We had a busy morning in the country today. The large animal team set out to vaccinate and deworm the cows and horses and 1 pig. Some of the cows had ticks, lots of ticks, and we would spray them with a topical solution, except for 1 cow with an especially accurate side winding karate kick who knocked the spray bottle out of my hands into 2 pieces, so that cow got to keep her ticks. The villages are small and simple and the people appreciate the help with their animals, they are very kind. We had cold coca cola at one house, and even though I do not drink much soda, it was wonderful. The pace is not fast, and they are never in a hurry, unlike Massachusetts drivers, who could learn a lot from them. However things may be changing. In the village we visited today, La Conquistador, they bought in electricity last year, and the pastor has already noticed that people spend less time with each other, and more time inside the house watching TV. This is not good for the town, the people, the relationships, and things may start to change much more rapidly soon. I hope they do not lose their culture, as family, friends, neighbors and a simple life style has given them a happiness that we often do not have here in our wealthy country. We could learn a lot from them, and even as we help and teach them things about their animals, they teach us many things about life, and we are better for it.

We tried to get back to the cabins a little early because Oscar has a nephew who plays for the Costa Rican soccer team and they had their first World Cup soccer game which he wanted to watch of course. So we all watched the game on Oscars TV, and wouldn’t you know that even though he plays defense, he scored the game winning goal! Oscar was so happy that we all celebrated like we were Nicaraguan nationals. It was a very big deal around here because he is the first Nicaraguan born soccer player to play in the World Cup, and soccer is very big everywhere else in the world except the USA I think. All the cars would go by and honk their horns and shout and celebrate. It was fun, not as fun as a Boston Bruins hockey game obviously, but it was still really fun. And we were happy for Oscar, and when your host is happy, then you are happy. And guess what? We went out to dinner in Masaya, and ate a big helping of pork and beef and plantains and salad, and they put rice and beans on the table, and nobody ate any, except me, because I was still hungry, and I have grown to appreciate the positive effects of this simple meal. And also I am sleeping alone.

After the game we went swimming and played pool volleyball and I took a shower and it was so nice to be clean and cool. However there was very little water pressure so I had to rinse with just some dripping water. The bucket shower in the countryside was better. Isn’t that typical, we always think the grass is greener on the other side until we get to the other side and find out, well it actually is greener on this new side in this case, so I guess the analogy does not fit again. Maybe I will have to use a new method of analogical communication, so maybe I will speak in parables, but then you will ask me to explain them, and you will not understand, so I will continue in this simpler style of prose, for your benefit of course.

Well for now I am signing off, because we don’t have good internet and I want to get this sent before it goes down, and I know at least 1 person likes to read this and make sure I am ok, and that is my good wife Nancy. My daughters like to read it also, maybe it is to get some idea of what gifts I am bringing home to surprise them, although they never liked surprises and sometimes tried to peak at their gifts beforehand, but Santa would catch them and I do not think they do that anymore. And when my dogs read this they will be happy, because they will be hoping for some kind of treat, and I think I know what to get – jerky, hopefully made out of rooster from the countryside. If I find some I will eat it with them!

Blessings from Catarina
Dr Mike