Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nearer My God to Thee…

Managua, Nicaragua

October 7, 2010

Hello, my ‘followers’,

It occurs to me that perhaps some of you might wonder about the You Tube connect to “Gabriel’s Oboe” from The Mission that appears at the top of my blog space. This has been on the blog site since pretty much the beginning when my friend, Ruth, realized how much I enjoyed that piece of music. She put it there so I can listen to it whenever I wish. The movie and book, The Mission, both in English and Spanish have been favorites of mine for years.

Normally, my blog mistress puts a title on my postings. However, I decided on the title for this one! Today I’ll share with you our last experience of determination to get to the various rural settings in spite of the conditions. I think we’ve reached a new aspect of reality and Claudio, my co-worker and the driver of our trusty yellow 4-wheel drive pickup, has finally admitted that there are limits!

One day we went to an area called Masatepe to negotiate for 6 quintales (600 pounds) of frijoles (beans) so that our farmers could replant. The fervent hope is to be able to make up for the crop lost to the intensive rains. We had a long but delightful day, finally accomplishing the task. Of course, there was waiting involved because the only person who could give us a valid receipt was in Ticuantepe which was 45 minutes away. We did a little paseo (pleasure trip) to the town and enjoyed some new sites. We also went to San Marcos, and among other things, saw Tom Monaghan’s Ave Maria University. No comment.

The next day we set off for 5 of the rural areas with the intention of delivering the 100 pound bags of seeds - one quintal had been dropped off the day prior at a closer area. The frijoles were well protected with meters of heavy black plastic…inevitable rain, you know! We started off and were able to get to Los Filos, Las Yucas, Las Latas-Lajas, La Ceiba and ULTIMATELY Las Parcelas! It was a trip never to be forgotten. I don’t know how many times Claudio stopped the truck, got out and spent several minutes trying to find a ‘possible place’ to get from ‘where we were’ to ‘where we needed to go’ without falling into one of several trenches and/or sliding off the edge of wherever! At one point earlier in the ‘adventure’, we met a larger truck than ours loaded with corn. Now, this is a one-vehicle-only type of trail that sits in between high banks of earth. These caminos have been ‘carved out’ by the rains over the years. There was definitely no way to back up and/or turn around. The fellows from the other truck “guided” us up on the side of the road which put us on about a 45 degree angle with himself on the ‘other truck’ side and myself on the ‘up’ side hanging onto the hand grip above my seat. I have no idea why it worked without some mishap…but it did. Claudio didn’t know how it worked either, but after the “passing” both trucks were upright and we were warm (as in sweating) and breathing! I think it was divine intervention! He had suggested previously that I pray to all the angeles y santos (male saints!!). I informed him that the “santas” (not as in Santa Claus!!) were more likely to be of help and more focused! He did not argue with me! Claudio is diabetic and we hadn’t brought anything to eat and it was well past ‘feeding’ time! Next time I’ll make sure we have food. He’s been doing this for 9 years and is a good driver and so I was anxious but not having a panic attack. However, I did not want to spend the night in mud up to my knees! We did manage – with a lot of help from above, I’m sure – to eventually get back down to the main road. Claudio admitted afterward that he was frightened. “It was the worst I’ve ever seen it”, said he! It was a fairly silent trip from La Ceiba to Las Parcelas. Needless to say, there were many prayers of gratitude sent up that evening. I checked to make sure the following day that Claudio said his, too!!

I do enjoy a challenge and have an adventuresome bone in my body, but I can do without a repeat of that particular experience. Claudio has not wanted to venture forth until the rains subside. He’s looking at next Wednesday. I’ll write an update afterward. I’m also making a list of aprendizajes (learnings) that have evolved from this experience. What adventure have you had lately and what did you learn from it?

Take care, my friends. Thanks for ‘following’ and to some of you for sending comments. Your love and support are greatly appreciated.

Your sister,


A note on the photos:

One of them is loading the sacks of beans, another is a delivery at Las Yucas, "Hector" is my little friend on the tire, the oxen are the most secure transport system in the rural area and the rural "kitchen" is just cooking is done there. The "loading" took place in Masatepe and the other photos were all taken at Las Yucas while we were delivering one quintal. That was before the going became very nearly IMPOSSIBLE.


Anonymous said...

I have to thank you for word of your exciting adventure. As soon as my palpitations go away, I'll realize this was my greatest adventure this week.

May your roads dry up, soon!

Sending my prayers of gratitude for your continued safety.


denise Sheppard said...

Jeanne, Thank God for your safety...all of you! I have heard that the rains were especially treacherous this year. I m happy you are all safe.
Thank you for keeping us updated.