Hola from the countryside of Nicaragua. That is about all the Spanish I know so far. I am not a quick language learner. It took me 20 years of school to figure out English, so I picked science because you can learn how to make up big words that sound, well, scientific. But that does not work here, it just sounds like jibbered Spanglish from the loco gringo. It’s better if I don’t talk at all. But at least I can write this blog, and other loco gringos can read it and weep and I don’t have to hear it.

We had a nice 3 hour trip into the country, most of it on dirt roads, but they are working on paving it, or more specifically, bricking it. They actually hand lay brick pavers with large groups of about 50 people every kilometer for the entire 30 kilometer road. And there are no flag men or police with their lights on sitting around and “directing traffic” on overtime pay, and I did not see a single accident. We arrived in the village of Narangu, set up in the local church and started to see the animals. We went on 2 farm calls where they roped the cattle and we would vaccinate and deworm them by injection of ivermectin. We would deworm the dogs by giving them chewable heartworm pills, but we could not get close enough to do anything else. Then we split into 2 teams, and one team continued to do large animal, and our team did small animals, which involved spaying the dogs, many of which were pregnant. We did it outdoors on planks of wood between 2 benches under injectable anesthesia, with the students doing much of the work. We did 8 dogs and 1 cat, so we were busy. The people are starting to trust the teams that come thru here 2 times a year, so this time they bought us more females for spaying. We had a church service in the evening with singing and a brief message that they asked me to give. I had prepared stuff ahead of time, but I left the folder in the pocket of seat 26 D on the plane, so I had to wing it. And did I mention it was hot in there. Not summer hot, but melt the butter hot, no even worse, fry the egg hot, and I was the egg. So I kept the talk short and sweet, well at least it was short. They said they liked it, but they are very nice people who like everything, like the weather and people who speak jibberish, and noisy roosters.

It was a great day working and helping in the countryside. Even though you can’t directly talk to them, just living in their culture and watching them relate to each other, seeing how important the family is, how they interact and play and laugh, how they are so happy with the simple things, in a way I envy them. They are happy with so little, they are always relaxed and unrushed, that I wish we could get some of that in our country. We have a lot to learn. And I am learning a lot. I am looking forward to tomorrow. Until then,

Blessings from Narangu
Dr Mike