Today was hot, hotter than yesterday. The temperature was probably the same, 90 something degrees and sunny with no chance of snow, but it just felt hotter. Maybe it was being a little worn down from all the midnight chaos, the dog fight over the female in heat being the noisiest, and dehydrated, and all the beans and their after burner affects. But after a hearty breakfast of fruit and guya and pintos, we felt a little better. There was also coffee, fresh Nicaraguan coffee, which unfortunately was made from instant coffee. I wish Juan Valdez, that famous coffee commercial guy, had planted more coffee bean trees around here, kind of like Johnny Appleseed did around our area, and he could have been even more famous and people would have called him Juan Coffeeseed and they would have had fresh ground coffee. But they are very good at grinding corn, and they make fresh warm tortillas for us every day, and yesterday we had a special treat of fresh warm bread with some tropical fruit blend of jelly baked into the middle. It was to die for, but I survived fortunately.

We then split into 2 teams, and I led the large animal team, because I had the most large animal experience, even if it was over 27 years ago and I have forgotten most of it. But I did not forget the BS, of which I am proficient in, and have a degree in actually. So out we went, walking from house to house, each house having a small herd of cows, which provides their milk and cheese, and cash if they need to get money for anything. They do not have banks or ATMs or much cash, so they sell a cow and get the money for whatever needs they have. I guess that is where they get the term cash cow, or dinero baca in Spanish. And I did not make that up, not that you would know. At each small farm, they have the cows in a fenced in area, some big and some small, and they lasso the cows because they have not had obedience lessons and do not come when they are called. In fact they come kicking and snorting and swinging their big horns around. But the men are very good at throwing a rope and holding on as the cows and bulls run away, and looking like a dirt skier trying not to fall, as most of them are only in sandals. After they catch them, they pull them up to a tree, tighten up the rope, and the brave students vaccinate and deworm them. I supervise, which means try not to do anything stupid, which would include just about anything I do or say. So I let the smart people do most of the work and all of the talking. But as my work motto says “hire people smarter than you, that shows you are smarter than them”.

For lunch we had rice, beans and chicken. For dinner we changed it up and had beans, rice and chicken. And it is very good. I wonder what we will have tomorrow?

After dinner, which we eat outside in a circle, we usually debrief and talk about the day, and then discuss how we can best help the people, how to grow in our Christian faith, and how to walk in Christlike obedience. Then we sing songs and pray. It is a very good way to end the day. Tomorrow is our last day in the countryside, and we are going to start very early, by 6:00, so I need my wheaties, spinach, vitamins, and caffeine. I will settle for a good nights sleep and beans and rice in the morning. We shall see.

Until then, buenos noches,
Dr Mike