As usual, my summers are insane and there are often long breaks between posts, as has been the case as of late...
However, as summer starts to wind down and things slowly begin to return to 'normal', I wanted to share with you my recent trip to Jinotega, