Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Breakfast of Champions

Greetings once again from hot, steamy, teeming rain, tropical Managua. The good news is that the rains have been coming more frequently so our farming folks can have hopes for a productive harvest. Without this there is no recourse for the folks of the rural areas, so I gladly raise my umbrella and try to stay somewhat dry…usually not successfully. However, there is no evidence of a ‘rain hat’!!

Speaking of the rural territories, I spent yesterday in La Ceiba. This is the furthest and highest area we visit. The day was designed for a workshop on Natural Medicine. The women and a couple of fellows had been collecting, pressing and drying various leaves that have medicinal value as homework following the previous workshop. Yesterday was devoted to attaching them to tag board by means of glue or sewing, naming them, describing what they were used to cure or prevent and instructions on how to prepare them. After this was completed….some had as many as 23 specimens!….each sheet was placed in a plastic sheath together with a title page,, holes punched in each and then tied with yarn. The project took time but was most successful and gratifying. The participants now have a compendium of useful information with which to meet the medical needs of their families and neighbors. Medicine is expensive and there are many natural items that have curative effects, cost nothing and also do not introduce chemicals into the body.

On the way to La Ceiba, we dropped of poles and tarps at the well at Las Yucas that will be needed for Monday’s receiption of the Prime Minister of Luxumbourg. She will be visiting to see first hand how the well which Caritas Luxumbourg/Switzerland and Cantera helped finance, is functioning. As we were jouncing along, I mentioned that I was hungry because I had forgotten to eat breakfast beingin a hurry to get to the office at 8:00…the prescribed time to leave. Of course, we didn’t leave until 9:40. So Claudio offered me a HUGE mango he’d acquired and handed me his Swiss Army knife! This was a VERY RIPE mango…I leave the rest up to your imagination - jolting truck, VERY JUICY mango, sharp knife, small plastic bag, originally clean shirt and pants…..!!! The mango was delicious!!

More people than anticipated arrived, including some who arrived just at dinner time. Strange that they should arrived just in time for food! Hm-m-m. My concern was for the meal we’d brought already prepared, but Regina and Victoria managed very well, making sure everyone had something to eat….even dividing up the cookies and wrapping them in a napkin…one for children, two for adults!

O course, getting there and returning always has its adventures, not the least of which is the return by the ‘bajada de San Andres’ which my colleague, Claudio, insists is much faster! I have my doubts about this. I’m going to prove scientifically that it’s not any faster. It may be shorter, but not faster because it must be traveled VERY, VERY CAREFULLY! He delights in exposing folks to this trail, especially if it’s a ‘first time’ which it was for two of the passengers one of which was riding in the bed of the pickup along with the empty cooking pots which kept sliding around and falling over!! We arrived safely and in good condition, if not a little muscle sore from the jolting and jostling! I arrived home sweaty, rain soaked, mango stained and dirty but content, since a profitable day was had by all … Nicaraguan campo fashion!

So much for another day in the life of a gringa in the Nicaraguan ‘highlands’.

Thanks for following these adventures and this adventuress. Gratitude for all you do to make this world and life a little easier for another/others.

Peace and Love,


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