I am Jairo, I am from Nicaragua, and I have the chance to share my thoughts with you.
Let me begin with the first day of our trip, when we all met at the hotel near the airport, we had an icebreaker where each American member of the team was paired with a Nicaraguan member. In my case, I had the pleasure to interact with Russell and we immediately connected in which we spoke about our families and learned that we both like to help people. We also discovered that we both like to go the movies!
Soon, we arrived in Jinotega, about 2-3 hours away from Managua and had dinner and began to work as a team packing the medicine. We know that this is really important because the next day we are to begin the clinics around Jinotega. Part of the team was packing, and other members of the team went into the city to get rice, beans and boots that would be given to the local residents.
You have to understand that the boots are such an important item for the residents because they are all peasants who work in the fields all day long. The fields have a lot of grass and there are dangerous insects and snakes. In addition, it often rains and it gets quite muddy, and worse, if their feet get wet, they can get sick and not be able to work. The boots really help them protect their income because they have no way to make money if they can't work in the fields.
In the first two clinic days, had to travel down remote, unpaved, dirt roads that were often very narrow, with pot holes and obstacles. I was proud of the team that when we had obstacles in our way, we did not hesitate and were always clear about our goal, and we did whatever had to be done to get there. In the end, we always made it to to our clinic destination.
I also want to say something about the all of the team work every time we setup a clinic. It is all very important; the intake, the pharmacy, the doctors, the food and the boots and shoes. It didn't matter what country you are from, your religion, your race, your color...our goal is to serve the humble people who live in these far-away places in Nicaragua. As a matter of fact, even for some of the team from Nicaragua, this is the first time that we have been in some of these places. At the end of the day, we attended to over 200 patients which is our "magic number" and we were all satisfied to have accomplished that.
The day does not end when the clinic is over. We get back and our responsibilities and duties continue; unloading the bus, packing another 250 packs of rice and 250 packs of beans, restocking the pharmacy and then loading the bus for tomorrow. I don't know where we found the energy. Even though we were tired, we recharged our batteries and carried on with a sense of humor, making jokes and the team really was connected together!
I would also like to talk about our two youngest team members; Ricardo, who live in Jinotega, and Peyton, who lives in Chicago, began the week as strangers. As the week went on, they began to know each other more and more, and today, when we were having dinner, I saw them like old mates, playing together and having fun. For me, this is amazing and I know that this new friendship will last.
I want to end by saying that this week has been a blessing. The hand of God was protecting and guiding our team and God used as a facilitators to do his work. We know that the people we helped are also also God's creatures and we are pleased to serve them.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!