This was our last full day in Nicaragua, and it was a good one. We started the day, after morning quiet prayer time and breakfast, going to the base of a volcano, Mt Mombaso, for some zip lining. Now I have done this twice before but it never loses its fun and excitement. You go zipping along on a wire through a tropical forest, with the high wires suspended between some very large ficus trees, and the Nicaraguan guides let you go down in all these different positions, from just sitting down, to upside down, to the superman position, to upside down swinging from side to side like a monkey, to the last one where they bounce the wires as much as they can, probably not so much to scare you as to see if there is any lose change left in your pocket. It was really cool to watch everyone, most of them having never been on a zip line before, go from nervous and tentative to hootin and hollerin upside down all the way. I was especially proud of Nicole who was so nervous of heights that she almost didn’t go, but she overcame all her fears, and by the end she was upside down hootin and hollerin like all the other southerners. Now I should probably explain something: most of our group is from Texas and Tennessee and Virginia and places like that, where the queens English has been twisted enough that sometimes you aren’t sure what they are sayin or meanin. Like they have a drawl, don’t put the G sound on the end of words, and say things like yawl, or worse, all-yawl, and then expect you to understand it. At least the Spanish speakin people know they sound funny and don’t expect you to understand them, but the southerners, which is anyone south of New Jersey, and New Jersey is its own country anyway, they think they are talkin normal and you should understand them and talk like them. I am really a bit concerned that Ima comin back with an accent that’s so strong even my dogs won’t understand me. I tried really hard to get them some culture, but there were so many of them, and they all hunt and shoot, and go about hootin and hollerin so much I was a tad bit scared, and even backed off callin our team the Bruins, as they were gettin a bit ornery bout it. So please don’t go a hatin me if it takes a bit to start talkin nermal agan, it will hopefully pass like a temporary infection.
After zip linin we went to the volcano natural museum, and then up to the top of a big old volcano. One of the craters was still a-belching smoke like it was ready to bring up some cookies but thankfully nothing spewed out. We had a nice little hike up to the top, which had a great view of the whole area, and then we could run down the loose volcanic ash rock path like we were skiing in Vermont, but the southerners didn’t quite get the hang of it, and tried to trudge down it like they were still huntin deer, but they did the best they could considering their accents.
After that we went and had pizza, which was pretty good, as good as anything we can get in Ashburnham, and we all chugged our gatorades cause we was so thirsty we was like a dusty ol hog in the back country of Texas when they find a waterin hole. I kinda made that up cause I really don’t know how thirsty hogs git down they’re, but it sounded pretty good, cept they probably don’t think so. I really shouldn’t go a pickin on em so much cause I really do like every one of em, but dang, I still can’t get this accent out of my typin.
After some swimming (that’s better) we had dinner, and then our final group devotion. Now this is my favorite part of the day, and the part I will miss the most. Everyone shared about what this week meant to them, and how God had been such an important part of it. Our team really came together and bonded and cared for each other. The cooperation and encouragement between all 19 people was really something to see. We were blessed in so many ways, as we learned and taught and helped and laughed and loved, that we will not easily forget. And maybe the biggest lesson we learned isn’t here in Nicaragua, but back home when we go back to our normal, and we can share the blessings that God has graciously given each of us. We need to be funnels, not buckets, of Gods grace, so we can pass it on to others, and not just hold it in ourselves. If we could do that, share Gods love more when we get back than we did before we left, then this has been a great trip indeed. And to top the evening off, 2 of the young ladies, “Teddy” and Lena got baptized! It was the best ending to an amazing week that we could possibly have. There were a lot of tears and even more joy. Thank you Lord for this week!
Tomorrow we have to leave at 5:00am for the airport, then on to Miami, then home. And even though the week has gone by much to fast, we know we will see each other again someday. In the mean time, I better be gettin ta bed so I can git up on time to kitch the arrplane. The longer I stay a down here the longer itll take to git rid a this thing!
Many Blessins

Dr Mike