While the brevity of Twitter is useful, it is also quite restricting.
We have arrived safely at our destination and have all began to get settled in. Two services today, the first here in Jinotega and the second this evening in a small town about ten minutes from here called Apanats.
Spent about 3 hours walking the city with a couple of guys just to get an idea of the surroundings. It’s been almost ten years since I was in Jamaica but I don’t even remember them being as poor as the people here. The people of Nicaragua take great pride in their appearance, but seem to care very little about their surroundings. You see many of the locals sweeping their shops and trying to keep them in decent shape all the while the streets, sidewalks and parking lots are completely covered in litter.
On the outskirts of town we passed what seemed to be a dump, smoke rising from the trash piles on a hillside and the tough sight of people walking along parts of it looking for what one could only assume food or treasure.
Tomorrow we begin our work and I have signed up to help build a house for one of the local church members. I was informed that our only task is to raise a structure and put a roof on it and to leave it completely unfinished. This is due to the fact that if her house is too nice her entire family/extended family will decide to move in with her without much choice on her part. The lesson was learned the hard way a couple of years ago when a house was built for a separate elderly member and finished out with interior walls, electricity and plumbing. Turned out her son actually owned the land it was built on and once finished, he had her removed from the property and moved in on his own.
I met Miguel today. Miguel, or Michael as he was practicing his English for us, is a 24-year old resident who now takes care of his three younger brothers (14-18) after the passing of his father three months ago to stomach cancer. When I asked if the residence we were standing next to was his house, his only response was “this is my father’s house.” Miguel is actually one of seven kids who’s mom left over nine years ago and was visibly upset that the youngest sibling of them all, a girl, was now being forced to live with his older sister in Managua. At 24, Miguel has seen more life than most other men twice his age. I hope to work with Miguel tomorrow.
I fared pretty well for meals today. As Meatloaf said, two out of three ain’t bad. Breakfast consisted of a cooked-to-order omlette, ham, bacon and a fresh croissant. For lunch we were served a surprisingly good breaded chicken with some jalapeno flavored rice among others. I at least made an honest attempt to try one of everything on my plate. Skipped the beats in line.
Dinner, on the other hand consisted of a slice of white bread, carrot sticks and some local chips. That was my decision in lieu of the sloppy joes that others took part in. Haven’t had one in years and didn’t want to break the streak.
Among many other reasons I wish my wife would have made the trip, all of the couples that are here ended up getting private rooms with private baths. Probably going to take Mike up on his offer to use their bathroom in the morning to get ready after they are done.
Got just a few minutes before we get locked out of the main building so I better wrap up, not excited about the idea of sleeping on the computer room tile with three less locked doors between me and the elements.
More later if time permits.
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