Friday, January 21, 2011


We have been riding the bus nonstop since 3:30 yesterday until around 5 this evening when we made it to Puerto Cabeza. Still have another 4-8 hrs to Francia tonight depending on how bad the roads are. It was a fairly nice ride on the bus in my opinion. We only had a flat tire once during the night and otherwise have just stopped for some food stops.

I was thinking about this last Christmas break when I went shopping with Arthur and my step-dad a few days before Christmas. We were leaving the mall and got stuck in the hoards of people also leaving. We sat for probably an hour hardly moving until we finally made it out of the mall parking lot. I can remember feeling frustrated, not believing that it could take so long just to get out of a parking lot. Thinking back on that now, I wonder how I can feel so differently on time. We spent 4 hours in Managua just waiting for our bus to arrive. When a friend came to me worried, asking if I'd heard anything on why it was so late, I just smiled and said, "We just wait. It's what we do here." Then we just spent the last 26 hours riding on a bus that hardly passed 20 mph because of the constant holes to bounce through with dust billowing inside like a Saharan dust storm. But despite the cruciatingly slow pace, I really didn't care. I guess it's the differences in expectations. Here I don't expect to go anywhere at a fast pace and there aren't really any deadlines to meet. In the States I expect to be places in the time I've allotted in my schedule. People are expecting me to be timely and punctual. Oh how great it would be to not have that time push back at home. To feel free to travel at whatever pace feels comfortable and even stop along the way to hang out and talk with friends. I wonder if it would make us more apt to help out that person on the side of the road or take more time in communication to actually understand the other person and their needs if we didn't feel pushed to just say what we need to say and get on with the day.

Right now most of the group is sitting by the bus just hanging out. We already ate dinner and bought dinner for the next week so I don't really know what we're waiting for instead of just leaving for Francia, but no one seems to care. We'll get there.....some time. And right now in the moment, it's great to just sit and laugh together.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nous sommes arrives.....or llegado....

We have arrived in Managua, Nicaragua! (and there is internet at the hotel!) Every time I open my mouth to speak, French comes out instead of Spanish. It's like being in a foreign country brings out the foreign language, but not necessarily the one that fits. I say "avec" instead of "con", "oui" instead of "si", "et" instead of "y", "ici" instead of "aqui"...and it's those little words that mess up my sentences. We stayed the night at a very nice hotel across the street from the airport and are planning to pack up the bus and leave at 11am after exchanging some money. Should be an epic 30 hour trip across the country. So long! But it will be great to see the entire stretch of the country from west to east, Managua to Puerto Cabeza and then north and inland into Francia Sirpi. Can't wait!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Off to Nicaragua

Back to dirty water, poisonous snakes, and rice in abundance.

Back to smiling brown faces, stumbling through different languages, and stickers for the kids.

Back to sweaty scrubs, dirty wounds, and handing out medications.

Back to malaria, parasites, and fever.

Might sound a bit uncomfortable or intimidating, but it is like music to my ears. It is like going home. Tuesday evening I will step foot into Nicaragua for the next three months with my 16 other companions. It is my final semester before graduating in May with the classes Emergency Care II, Global/Public Health, Relief Infrastructure Practicum, Travel & Tropical Medicine, Jungle/Coastal/Ocean Survival, and International Relief & Mass Care. The fun is that these aren't the classic "sit in a desk and listen to a lecture" kind of classes. We get to get our hand's dirty building wellheads and other community projects around the villages. We get to don scrubs and hike out with supplies to do medical outreach clinics. We get to sit in a little boat for 24 hours anchored out in the ocean, enjoying the misery of surviving together.

As with any trip overseas, I don't know what is going to happen and if we will do what we've been planning on. But I do know that I will enjoy it immensely and be challenged immensely. And I hope that I will also grow immensely closer to God.

Updates on this blog will happen whenever possible when we travel through towns with internet. Otherwise, I will see you all the end of April!