March 14, 2006          March 16, 2006          March 17, 2006

Greetings a todos!

Unlike the last few days, the internet has been up and running all day today.  Here’s just a short update of the last day or so.

Last evening after dinner we had a visit from a Nicaraguan band called Guitarra de Madera Azul.  It was a great performance, and we even did a bit of dancing at the end.  This morning we visited with one of the women from the sewing cooperative and took a tour of their building, and then we headed off for our second day f work outside the clinic.  Like yesterday, we had groups split between cement work outside and painting the inside walls of the clinic, as well as the crew in the pharmacy and a translator with Dr. Stechschulte.  The painting is nearly finished and looks great.  Today we saw a lot more kids hanging out around the clinic.  I’m betting that they heard we were around yesterday, so today they came in droves!  It was great to be able to speak and play with them during breaks from work.  Now we are settling in for the evening’s dinner and some group reflection time.

Everyone here is healthy and happy, though maybe a little dirty and tired, and we’re looking forward to our trip to the coffee cooperative at El Porvenir tomorrow.  We home all is well back home.  Go Bison!

From Nica-All the best,

Laura and all the Brigadistas

 

March 16, 2006          March 14, 2006          March 17, 2006

Hello again!

2 days have passed since our last update.  Yesterday (Wednesday) we made the trek to the coffee cooperative community of El Porvenir.  It took a few hours to get up there, and we were all thoroughly coated with dust by the time we arrived.  After a light lunch up on the mountain, Dr. Don and a few others saw patients, while the rest of us toured the co-op.  We had a chat with the vice president of the co-op in the new school building, and then took a hike through the plantation to a nice vista from which we could see Honduras and El Salvador in the distance.  We stopped off to see the huge 500+ year old guanacaste tree and to have a talk about the coffee production process.  At the end of the day we made our way back down the mountain, some hiking, others in vehicles, and then got back on the bus or other trucks to head back to JHC for dinner and much needed sleep.

Today so far we have had a great talk by Mark Lester, who works with the Center for Global Education here in Managua.  He covered some recent Nicaraguan history as well as important current events.  Afterwards, we split into work groups.  A few headed back to the clinic, but the rest of us stayed on the JHC compound to either paint, dig, or do repello (cement work).  Tonight we are going out to a nice dinner at a restaurant called Mi Pueblo.

That is all for now.  We are all doing well, and I think that everyone has been learning quite a bit and having a fantastic time as a group.  We will be savoring every remaining minute of he trip.

All the best from Nica,

Laura and all the Brigadistas

 

March 17, 2006          March 14, 2006          March 16, 2006

 
Hola everyone!

            Today the Brigade finished their last day of work.  Despite scaffolding and Casey’s flying batons everyone was able to complete a week of work without any bodily harm.  The inside of the clinic is now a festive white.  The contrast between the old concrete walls and the freshly painted ones gives the clinic a new glow.  Both the doctors and the patients are happy with the results.  During work, small groups had the opportunity to go on a walking tour of Nueva Vida.  Brigadistas enjoyed the chance to see more of the community we’re trying to help.  Each tour was swarmed by kids eager to see their pictures on our digital cameras.  Those of us using film (strange concept) were given some dirty looks.  Much of the afternoon was devoted to giving countless piggy back rides and playing soccer with the kids we’d become friends with.  After cleaning our tools and the kids who had managed to cover themselves in paint, we had to say goodbye.  It’s so difficult to say goodbye to such sweet children whose futures are so uncertain. Tonight we’re lightening things up by going salsa dancing.  We’ve managed to have a disaster free trip thus far, I just hope no one gets their toes broken tonight!  Hope everything is going well back home.  Rest easy parents, we’ll be home Sunday!

Sincerely,

Elena

P.S.  Through this sketchy internet connection we’ve learned that Mark Choi has been accepted to the Peace Corps.  He’s been placed in the Dominican Republic.  Getting into the Peace Corps is highly competitive, and we’re all thrilled he’s in!

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