Frank (the pastor of the church) shared this morning about being passionate about things that Jesus has passion for - things that really matter. He has a bracelet he bought down here last year, and he wears it almost every day, and even when its not on, he has a really good tan line from it. He said it reminds him of the people down here and what he needs to be passionate about. I'm really not doing it justice. It was really good and very moving! :) ("Zeal for your house consumes me" John 2:17 /Psalm 69:9)
Anyways, breakfast was pancakes and cereal and fruit. I put peanut butter and jelly on my pancake and rolled it up - my breakfast burrito! It's a sunny day today - no rain. I caught Miss Diva basking in the rays before we loaded up the van again and were off.
We passed another van full of Asians on the way to our village. There really isn't much else out there and we were curious where they were going. When there weren't that many women at our morning class, we found out the Asians were doctors and they were at the little medical building in the village today!
For the class for the adult women this morning, we did the same question-in-the-balloon thing and little pieces of folded up paper in the paper bag. I did it myself this morning because most of the kids were in school. It took about 1/4 the amount of time just doing it by myself - vs having 20 kids waving the scissors and trying to let them take turns - they are slooooow cutters! ;) I lined all of the balloons up and stuck the questions in them and was determind to give blowing them up another shot. Nope, it still didn't happen - but I had a little friend who was eager to do it for me, and he didn't care that I had already slobbered all over one. I have no idea why I can't blow up these stinkin' balloons!
The women slowly started trailing in (and one random guy). The girls here have babies SOOO young! I seriously think this one girl is like maybe 15? She was two kids and another on the way. And her little sister can't be more than 13, and she has a baby! Crazy. So the ladies picked a piece of paper, and if it said "pregunta" they had to go up front and answer the question to get the prize - soaps and little bottles of shampoo and conditioner or lotion or stuff like that that we had wrapped earlier. I think it went well. :)
|The soaps and shampoo/conditioner we gave out as prizes.|
THEN I passed out little Spanish bibles to everyone and Kenia read John 13, about how Jesus washed the disciples feet. So THAT is what we did - to bring it to life for them - we washed their feet! I went and got Alicia off the drilling team to help so it wouldn't take quite as long, and we had the women sit down in chairs and put their feet in the big bowls we brought, and we washed their dirty feet! It was really pretty cool, since we had just read them the story out of the bible and then put it in to action to physically show them we love them. :) They thought it was pretty weird at first, maybe a little awkward, but I think by the end they liked it and got the picture. One of the ladies feet I washed was actually one of the first women I met the first day, Belky. She was at the well with her littlest, Diego (2.5 years old). Her oldest, Ruth, is 13, and she has 3 other boys in between. She was ticklish and laughed and laughed so loud throughout most of her washing. So when we were done, they said they wanted to wash our feet too!! Yea, I had my feet washed by a Nicaraguan woman! :)
|Getting my feet washed!|
Once we were done with that, the women were free to go - that was it for the day for them. Several of the women sat around in a circle with Kenia and I and we talked. I couldn't understand most - some I could kinda figure out - and sometimes they would ask me questions and Kenia would translate if I didn't get it. Then Belky (whose feet were already dirty again) asked me if I wanted to jump rope with her! Of course I wasn't going to turn her down, so two of the other women twirled, and Belky kicked off her sandals in preparation. When I saw her do that, I did too! They all thought that was pretty funny, a "gringa" jumping rope barefoot! So we jumped and jumped and laughed and laughed - until I was sweating waaaay too much and had to say no mas!! I got a couple pictures us in action. :)
|Yes, my shirt is soaking wet...|
We sat around and talked a little more, and I gave some bubbles to the couple kids who were there with us. They loooove bubbles!
Eventually Belky asked me if I liked mango. I said sure - even though I don't really! So they said, "Let's go find some mango!" (in Spanish) And off we went! I don't know whose house or yard we were in, but high in a tree, they pointed to mangos! Well, actually they were a cross between a mango and a papaya, and I don't remember the name of them. So you know how to get them down?? Have a kid (Ruth) climb up high (seriously, really high) and then hand her a long stick to hit them with, and have two people (me and her mom, Belky) down below with a tarp to catch them! It was SO cool!!
|The mangos are at the very top of the picture...|
We took them back to another house and washed them and cut them a little and just started digging in. They were okay - everyone else loved them, but I'm not really a big fan of mango. It was lunch time right after that - rice and some sort of tuna salad, with doritos and pringles. And lots of water.
