that holds up, I hope it doesn't,
We sorted pills and packaged them, they were anti-worm pills that are given to virtually all of the little kids that come through the diagnosing station. Boring ... until one of the nurses came through and told us that each packet essentially saves a kid's life. Sobering - and suddenly it makes the work seem important instead of shackling.
Stu and I walked around a little bit, it was simple and poor. Dirty and kind of simply cool. I thought about the simplicity of life and it's kind of appealing in some ways, you know? Especially if I had never know the things I know as comforts now.
The kids are cute, but it's really sad to see how sick most looked. Maybe it's because we were at a medical clinic, and it's not every kid though? I hope so.
We rode on top of the bus coming back down the mountain. I t was pretty neat - temperature was nicer, but we had to duck low-hanging branches.
I miss Josie and my babies a ton. Gonna be a hard week! It's almost dinnertime now, we'll see what tonight holds.