Chinandega, Nicaragua – Dias Tres y Quatro

Yesterday was hard work. Really hard work. So hard, in fact that I couldn’t even bother to post anything.

We dug a trench in a dry gully so we could lay a pipe to transport water to a small town. The gully typically fills up in the wet season so we had to go deep. 4-4.5 feet deep. And being a gully we hit lots of rocks. Big rocks. 1,000 pound rocks. One of our guys broke his toe. One got hit in the face with a giant steel pole. And it was the hottest day yet with no breeze and no shade. Until it started raining and caving in our trench. And lightning was striking so close we could feel it in the metal pipe we were putting in the ground. Man, it sucked.

But we stuck it out and got most of the pipe put in. The biggest rock out there is still there and we don’t yet know how we’re going to get rid of it. But that’s a problem for another day.

When we got home we ate and showered and then went to a local bar to celebrate one of our guy’s birthday. The place was called Restaurant El Paraiso. We had a few drinks and chatted about the day and the trip. Then we got serenaded by a couple of not quite mariachis. It was great.

This morning we got to sleep in a bit – breakfast at 9 instead of 7. Then we sat around for a bit. At 1–ish we headed out to an orphanage for disabled children. Most are physically and mentally disabled, primarily due to malnutrition when they’re in utero or very young we were told. We hung out there for about an hour or so with them, reading, playing, and just interacting with them as best we could.

Then we headed out to the city during the day for lunch and to just hang out. It was good fun exploring the city. Some places were pretty seedy but nothing felt too unsafe. I managed to navigate the sales processes pretty well in my broken Spanish – few people here speak English. After lunch and everything we piled back onto the bus and headed to the house.

We got changed, loaded up the truck and jumped in the back. Headed out to the farm, unloaded our digging equipment again and headed out to the plantain fields. Today we were going to be digging an irrigation ditch. More freaking digging.

But this time the soil was nice, rich topsoil instead of sandy, rocky wash debris. We were all full of energy. The weather was a bit cooler. The ditch needed to be shallower.  We had an easier time of it. We had some tunes to motivate us. The work went much faster. In fact, we got through it probably faster than the folks here expected because the pipe wasn’t due to arrive until tomorrow. One of our guys even found an arrow or spear head!

Today’s work was a huge success and morale builder. We’re now back at the house telling stories, playing cards, having beers and in general loving things. It’s a great feeling.

Some of the folks are headed home tomorrow, some on Friday. I’m trying to round up a group who might want to stay until Sunday and see more of the countryside.

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Posted on October 13, 2010, in Latin america and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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