You know what sucks? I mean what is just completely awful?? When a beautiful little dirt covered kid looks up at you when you're drinking your cold clean water and asks you for a drink, and you have to tell them no, go drink your dirty water. :( Ugghh - it just makes you feel horrible. They even try to lick the outside of my water bottle just to get the condensation from it! But we were told before we entered the village that we can NOT give them any food or water unless we have enough for EVERYONE (its not fair otherwise, obviously) and of course we don't habe enough water for everyone. :( I can't wait for that well to be finished so they will have clean, cool water too.
Speaking of the well, I haven't given much of an update on that. I've been too wrapped up in the kids. :) They are actually a little ahead of schedule - they've been working HARD! I had no idea how big and messy and hard of a project digging a well is!! Its quite the process...and unfortunately I still don't know a whole lot about it, but they hit water at about 120 feet down today!! The well will be done for the dedication ceremony on Thursday!
So after lunch Kenia and I started preparing for the kids lesson - they were coming at 1 again. We cut sheets of green, red, and white construction paper in half and then punched two holes at the top and tied yarn through it to make kind of a flip-book kinda thing, with only three sheets. Yes, I let all the kids help as they showed up, and Kenia rolled here eyes again! ;) They're good little helpers!! (Kinda...) We only made like 30 of them because the dark clouds were rolling in and it was supposed to rain soon. If it rains the kids stay home - inside. The whole village is dirt - - or mud when it rains - and we were outside in a back yard under some trees. I'd say we probably had 25 kids or so, so we quickly got them set up on the project. Kenia had sheets of paper with little pictures of fruits, vegetables, proteins (meat/eggs), and carbohydrates (breads). We gave one flip-book, one sheet of pictures, and a little pair os scissors to each kid. They were supposed to put fruits and veggies on green, carbs on white, and protein on red. That was pretty hard for most of these kids!
Those two young sisters who have the babies came again this afternoon - I mean are they women or kids? Really they're kids WITH kids. :( The youngest one who has a 3 month old baby girl, Isabella, walked in, so I handed her the book and scissors and pictures and scissors and she just sat down with her baby in one arm and the stuff I handed in the other and just looked at it. She couldn't do it with her baby in her arms! Oh don't you worry, I will take that baby!! :) Kenia saw me holding Isabella (she was holding an older baby too) and said it was a miracle because Isabella doesn't like anyone except her mama! She was just fine with me the whole time! I held and bounced her with one arm (she's so tiny!) and walked around and passed out glue and answered questions with the other.
The kids kept asking me what was what and where did it go, and I could usually tell them what went where...but I misunderstood Kenia and thought fruits and veggies were red and proteins green. Soooo my entire half of the class did it wrong! The kids were totally confused and didn't really get it or care to either. They just liked the colored paper, pictures, and glue!
Well before most of them were finished, the clouds got really black and it thundered really loud a couple times, so it was like a mad dash to get everything cleaned and packed up and outta there! I didn't see what the rush was really, I mean a little rain never hurt anyone, but apparently its a big deal here. So most of the kids ran off and we literally packed up almost everything! And then...it didn't rain! Some of the women sat around and talked some more, and I held and rocked Diego for quite awhile. I think he just liked me rocking him, he never fell asleep, and all the women thought it was sooo funny!
