"We're on an adventure together."
That's what we said to each other all week long. An adventure, we called it, because that's what it was. An adventure to a third-world country with forty other members from our church to set up a medical clinic in a remote village. We passed out medication, pulled teeth, gave out prescription eye glasses and reading glasses. And we shared the gospel.
To be clear: Jordan and I didn't actually do the teeth-pulling and or the eye checking, but we did assist the dentist and doctors we brought with us from the US. Like I said before, Jordan worked on the vet team, and I helped in the eye care clinic.
Our flight to Houston was bright and early Saturday morning. Fifty people wearing matching t-shirts. Kill me. (You guys all know how I feel about matching, right?)
It took so long to get our bags checked in that by the time we started going through security, they were announcing the final boarding call on our flight over the loud speaker. Thankfully, the security line wasn't too long, and after a quick sprint through the airport (and, ahem, a stop to pee for SOMEONE), we made it to our gate. That's the closest I've ever come to missing a flight.
We landed in Houston and then switched to the international terminal for our flight to Managua, Nicaragua! There's really nothing that makes you feel more awesome than heading toward the international terminal.
We arrived in Nicaragua around 11:00 a.m., and this lovely green bus met us at the airport. This is the bus we rode around in to the village and back and on our free day on Friday. Our entire group actually split between two buses. There was a green one and an orange one.
First stop: lunch at Pizza Hut!
I'm not a huge fan of Pizza Hut normally, but Nicaraguan Pizza Hut is no joke. I think they use a different kind of cheese or something. Like, yum.
From there we headed to the mission house, and I snapped pictures of the scenery and towns we passed as our bus driver fearlessly maneuvered Nicaraguan traffic. Or, what I like to call the highway of death.
At one point he took a wrong turn and decided it would be a good idea to back up around a corner and through an intersection. That's all I'm going to say about that.
I'd never been to a third-world country like this before. It was pretty crazy seeing the shacks and the dirt roads and the trash piled up along the side of the street. I mean, here in the US we're freaking out over our iPhone screens getting broken, and people in Nicaragua are still pulling carts with horses and washing clothes by hand in a tub. The twenty-first century might as well be the first century in some respects, and it's hard to wrap my mind around.
After a few hours on the bus, we arrived at the mission house. Each week, the mission house hosts a new group from the United States. We stayed here on Saturday night when we arrived in Nicaragua, and then again on Thursday and Friday night once we got back from the village. We spent Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights in the village. They have a staff of people to cook and clean for us, and part of the fee we paid to come on the trip pays for upkeep of the mission.
^^^This is Miguel. He was one of our translators in the village and was actually with Jordan on the vet team all week. I think this picture is cool, because when I was creepin' around the mission house at the beginning of the week taking pictures of random stuff, I had no idea who this was. When Jordan and I were looking at my pictures after we got back, we realized I'd taken a picture of Miguel!
Jordan said Miguel was really awesome to work with, and at the end of the week Jordan gave Miguel the work gloves he'd brought with him because Miguel said he liked them.
Saturday afternoon, we spent some time counting pills that we were going to take to the village the next day. We also filled small bags of fruit loops to give to the people when we gave them their parasite pill. The pills taste really bad, so we wanted to give them something that tasted good to get the taste out of their mouths.
We got to bed early that night, because we knew we had a long, hard week ahead of us.
In my next Nicaragua post, I'll take you into the village of La Pintada!
Um, so despite my best efforts, this post got kind of long.
I'll try to keep the rest of them shorter, but no promises. There's just so much to tell!