We had a workday at our hosts home yesterday; Oscar and Tamy Gaitan live in Catarina which is about an hour from the capital, Managua. Oscar grew up here, and his father started a Christian church in town many years ago, and it is still going strong! And he knows everyone, so when they open the doors and we start seeing the pets, it tends to be busy. We did lots of spays and neuters and dental extractions (thanks Joan) and even a tumor removal, along with treating many dogs, 20 horses, and some cats. It is controlled chaos, but that is the norm down here with everyone patient and happy. Maybe it is because they have learned to be very tolerant and persevere through these consistent weather fronts of warm sunny weather, but it has shaped them into strong character. Maybe if they had a good Nor’easter snow storm it would help them even more…

After our work finished, we organized and packed up everything for our trip to the countryside tomorrow. Then devotions and we are all pretty tired so off to bed fairly early. I thought it might be just me getting older and ornery and getting tired easier, but even the students are tired so I don’t feel so bad, and I tend to be most ornery when the nightly noise-a-thon starts; but that probably won’t be until tomorrow night in the country.

Today, Sunday, is one of our fun relaxing days. We started out going to the children’s Sunday school, which is held in peoples homes’. We were in Kathy’s home, which is a very nice small estate with wonderful landscaping and flowers and trees, very beautiful by anyone’s standards. We had about 13 kids come and it was a lot of fun being part of their service with singing, games, coloring, and playtime. The kids get along very well with no fighting and smiles all morning. The veternarios got to play the animals in one of the songs, so I ended up being the pig somehow, but at least I can oink and snort in Spanish pretty well because the kids laughed and seemed to understand me! It was really a blessing to see all those little smiling faces and laughter, which you can understand in any language, and realize that we are all created in the same image with the same dreams and hopes and desire for good things. Everyone was in a good mood except for the resident dog, Cocoa, who we extracted several teeth from and Pumpkin the cat who we neutered, they did not greet us warmly or desire good things for us, and they barked and meowed throughout our visit. We then walked into town, in the tourist section known for its pottery. I normally do not like shopping unless it is LL Bean or SS Lobster, especially when I need to buy something for Nancy; you see we have totally opposite tastes in things, I like big and she likes small, I like green and red and she likes pastels and purple, I like bold and she likes subtle, so shopping is stressful, like a cat going in for a neuter. But walking thru the shops and looking at all the beautiful pieces was actually enjoyable. The artistic abilities of the people was impressive and I wish I could have bought home many pieces, but they would not fit in my carry-on case. I bought some things I think she will like and when you see her you can ask her if she liked what I got because she will be nice, unlike me, and say “he got me the perfect gift, just the right size and color, he’s such a good shopper”. After that we went to Oscar’s church and he preached a wonderful sermon, with a lot of passion and wisdom. The church was full to overflowing, and he is building a new and much bigger church that he is trusting in God to fill. He is doing very good work for the Lord and the people of Nicaragua!

Tomorrow morning we will be going out to the countryside for 3 days and that is the best part of the trip. We will not have any internet or wifi service, which will be a welcome break from modern technology, so I won’t be able to send any blogs, but I will fill you in on all the gross things we did when I return. So until then, adios amigo

Many Blessings
Dr. Mike