Off Into The Blue
In a few hours I board a plane leaving for a week in Nicaragua. I understand most peoples years start on January 1st, but the last couple years it seems my year begins in the spring with this trip.
I'm not a tourist, though I do often go by the moniker "estupido gringo" while in country. I am part of a medical mission trip. I'll be facilitating the work of surgeon and two residents as they perform corrective podiatric surgeries. That means I'll be setting up the supplies, cleaning and sterilizing the instrumentation and implants, and occasionally assisting with the surgeries. The assisting part is closer to what I do everyday at the hospital.
This will be my third time going. It's an amazing experience everytime. Inspirational and exhausting. This time I've upped my stress ante by bringing along my oldest daughter. At 17 years old it should be an eye widening, "it's a big world" experience for her. Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in this hemisphere, it used to be the poorest before earthquakes leveled Haiti. There is all the things imaginable that accompany crushing poverty. But there are beautiful, hopeful things too and you are reminded that where there is life, there is hope, and that people are people no matter where you meet them.
It turns out I may have a different mission next spring so this will be my last trip back for a couple years.
But this is a woodworking blog, so where's the sawdust, the tools, the furniture? Well of course my camera comes with me, and of course I take pictures of furniture and architectural elements. Depending on where you are in country the furniture has some distinctive features, but I would say the majority could easily be identified in a range from gothic medieval to the arts and crafts style.
I've gathered some from my past trips below. Click on the photos to see larger images.
Hotel St. Thomas, Matagalpa
Catholic Cathedral, Matagalpa:
Selva Negra Plantation
Ratione et Passionis