It feels really good to be in Nicaragua again. This is my third trip to this beautiful and friendly country. Leslie and I have three other teammates from Nebraska – Coleen, Kirk and Jason. Coleen and I are helping our interpreter Kenya to teach hygiene to the children and mothers of our community. Leslie, Kirk and Jason are helping to dig the well. We have two wonderful Living Water leaders, Stew and Angel, leading us.
Today the team drilled 120 feet with the help of some of the community men. The hygiene lesson was about how to wash our hands properly and what germs are. In the united states we are taught by our parents and teachers about proper hygiene but in poorer countries this isn’t always the case. It’s an eye opening experience.
We begin the day with devotion at 6:30am, eat breakfast and drive to the community where we are working. It’s very hot and humid too! A cold shower is so refreshing after the day.
At the Living Water volunteer house where we are staying three women cook delicious meals for us and make our lunches. I am smelling a delicious dinner being prepared as I am writing these words! I am looking forward to what each day will bring and can feel everyone’s prayers at home while we are away.
We arrived in Managua yesterday and were picked up by Living Water staff. At the Houston airport, we met Colleen, Kirk and Jason, who are part of our team from Nebraska. W we met in Managua by Stu, our Living Water staff leader, who I had met last year when I came to Rivas. We went out to a Nicaraguan fast food chicken lunch at Tip Top and then we were on our way to Leon. The guest house is very nice with tile floors and, best of all, air conditioning in the bedrooms. We had a great dinner and went to bed early.
This morning we had devotions on the patio at 6:30am. I chose a reading from The Way devotional about letting your light shine so that people can see God’s love. That’s what I hope we do on each mission trip. We packed up and headed out of town to the worksite. It’s in a little farming community. They grow herbs and cassaba for sale and lots of chickens, cows and pigs to eat. The well will serve about 60 people. They have an open, hand dug well now that does not provide clean water. We got a tour of the houses in the community. Some are substantial structures made out of concrete block and some are tacked together scraps of corrugated metal and tarps.
The well drilling equipment was already there and two pits had been dug. The pits are to hold a bentonite slurry that circulates to bring the cuttings up out of the well. It’s different than the air drilling rig that we used in Rivas. Not quite so messy because the dirt isn’t getting shot into the air.
We made the bentonite slurry, put the first section of pipe on and started drilling. The pipe sections are five feet. We took turns running the rig, putting the sections on and shoveling the mud from the exit channel. It went pretty fast. We had drilled 140 feet by the time we had lunch. Some of the men from the community worked with us to shovel the exit channel and other tasks.
During our breaks, we wandered over to see how the hygiene lessons were going. Dana and Colleen were helped by Kenya from Living Water. It looked like they were having a great time.
At the end of the work day, we came back for showers and rest and another great dinner. We’ve had 3 kinds of fruit juice in 3 meals, perhaps we’ll have a fourth tomorrow.