I was thinking today of the how important repeated trips to Nica have been for me. My first trip I was virtually just an observer; paralyzed first by the unfamiliarity of my circumstances and later by the anger, sadness, and confusion inherent with exposure to the Nica life. In the same way a doctor doesn’t let the sight of blood hinder his work I’ve found that I can now see past the tangible manifestations of poverty and attempt to love the people who are trapped by them. This has been a gradual process, but now having been here six times I find myself in a position to roll up my sleeves and start working instead of just taking it all in.
Ben left early this morning. I just got an email from him saying that he arrived safely at home. I’m so glad he could visit and get a taste of life down here. The kids loved him and asked about him repeatedly today.
Carlos met us for lunch today and we were surprised to find only seven kids waiting to join us. I don’t quite understand the process of determining which kids come to work every day, but it seems like most days at least one stays home. Although I miss their company at lunch I am not too upset when they get a day off from working.
We had a quiet, peaceful lunch. Carlos interviewed the kids, getting information I’ll need when putting together packets for their sponsorship. After lunch Carlos and I went to the market to pick up notebooks, pencils, erasers, and pencil sharpeners. It’s amazing that about $18 bought ample supplies for 12 kids. I plan on giving them their stuff later this week.
Tonight is New Year’s Eve and I am looking forward to a relaxing evening. Most Nicaraguans, like Americans, go out tonight but I am excited about cleaning the house a little bit, watching a movie, and maybe reading. Any doubt that I am really an old man has now been eliminated. I hope that you all have a safe, fun New Year’s Eve!