Yesterday, we flew into Managua. It was a 3 1/2 hour flight in the evening. Today, my allergies got way better but yesterday they were awful on the plane. I thought my head was going to explode! But, thanks be to God, I am so much better today. Tony and Debbie (hosted us- they're missionaries there) are amazing. They are so hospitable and are caring for us like our parents would. This trip so far has been like the Dominican Republic, except for what I am seeing now as we drive to Padre Ramos (this was a 3 hour drive, all on paved road except for the last 30 minutes.. and those 30 minutes were spent driving down a rocky 6 mile dirt road). The farther we drive away from the capital, the worse the poverty seems, well, is. It's pretty extreme and I'm thankful Tony is in our van so I can ask him questions. He pointed out a village we drove by where there were "squodders" (I don't know how to spell that because I had never heard of them). They live in groups of people similar to the nomads I learned about all throughout history in school and their houses are made of cardboard/ tin that are smaller than my family's van. In Nicaragua, you can plop your house down on whatever land you want, so they move as a group whenever the law officials come.
My Spanish has improved so much. I was able to communicate with the begging children at the airport last night when it was very late. It broke my heart because there was a special needs boy who was talking to me. Then a security guard grabbed him and started pulling him away since they're not supposed to beg. They had little plastic bowls of mini- skittles or starbursts, or some of the kids had made flowers out of grass. It made me tear up and I thought, "We're not in America anymore..." We didn't have to change over our money which was nice. We just got change for large denominations in their currency.
We're stuck in traffic and we just had some kids jump on the windshield to start washing the van! Now, they're asking for money.. some kind business they've got going on down here. haha
We just passed some gold mines. Tony said that they hire 8 boys there that are paid $3/day to dig for gold.
Nicaraguans are supposed to paint on their fence what political party they support. I've seen some red/black posts and blue/white posts. Not really sure what they represent or what parties they have here. This isn't in my journal, but I remember a slogan that was on our country entry tickets and I saw it painted on walls along sections of roads.. (in spanish, it said, we believe in Christianity, Socialism, and Solidarity) I had to get my spanish teacher to see if I was translating correctly, and I was correct. Wow. Very corrupt government there, but I will explain more on a later journal entry.
Their harvest begins during rain season beginning on May 1 and lasting until November. They gather stuff out of huge fields by hand- no machines. That is how many citizens get jobs down there.
We're passing by volcanoes that are really cool. There are 7 live volcanoes in Nicaragua! Well, here comes a really nasty dirt road. Time to quit writing, or I'll be sick. :)