Thursday February 18th started our trip to Nicaragua. This is Ray and my first trip alone. We had an uneventful trip arrived in Managua about 1:15pm. We moved along through customs and picked up luggage and then we got stopped because of the computer we had purchased for the clinic. They wanted to tax us but after we got Enrique to explain it was for our medical clinic they let us go. We were then welcomed by Enrique and off to rent a car. We headed to Leon and we must say it is so nice to be back here again. We decided since Ray and I were so tired we would get a room in Leon the first night. We went to Enrique’s home that evening and visited with the family little Enrique had just turned 2 years old and was a little shy at first but quickly warmed up. We picked up Idiana and went to visit Enrique’s mom and brother, enjoyed a meal out with Enrique and his family. I was so tired I almost fell asleep eating dinner, we than found a nice B & B and slept in air conditioning with warm water shower and got a good nights sleep.
Friday- had a wonderful fruit meal and enjoyed a cool breeze waiting for Enrique to come. After checking out some prices for supplies. Then off to the mission center. Met with Michael and took a look at the changes in the clinic, every trip they have rearranged it. We then started hooking up the computer and the magic jack and made our first calls back to home to let everyone know we were here. Went to Chinandega and found a desk for the computer in the clinic, and some supplies that Michael had needed for his church classes. and a water hose for Connie to water the plants at the clinic. We were able to go and visit our grandson Kevin at school and bring him home. It was wonderful to see him again. We completed the days work at the clinic logged out and headed to Leon to pick up Idiana and little Enrique to start our vacation. Stopped at “hot springs”(San Jacinto) actually are from the volcano, you can get clay and mud that is suspose to be healing. Arrived in Estelí about 7pm and found a motel and a place to eat.
Saturday morning up early and ready to see more of Nicaragua. We found nice breakfast place and then headed to the Estelí waterfalls at a natural reserve. It was a long 15 min downhill walk but so worth it. Even though the water is scarce right now due to the dry season it was beautiful. We stopped and saw a group planting potatoes and let Little Enrique had watch and hold a potato plant. Next we visited La Casita a garden with some beautiful plants and flowers. We then headed to Matagalpa to spend the rest of our time. Found a nice place to stay and restaurant where we had a wonderful buffet, trying a variety of foods. We took Little Enrique had to the park and watched the people and enjoyed the cool weather. We then went to a location we could overlook the city and watch a sunset. Wow this was great. Back to the room where we sent email to family and friends watched a movie Little Enrique had and gave Enrique and Idiana some quiet time.
Sunday we were up at 6 to sit on the balcony and enjoy the cool morning watch the fog burn off the mountains. What a great way to rest. Had our devotions and just sat and watched people. We went looking for breakfast and found a street vendor with fresh fruit; papaya, bananas, watermelon and I ate until I was full. Then found a café for breakfast. Back to the hotel and packed up and headed to Selva Negra to spend the day. This is a natural preserve built by the Germans. It has a motel, coffee plantation, plants and birds of all types and a variety of animals. We toured the grounds and played in the playground and then did a 2 hr hike up the mountain. It was a great hike and really enjoyed just being in the cool mountains. (I think we have decided where we want to retire). We looked for monkeys but only heard them. But it was truly a workout. Went back the restaurant and had a hamburger and fries, while resting from the hike. Sadly we packed up and headed back to Leon. I must recommend to anyone that would like to take a vacation and just enjoy some scenery and really rest this is the place for sure. Returned to the project and got a good nights sleep to get to work on Monday.
Monday- up and fixed breakfast and had a quiet devotion time. Then the people started coming. Continued setting up the computer. Took a young boy 10 yrs old that has been having seizures for a CT scan in Leon. It is always nice to take people out to eat and watch them enjoy a different meal than they usually have at home. Back to the clinic and worked on some projects with Michael and Enrique. Then out for an evening with Mario, Reyna and Herberto. We went to Corinto beach and played in the water and sand with Herberto. He is definitely going to be a ball player. We played until the sun set then we went and had some great fish. Ray ate shrimp that I really think were lobster they were huge and tasted like lobster. We always enjoy going out with Mario and Reyna it is interesting how we manage to communicate. Back home and another nights sleep.
Tuesday slept a little hoping to go to Connie’s for the night. Ray and I spent a lazy morning working on projects in the clinic and talking and checking up on family. At 11am we took the Gomez family to buy plate and screws so Senoria could have hip surgery for her hip she broke 9 days ago and now it is going to be Friday before they will do the surgery. Took Roberto the head of the block company to get glasses also and so we felt like we had gotten something accomplished. We were able to go and visit Senoria Gomez and pray with her and the family and all the other pts and families in the ward of about 8 or 10 pts. They are all so precious and serious when they pray it is such a wonderful feeling to be part of this.