Christian Ross

When in Rome…

There are any number of reasons why one might wake up at 5:00am two days in a row beating his alarm clock by a good hour to hour and a half, I just haven’t figured out which one it might be yet. Could be that he is just excited to get the day started, it could be that he knows that’s a perfect time to make sure he gets a shower, it could be that he hasn’t adjusted the hour time difference internally yet, or quite possibly it could be that in Jinotega, Nicaragua the 4-5am time range is when everybody arises. Especially the bus drivers and their ability to lay on the horn multiple times directly across the street at the station. I prefer to think I’m doing it to show my respect to the locals.

Slight change in plans yesterday, got moved from house building to painting a church in Yanke (pronounced Yankee). We referred to it as “pintura con la leche” which loosely translates to “painting with milk” as to the fact that the paint was thinner than the 2% we drink at home. We put several coats both inside and out and felt terrible about the outcome but were assured by our drivers/translators that today they would be covering it all with an oil-based paint to finish it off. A little happier to know that we just primered the walls and weren’t leaving it at that.

My buddy for the day was Javier (not that we were assigned buddies). Javier was a Yanke local, and by local probably lived three miles down at the bottom of the hill and must have started walking up as the van drove by. He is eleven and relatively soon after he got there was asking me if there was anything he could do to help. I obliged and let him do as much milk-washing as he card to take part in. He spent the entire day with us, working more than a few of the people on our crew even, and then shared my lunch with me (my offer, he would have never asked). I am thankful that he did knowing now how far he lived I am sure he wouldn’t have eaten anything until dinner. We finished up pretty early and headed back bringing Javier down the mountain and dropping him off at his house along the way.

On our return drive, we were a bit taken back at the sight of 20 or so locals standing along the road staring into the ravine at a body down there. Now there’s a chance the person may have been just inebriated, but by the looks on most of the women and children’s faces he faced a certain different fate. Not sure if he had been hit by a car or even how long he had been there but it was an interesting sight none-the-less.

We also passed a van of about six nuns standing on the side of the road looking to be in the process of changing a tire on their vehicle. We questioned Harvey our driver multiple times about our need to stop and help but he assured us that they just had a flat tire and they would be fine. I hope the Pope isn’t mad.

A shower upon return to the Mision and then a couple of guys and I spent a couple of hours drinking some of the local coffee at the local Starbucks equivalent. Great place, good coffee. Dinner, a little time going over the day, and then dealer at the Poker table to round out the evening.

Work day numero uno was a success. Today, I build a house.

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