Nicaragua is an interesting place. You will be driving down the road and you will see all different types of vehicles, from nice new modern ones, to many older dented ones (even the newer ones have dents and scrapes, I think they come off the lot like that so people won’t feel bad when it gets it’s first boo-boo because it comes like that), to older modes of transportation that seem out of place on a paved road, like the ox pulling an old wooden wagon with a flat tire, just trudging along like an ox of course, and leaving nice piles for the cars to smooth out like road play dough. But the most unique one was the man and woman on the motorcycle zipping by, and in between them was a 2 month old baby, no car seat, no airbags, no helmets, just hanging out all peaceful and happy. Sort of like the old days when we were growing up and never had helmets, seat belts, bottled water, cell phones, or any of those things that are required by law because we would die without them, and look how well we turned out…..for the most part.

We had a very busy first day. By the time we arrived at our base camp last night we were pretty tired from that rough ride in seat 1A, so we spent a little time talking with our new teammates, then went to bed. I have cabin 5, alone, probably because of my snoring, which I have never heard by the way, so I think Nancy must be making it up, and slept pretty well, except for the turbulence. In the morning, as the trucks go by near the rotary next to us, instead of slowing down in case they need to yield to oncoming traffic, they just lay on their horns to let anybody know they are coming and not slowing down, which may be good to prevent accidents, but is not very helpful for sleeping. They remind me of Massachusetts drivers, so maybe they took an online driving school course made in Boston, and now they drive just like us, although I have not seen anyone pawk tha caw, so they must have dubbed it over in Spanish.

We went to a small town today named San Marco, which no veterinary team had visited before. Usually not many people show up the first visit, but today was the exception, with lots of people and animals showing up, including 138 dogs, 10 horses, 4 pigs, 10 rabbits, and 5-6 cats, it was hard to keep track of them because the dogs kept chasing them around. We also had 6 Nicaraguan vet students come and join our team of 14, so we all had to be on our toes, (literally we kept stepping on each other) to keep up. But it was a successful day except for the young boy who tried to stop the pig from running away after his deworming shot, and he never even slowed that porcine down until he was on his keister in the bushes. Everyone laughed, but it was in Nicaraguan so I couldn’t understand it.

Tomorrow we are off to the countryside for 3 days, so we will not have wifi or electricity or cell phones, just like the old days, so I hope we will survive despite what the government safety division tells us. We are looking forward to it, except for the possibility of encountering a noisy yakking rooster or pack of midnight crooning canines, and I forgot my flame thrower again, so I will have to figure out something, like stuffing banana leaves in my ear. But you have to be flexible and improvise, just like at work when they tell you the scavenger system isn’t working again for the 5th time, so I am ready and willing. I will miss that warm towel from 1A though.

Adios for now. Blessings
Dr Mike