Well I’m back, not sure if that is good news for you or not, but you are making the choice to read this, so reader beware. This will be the only disclaimer you will receive, and if you continue reading I cannot be held responsible for any consequences or damage. My granddaughter Lucy, not quite 3, can already pronounce Nicaragua better than I do, and she has already asked for videos of me riding the escalator, sky train, and eating a Cobb salad, the latter which was actually sent as a picture so she would not pick up any bad eating habits. I am waiting in Dallas, gate D21, for the flight to Managua, Nicaragua. It is a 5ish hour wait, so that gives me time to collect my thoughts to write this blog…it hasn’t worked as no clear thought has occurred, so I will write this anyway, hence the disclaimer, which is actually the second time I have warned you. No more Mr Nice Guy, something I have never actually been accused of anyway.
This is my third mission trip to Nicaragua and I am very happy to be returning to Oscar and Tamy’s with another group from Christian Veterinary Missions, (CVM). Our group this year is large, 19 people, with 4 vets, 8 vet students, 6 vet tech students and 1 spouse. We will be working alongside Oscar and Tamy Gaitin, who live in Catarina, and they will be our hosts. They have a lot of experience hosting all variety of mission groups, and they have been working with CVM for many years. Oscar is a pastor who has planted many small churches, 12-ish, (I like to add ish to words, i think it’s because I am ir-ish) and he takes different mission teams as he makes his rounds in the countryside. He has veterinary, dental, construction, teaching, and other team-ish types that help him serve the people that may not have access to the care that we can provide. As we care for the needs of the animals, Oscar and Tamy can connect with people and try to build bridges and establish relationships with them. They are invited to the church, which is always led by local people, and hopefully can lead to a relationship with God thru Christ. It is a privilege to serve alongside him.
The weather this time of year is actually quite harsh; it is upper 80s during the day, 70ish at night, and has never snowed. I can’t imagine the sadness from never having seen snow, much less never having skied, so I feel it is my duty to help them thru this. Now some of you misguided people may think sunny and upper 80s everyday is a vacation, but I can assure you that this is no picnic, even if we do have one, because I cannot ski for a whole week, and I could get sun burned pretty bad. Never mind that we hardly have any snow to begin with at home, but this is work, and I don’t want to be told by anyone, especially from work, that I was on vacation. As I have said before, this counts as Continuing Education and not vacation, so don’t use that time off vacation shade on your I-calendar. That being said I will try to have fun in the pool, or swimming in the lagoon, or visiting a tropical forest or volcanoes. I mean if I have to be working I might as well try to enjoy it. I just hope you understand how difficult this can be and you have to have the right attitude to help others thru the tough times.
I just want to say hello to Nancy, who faithfully reads all my blogs, and stands by me anyway. She is the biggest blessing of all. And my 4 daughters also, hi girls, and Lucy, and Ryan and Justin, and of course my 2 goldens, Lexi and Sam, who were the saddest of all to see me go, because running thru the snow is the funnest thing in the world for them too. Don’t worry dogs, I will be home as soon as I survive this mission trip.
Well time to go and practice my Spanish, so Bon jour for now. And remember, I did warn you.