Nicaraguan Adventure // Planes and Automobiles

8.08.2014


"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!

You guys. 

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!

39 comments:

  1. People are switching away from using "third world" as a descriptive term, and instead choosing to use "developing." http://www.economist.com/node/16329442

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *instead are

      Delete
    2. When did this change?

      I'm not trying to be rude to any other country, and I'm Brazilian so I think I can say this, but 'developing' is not always truth. The favellas in Brazil are definitely 3rd world. I think the term 'developing' sounds like America PC?

      Delete
  2. I went to Belize in January 2012 and that was my first time in a third world country too. We drove about 2 hours from the airport to where we were staying and looking at their houses and the villages was very eye-opening. You're so right - we're worried about crack iphone cases and they didn't even doors on their house...We fly in New Years Day and the native who was driving one of our vans was talking about how he didn't do anything for New Year's Eve because people will go around shooting people just because it's the new year! Talk about eye-opening! Can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love hearing about this! So amazing that you got to do it together!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love hearing all of it :)
    Makes me happy to know Pizza Hut is around the world :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love your posts and don't mind them getting long at all! Keep 'em coming! Such an incredible, and I'm sure humbling experience. Jared and I are hoping to go on a missions trip with our church eventually!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yay! This was not long and fun to read. Wait?! You went to Nicaragua. ha ha JK!

    Honestly, I really love seeing other people's view of 3rd world countries. I guess growing up in one it all seemed normal to me. Also, if they would have taken me to a Pizza Hut I would have ben looking for a food truck stand. Not because I don't like Pizza Hut but I love food from other countries (minus dog meat).

    Oh and those pills .... I've taken those when I lived in Brazil. ew!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I don't know how it is in Brazil, but in Nicaragua we had to be really careful about what food we ate because they didn't want us getting sick. So they have a few restaurants they know will be clean, and if we bought other stuff it had to be something we could peel (like a mango or something). The water situation was crazy. We couldn't even get it in our mouths a little bit, so everything was bottled. I don't know if they were just being over prepared or what, but I definitely don't want a parasite, so I was okay with it. Plus for real, girl, the pizza was so good. Not like it is here.

      Delete
  7. Ahhh! These are the best kind of adventures! Your experience reminded me of my last mission trip to Mexico that I went on in college. Crossing the border into Mexico is always crazy and then riding a bus 10 hours over night. It was quite an adventure. I love that you were part of a medical team. That would be so amazing! I can't wait to hear more!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love reading about this trip and seeing the pictures. Thanks for sharing. Not long at all btw.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love that you randomly got a picture of your translator (random pictures are sometimes the best!)
    and what a good idea to help offset the nasty pill taste with fruit loops!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What an amazing trip. Love all your pictures. The random horse on the side just waiting around is too funny, but also just really cool.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Matching shirts! Hilarious. I love that the pizza was so good. What a great trip - you take such beautiful pictures

    ReplyDelete
  12. I loved this post! It looks like it was an amazing trip and I loved getting a glimpse into it! I've always heard that fast food chains'(like Pizza Hut) have different tasting food in different countries and it sounds like the one you had was really good! I also love that Fruit Loop idea, it sounds like the perfect trick!

    I also looove that you aren't a huge fan of matching. Living in a house with two sisters and my mom has called for many, many outfit changes in my lifetime! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow! What an awesome experience. I can't even imagine being able to do that. It must have made you feel good to help people like that. ;-D

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for sharing your experience with us! And you can keep those posts as long as you want! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm already so in love with your trip! You did a great job at capturing the little moments, which makes it seem like we were there with you seeing all of it happen. I can't wait to hear more about your trip. It sounds amazing! I love that Jordan gave his gloves to Miguel, that was really nice!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm visiting from the Simple Moments Stick blog link-up & enjoyed reading about your trip. What a beautiful work of love from your church group! Thanks for encouraging & challenging us by sharing. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is absolutely amazing and I hope my new church does shit like this. Every summer in high school our youth group would take a trip down to Mexico to build houses, which was the hardest I've ever worked in my life.

