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Nicaragua Wrap-Up

Day 10, we flew home. That’s it.
Okay, maybe not.
Bob almost lost his mind, as he negotiated with a local leader at the orphanage to get 75 pounds of coffee to take home. The team said the Nic coffee was the best. Bob told him 75 pounds, at $4.50, no more. He promised Bob he would get it. Two days of nagging, and no coffee. Then on the last day, he calls Bob. They can’t get the coffee for less than $6. the team vacillates between ‘Then forget it!’ (That would be Mr. Sensitive, me, who later reduced his order from 5 to 2 pounds.) to reduced orders. Okay, he assures Bob he could do it. On the last day, he comes through. Gives Bob a huge bag of coffee. Bob removes it to put into bags. There’s a receipt at the bottom of the bag. He bought the coffee at a store. We could have done that!
The icing on the cake? Some team members still wanted coffee, so they bought it at the airport. Don’t get ahead of me. How much of a premium did they pay at the airport? $4.50! Bob says of the wonderful, exhilarating experience of acquiring coffee for everyone, “Never again.” And the candles on the icing? I forgot to get mine from Bob!
Okay, The Rants:
I eat whatever they serve me. But the porridge that reeked of sugar and had the consistency of snot? Ugh. My teeth felt like sugar all day. And what’s with plantain? Looks like a banana, tastes like cardboard. Most of the beef tasted most excellent, but some was tough as shoe leather.
Why is every stinkin’ third world leader a thief? Have they no regard for their people?
The stories we heard are the same the world over, and it breaks your heart the way some parents treat their children.
The Raves:
Nicaragua is one beautiful country. The jungles. The lakes, the mountains. The men. The women.
People, no matter how poor, can bless you and give you something, and it simply makes you cry. Not me, I got something in my eye.
Good things can come from bad places. Even a garbage dump. Sometimes the bad places drive us to the good things.
Seeing orphans having fun with a soccer ball in a really crappy field is a delight. Or a baseball with the cover falling off and a bat with the cap missing.
I love my church, Yep, product placement. I like the way they do Outreach, locally and globally. Very cool. Orphan Network is pretty cool too.
The Mutterings:
People drive badly the world over. I don’t know how they don’t crash more. Glad they don’t.
Our bus had one gauge, the speedometer, which worked. Maybe. Rumor was the gas gauge worked too.
The Catholics know how to have a festival. In Granada, they had the bands playing, kids dancing, and the statue of… somebody… hoisted up and marching around the square.
The Musings:
What if the locals just tagged an arbitrary street number on the corner of each building?
Stairways with no handrails, flies in the food, kitchens that are…sketchy manhole covers missing in the streets. Yet the people live.
No lawyer billboards in Nicaragua. Who’s the third world country now?
Watching street urchins weave palm fronds into rosebuds and grasshoppers is amazing. Give ‘em a dollar.

And now, (lights down, spotlight on the MC)
The Best Quote in Nicaragua!
(Thunderous applause). And the finalists are:
Lisa Lacroix, for: “I used a bathroom that was so disgusting, and I paid for the privilege.”
Bob David, our fearless leader, as a homeless guy held his hand and screamed at him in Spanish: “Somebody help me.”
A Nicaraguan, to Raquel our interpreter, about Tommy, of Orphan Network: “Is that your gringo?”
Everyone, in their dorm room: “Is anything dry?”
Lisa again, looking at her breakfast plate: “Is that cheese?”
And Bob David, our fearless leader, about the homeless guy: That guy scared the expletive out of me.”
The zip line guy, on how you must jump up to get hooked to the line: “Do a little humping to get on the zip line.”
“The envelope please.” A hush falls over the crowd. The drum beats, that irritating pounding, like on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ as they build tension…
“And the winner is…”
“Bob David. ‘Somebody help me.’!”
The crowd goes wild. Bob and his wife hold hands and walk to the stage. He shakes hands, wipes the tears from his eyes and takes the mike: “Thank you. That guy really did scare the expletive out of me.”
Now, I thank you all for riding along on our Nicaraguan adventure. Some day I hope you can come with us. But if not, hopefully the blog can give you some idea of the country and the people.
Stay tuned next week for the Motivational Minute on Monday, and on Thursday, a birthday bash as we celebrate our 200th blog together! See you then.
Writers always like to leave the reader with something poignant, some words of wisdom to take away. Mine are these.
I can still smell it.
No one should live in a dump.

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