Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ready, Set, Go!

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
And I said, “Here am I; send me”
(Isaiah 6:8)

Tonight I head to the airport, and at 12:55 a.m. my flight leaves for Nicaragua via Houston.  I'm excited for my first mission trip with Corner of Love, and will try to update when I can.  I will not have internet access while in San Ramon for the week, but I may be able to hop online while at the hotel in Managua.  I'm flying into Nicaragua about a day early (much cheaper flight) so I'll "check in" if and when I can.  While I'll be in Nicaragua I am expecting a temperature high of 82 degrees, and a low of 68 degrees, with humidity from 65-99% (!!!) and rain most days as this is their rainy season (and mosquito season).

Nicaragua Nuggets:
  • San Ramon's elevation =2139 feet (Maple Valley = 343 feet)
  • It is recommended that people who have never eaten "Nica" food before start slow.  Our food will be cooked for us at the Quinta where I'll be staying, so I'm not completely sure what to expect.
  • We will all be carrying a roll of toilet paper in our backpacks while on village trips as bathrooms are few and far between.
  • Nicaraguans are not extremely fond of dogs and they are viewed mostly as service animals, and not members of the family as in America.  It is dishonorable to shake someone's hand after touching an animal or to have animal hair on your clothing. 
  • Much emphasis is placed on how people dress in Nicaragua, even with those who have little.  People will come to our clinics and other mission activities wearing the best and cleanest clothes they have.  They are a much less "informal" society than we are.  To come into the company of guests or to show up at a function poorly dressed is quite taboo.
  • In Nicaragua it is more polite to use hairspray outdoors.
  • Nicaragua society is a lot about food and one of the nicest things you can do is eat in the presence of Nicas.  The "elite" would never eat while in the presence of strangers or share a meal with them or even sit near them while they eat.  We have been encouraged to eat or drink around Nicas while working or on a break in the villages.  It's a compliment to sit amongst Nicas while eating, it's like saying "I am among friends.  I am not ashamed to eat in this setting and am not 'above' you".  I've been told this is the best way to make Nica friends. 
I appreciate your prayers for safety and health. 

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