While we were sitting around talking, the kids found the long jump rope we had played with that morning, and started playing. Eventually, there was quite a line, waiting their turn to jump until they messed up. Well I thought it would be better if I got out a few more jump ropes (cuerdas) so I asked Kenia if it was okay. She said okay, a few, so I grabbed Maribel and went to find some more. Well Maribel hollored to the other kids what we were doing, and when I turned around, I had a whole string of kids with me, hands in my face, begging for una cuerda por favor! I gave them probably 10 - I didn't want to open all of the new ones I brought, in case Kenia needed to give them out as prizes or something. So we went back to the yard to play, and the kids that didn't get one kept coming up to me with those big brown eyes asking for one!! Ugghh... Kenia said that was the problem. I gave out too many so all the kids wanted one now. Sure enough, it wasn't long until a fight broke out over two jump ropes. So I had to go back around and chase the kids (literally) to take them all away and put them back in the van. :(
They played awhile longer with their one long jump rope, and we women sat around a talked a little while longer, and then decided to move out front and down the road just a little ways so we could see the drilling. There were several bags of rock where a few kids had already sat down, so I satn with them. And about 2 second later, I had two kids on each leg and a couple behind me with hands on my neck and shoulders. Don't these kids know its HOT out?! Oh my goodness, as if I wasn't sweating enough before, just sitting there, I sure was now with kids hanging all over me. Its totally worth it though. I love these kids. :)
|Josue and Isaiah (brothers), and Wendy|
So we were sitting there watching the drilling, when all of a sudden these little hands come flying around my face and cover my eyes - hard. I was supposed to "guess who" - so I named every name I could think of that was around me, and apparently didn't get it. I had to say "no mas" like 18 times and literally peel and pry the dirty little fingers off my eyes and face. And then eeeveryoooone wanted to do it. Siigghh. I was literally sitting there thinking if I don't have some sort of disease or sickness after this trip (I'm already the only one to not get sick or have diarrhea yet, and I'm the only one not on medication) then its a miracle! They aaaalll have horrible coughs and nasty green thick snot coming out of there noses, and they're all covered in who knows what. So anyways, we're all sitting there, kids trying to squeeze on my lap and play with my watch and bracelet, and I literally have my chin kinda resting on this one super cute little girls head (Wendy) who is on my right hip, when one of the boys starts kinda teasing her and pointing at her and saying something, and the other kids join in, and she kept turning around and looking at me and shaking her head no and saying something. I didn't get it - at all. I didn't catch one word of it and had no idea why they were teasing the sweet little thing with her head right next to mine, so I called Kenia over to find out what was up. She listened for a couple seconds and then said kinda non-chalant, "Oh, they are saying she had lice." Ummmmm...WHAT?? Excuse me? Are they serious?? Does this kid really have lice?! Kenia was all, "Yea, probably so. Its probably true, they're all saying it. Its very common in these villages and they probably all have lice."
OH. MY. GOODNESS. I could just see it... "So Terri, what did you bring back from Nicaragua?". Me: "Oh I brought back some HEAD LICE!" Ugghh...I honestly don't think I have lice - my head doesn't itch at all - unless I really think about it and then of course I itch. But of course once Jorge (he's a BIG joker) and the rest of the team found out, it was the joke the rest of the day! Oh stay away from her, those things jump. Oh we're gonna have to shave your head now! Blah blah blah. I figured if I was gonna get it by now, I'd already have it, so I went right back to the kids sitting on my lap and hanging on me - even Wendy got her spot back right by my face. So...we'll see if I end up with lice or not!
We sat there for quite awhile, and were there when they hit clean water! It was so cute, the kids started clapping and cheering for the "agua limpia" and were talking about drinking it. (I caught "beber" which means to drink, that was about it.) They were so excited, and so was I and the rest of the team. I actually don't have any pictures of it (I got one from someone else's camera), 1. because I was covered in kids, and 2. I realized today, after I've already taken over 500 pictures and videos, that my battery is going dead and I DIDN'T BRING THE CHARGER!! I'm not entirely sure why I decided not to just throw it in. Oddly enough, as if I don't know myself, I thought maybe I wouldn't be taking that many pictures. YEA. RIGHT. Me not take pictures in a foreign country?! And I still have Panama to get to! What was I thinking?? Pictures will be sparse from here on out - which totally sucks - unless I can get some from other people who were smart enough to bring their chargers.
|Pumping out the dirty water to get to the clean water!|
So anyways, I sat with the kids awhile longer and let them take turns wearing my watch and bracelet and sunglasses (just to transmit more lice) and then we packed up and headed back to town. There was a man and a little boy (Tony, 5 - I asked) in the front seat of the van on the way back. We were dropping him off at the hospital in Leon - he was really sick and didn't have any way to get to town. There isn't one car in the village. NO ONE owns a vehicle. :( I also talked Angel in to stopping at a pharmacy to get some CHAPSTICK before my lips dried up and burnt off! :( Aaaahh they felt SO much better once I got some! Best 25 Cordobas I've spent (a little over a dollar)!
|The 'farmacia' where I bought chapstick!|
Dinner was some sort of meat soup over rice, salad, and some steamed plantains that were NOT very good! Everything else was though. :) We sat around and told more stories tonight. I'm the only one that's not part of this church group from Louisianna, so they did some prying and asked lots of questions - which was fine! :) We've got the ac cranked and we're off to bed now - at like 10pm, which is about as late as I've stayed up since I've been here! Hasta manana!
PS - I'm learning more and more spanish every day - and I LOVE it! :)