DAY ONE OF THE MISSION TRIP-SATURDAY
After a one-and-half hour delay in departing from Atlanta, we arrived in Managua with all of its city lights around 11pm on Friday. We rode in an old school bus to Leon in total darkness. We stopped at a convenience store and I bought two large bottles of water and a package of butter cookies for $3.00. We arrived at our destination and were in our bunk beds around 2am. At breakfast everyone was excited about either going to the church construction site by the Pacific Ocean in Salinas Grande or the medical site in Marononal just north of Leon.
After a one hour dirt-road bumpy ride, everyone climbed out of the truck to find a work stations. Some worked inside with concrete, others outside on digging the hole for the outhouse. We all worked on sifting the rocks out of the dirt into a wheelbarrow. It takes rhythm, folks, to shake a screen box while another person shovels dirt. Fred worked steadily and quietly on stuccoing an interior wall… determined to master the art of applying the wet concrete mix to the block walls. All the jobs were difficult, but at the end of the day we were fascinated at the amount of work we had completed.
We stopped at a grocery store named Pali to get some necessities. It was there that our construction crew ran into our medical team there. All the ladies and the members of their team shared their amazement at being able to come together so quickly in order to test and treat more than 100 patients (mostly children) in one day. They talked about how much they loved the people of Marononal. Our team commented on how we were moved by the love of the people of Salinas Grande.
The money exchange in the store was unbelievable. The exchange is 30.6 cordobas= $1 (US) and I was 1 cent short. The cashier waited patiently for me to bum a few cordobas from Dan Baer to pay the balance. In the US, the cahier would have let it go, but not here. I purchased two full bags of groceries; bananas, apples, bottle waters, yogurt, and some other things for a total of $5.05 (US). Wow, what a country!