Diary Nica Trip 2014
Welcome to another diary from my mission trips down to Nicaragua.
Friday 7/4 to Saturday 7/5
We left on the 4th of July, which is kind of hard. Its a day to be with family and friends and watch fireworks. But when I planned the trip, i was not sure of my work schedule and this is they way it worked out. We left at 950p from SFO and got to Miama at 530am. I hate red-eyes, and i essentially forced myself to "go dormant", not sleep really, but also a form of rest.
We wandered around MIA until our plane was ready. There was a thunderstorm and our flight was delayed about 30 minutes. While waiting, I read the latest in a series of books I am a fan of: The Dresden Files. Its essentially a book about a good man who ends up forced into bad things and how he deals with it.
We climbed Cerro Negro, and I took the back way, which is like a normal hike in Quicksilver(LINK), with more uneven terrain. It was similar other years. See the comments HERE.
Today we got to go back to the community we worked in last year, La Churcada.(APPROX gps location). This is a wonderful community with a big generous heart and a great leader. We heard from Sebastian before we started digging, and he expressed his gratitude and said we were family. My group got paired with a woman in the community, Matilda, and we start by working at her house by building the septic tank for her modern bathroom. (PIC of hole). We also made the rebar mesh for the foundation. There were a goodly amount of children there, probably 7-10, and they are all related. They were beautiful children, and we spent a decent amount of time playing with them as well.
The important thing to know is that we're replacing old bad water wells with a plumbing system which provides 100 gallons of water per person per day.
STORY about the PIG.
Today we went back to La Chuscada to finish building the septic tank. We were able to build the foundation for the shower/toilet building. We also built the cover for the tank, which reminds me of my daughter Emma. The first year we were in Nicaragua, Emma had a great time mixing cement and building tank covers in El Chonco. We were able to mix the cement and make a cover, complete with rebar reinforcement. We were also able to finish the first stage of reinforcement of the septic tank, which needs to be up to 25 feet feet as it is supposed to last 30 years.
We also held some fun games for the kids. Here is a video of the shovel races.
(VIDEO of Shovel race)
It was also very hot today, at least 100 in the shade. I ended drinking around 5 litres of water today, and ended the day with nothing more than a slight headache. Matilda, the woman at whose house we were working, made several things for us today, including more Limonada with fresh picked limes right off her tree. She also made fried pippin, which is a type of cucumber with home made cheese, which, like all the things were delicious.
STORY about Calvin and the Pieta'.
Today I got a chance to deliver animals. The Pay It Forward Program gives cows, pigs or chickens to families in Nicaragua. They then have to give back an equal number of the animals in around a year or 18 months. Some families have turned 10 chickens into 30, and 1 cow into three via breeding programs. It helps them provide income and a protein source for their families. We left Chinandega at 9am, and then headed up to Minas de Agua, which is a gold mining community nerar Rincon de Garcia, where we worked 2 years ago. We got a chance to see the finished well an cistern up on a local hill. It was great to see knowing that we worked to start the relationship with the community. We picked up 2 cows there, and then drove 1.5 hours to the next stop.
(PIC of Minas de A.)
We then went to Callemito to drop off the first cow. It was given to Carlos Sanchez and his family, pictured below. The milk from the cow will provide important protein for health and milk fats for brain development of the children. We then drove 1.5 hours to our next stop.
PIC of Callemito
We then drove deeper inland to Marieta, which was a community deep in the hills. The couple, Elvi and Amada, had a beautiful little girl.
PIC of Carolin
You could tell by the streaks in her hair that she was likely defficient in B6 and B12, and was likely anemic. The family already had some chickens, and the nurse with us said that she could see improvement since the family had eggs to eat and sell, but the milk and cheese would likely help her with her remaining deficiencies.
PIC of Elvi and Amada.
We then drove the 2 hours back to the compound in the 104 degree heat.
Today was a rough day. I wasn't feeling good, but I had to get out to the community so I could see the family. I had thought long and hard about a question from the mother of the house, Matilda.
The bathroom being finished and well designed. (PIC)
Hunting for Mangoes (PIC)
Mass in the Field for the new school (PIC).