    But I have to say, third world country bus drivers are INSANE. We were once on this bridge that clearly only had room for one vehicle at a time when all of a sudden, ANOTHER bus is headed our direction. I don't know how we both didn't go into the dirty water pits below but we made it out alive.

    I can't wait to see more about your incredible week and opportunity!

    ReplyDelete
  18. glad that you made it through the highway of death safely.

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a fun trip!!! I'm terrible...The pizza hut shot is the one that caught my eye as "ooooh, what is THAT?!??!"! lol...I'm SUCH an American. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. that was one of the best blog posts i've ever read- spreading the Gospel, helping people in need, gorgeous photographs, and so much positive spirit. just love it <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Jennifer! That's nice of you to say :) It was an amazing experience for sure.

      Delete
  21. I can't wait to hear more about the trip! Matching shirts kill me, too. My husband loves them, though, so I suffer through it. I didn't know how much he liked matching until we had a few of the same 5k tshirts and band tshirts. Now I make sure that if we get band tshirts, we go for different styles, if possible. Like I got the V necked Judah & the Lion shirt in red and he got the regular gray. That way we can be coordinating, but not matching :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. i'm glad to know you guys got to serve the Lord and reach out to these people! so good!

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is incredible! I want to go on a mission trip so bad! Who did you go through?!! I can't wait to see and read more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We went through BMDMI (Baptist Medical and Dental Institute). Our church takes a team every year, but they send hundreds of churches throughout the year. You don't have to be a medical professional to go. I think it's awesome that they offer the clinics, and people are required to go to church before they see the doctors, so we spread the gospel to thousands of people. And then they do a great job following up with the local pastors and stuff. I can't say enough good things about BMDMI and their mission work!

      Delete
  24. This is so awesome! I've often heard of people going on mission trips but I've never really heard about them - I'm really looking forward to reading all about it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, friend :) It's fun to share about, but there's so much to tell it's hard to compact it into just a few blog posts!

      Delete
  25. I was on vacation last week, so I've been catching up with blog reading today. I was so excited when I saw this post in my reader... I've been so interested to hear about your time + work in Nicaragua. The driving sounds insanely scary, but the work y'all did sounds so important. Can't wait for part 2!

    ReplyDelete
  26. It's interesting how traveling to a country where people live differently can feel a little like time travel. I've had a bit of the same experience in moving here....and obviously living in Malaysia for years and years is pretty much what gave me my nice 0 tolerance for first world problems. I am so not the person to complain to about smartphone problems...just pick someone else who will actually have sympathy... :P
    I feel the same way about matching that you do. At my church, I was an Awana volunteer, and all the awana volunteers were supposed to wear these horrible pale purple polos...and I would just rebel. "I couldn't find my shirt today" was the usual excuse. P.S. that office prank they played on your was AWESOME!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I enjoyed hearing about your trip, Amanda. So glad you shared your experiences!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Beautiful photos. You're right, it's kind of crazy how different it can be in other countries. And I never would have expected to find a Pizza Hut in Nicaragua! Globalization is weird yo, but at least it tasted better?!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love this post and am looking forward to all the other ones! The part where your bus driver backed through an intersection and around a corner (or whatever it was) just totally cracked me up! I lived in Guatemala for two months and I was scared for my life at the hands of a bus driver more than once... gotta love em! also, great idea with the fruit snacks for the parasite pill! I love that you guys did that- shows that you were paying attention to detail and that these people are human just like us and don't want a gross tasting pill. Sometimes I feel like we forget little things like that in the medical field because we're so focused on just treating the problem that we forget about little side effects that can be helped! Love all the pictures too!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wow you captured some great pictures! Sounds like quite the adventure.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the comment! I will respond via email and also occasionally in the post thread if you are asking a question that other readers might be interested in.

・ DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS