Friday, April 13, 2007


Just when I had gotten used to things....

I left Mexico on Tuesday, just in time to miss the earthquake last night. I packed up everything that morning (which is amazingly heavy, I suppose a lot of it is my inability to part with 15 lbs of books, my framing hammer and a plumb bob that was a present from my friend Christian), and was taken to the Pullman Bus Station. Alejandro met me there and we caught the bus to the airport, which was just under two hours away (two hours by bus, by car, driven by a Pequeno, it's a lot faster).

My visa in Mexico had expired the week before and on the advice of Ross (with NPH), I had decided to pay the $20 fine once I got to the airport instead of taking the time and spending more money to renew my visa in Mexico. No one seemed to notice or care, however, so I just left with my expired visa. I'm pretty sure things wouldn't have gone so smoothly if I was a Mexican in the US.

From there we boarded the plane and flew to Panama. Panama? Yes, it did shoot us over our goal by a couple countries, but Panama City is the major hub for Copa Airlines (the Central American arm of Continental Airlines), so all flights go into and out of Panama City. After a layover, we boarded the flight for our final destination.

Once we were through customs in Nicaragua we were greeted by some of the NPH staff in Managua. They promptly put all our bags in a taxi and sent it on it's way. Something was said about us going 'in front', and I wasn't really sure what was going on, but just followed the crowd from NPH sure that I'd know in the end. We walked through the parking lot, crossed the street and checked in at the Best Western 'in front' as in 'across the street'. The taxi was there with our bags waiting for us. Apparently Alejandro had decided that he was too tired to go to San Jorge that night, so we checked in and I spent the rest of the evening reading 'Kite Runner' in my air conditioned room. The power went out for about 10 minutes due to a thunderstorm, but I'm well prepared for that possibility with both a little flashlight and my headlamp, so I happily finished the book.

Air conditioned Best Western in Managua

Alejandro, unfortunately, had to change rooms a couple times, first his air conditioner wasn't working, then there was some major rain leakage into his room during the thunderstorm. I felt badly for him, but was soooo grateful it wasn't me.

The next morning we were greeted by Benjamin and Julio who drove us to the new property just outside Jinotepe. It was cow pasture until NPH bought it and reminds me a little of the Palouse. It's got rolling hills with elevation changes of 15 to 20 feet and a ravine about 40 feet deep. There is no surface water and we'll be digging a new well of about 120 feet. The current well is 80 ft deep and it takes about 9 seconds for a brick to hit the bottom when dropped in (who could resist?!!). The picture won't remind anyone of the Palouse, it's part of the more treed back section.

New property - View towards ravine

From there we drove to the NPH offices where I'm staying. Aside from the offices, there are several people who live here including the National Director, Marlon (and family), his assistant, Raul and several other random people I've met, but haven't figured out where they fit in yet. I'm currently staying in a visitors room and am looking forward to moving into my permanent room in a week or so. It will be nice to unpack and know I don't have to pack up again any time soon.

1 comment:

kneek said...

You've arrived. Glad to hear the travels were smooth and uneventful. I look forward to reading every post. Take care, Leah