Hello my friends:
After a false start, I arrived at the scheduled time but two days later than planned! Since then there have been many things occurring but at a much slower pace than we're used to in the U.S. I spent two days with the folks of Cantera planning the year and I have become a part of the rural team out of a place called Mateare which is fairly close to Managua where I live.
I've been to the "campo" twice now and it's a REAL TRIP getting to where you're going. It's up into the hillsides and the roads, if you wish to give them that level of honor. They are really no more than dirt and sand. During the rainy season which begins in May, the roads will form deep gullies. This will last the duration of the rainy season (6 months). The fellows that drive our pick up are talented indeed - avoiding the possibilities of flipping over! I did take some pictures yesterday but still need to practice on that piece and figure out how to link them to the blog. Internet is not high speed here and still relies on dial up. You get the picture (or maybe not).
The people here are wonderful - warm, receptive, simple and uncomplicated. The young folks are full of life and hope. We were in a place yesterday - Las Yucas - where a cooperative effort which included Cantera had been able to sink a well and make water more available. The men drive carts with yoked oxen carrying large water barrels to get water for living. Now they don't have to go as far as before. They are voluntarily helping to lay piping so as to make it even more accessible. All of this is done with great physical effort and no machinery.
I've had troubles with the computer getting hooked up, as I mentioned before. The other snag is getting my documents for residency which I have less than 90 days to submit. I came without certain papers that I need for the legal stuff in order to stay here. Someone slipped up and failed to tell me all I needed to get ahead of time from the Nicaragua Consulate in the U.S. Anyway, I'm learning lots as I struggle with this stuff. The language is improving but I'm pretty much the new kid on the block and the "gringa". With time that will get better. The weather is tolerable - between 75-95 with plenty of wind. I'm doing O.K. Just missing folks alot but that's to be expected. If you don't love folks, you don't miss them.
I do think about my many friends at the hospital and in my community family and want to know what's happening in that part of my world. I will be doing some visiting at the women's hospital, psychiatric hospital and children's hospital (tomorrow) as I have time. For sure there's no similarity to what I'm used to, but people are people no matter where they live on this planet. I'll let you know more about these visits after I've had some initial time there. Take care, my good friends. I would love it if you could all leave comments to me here.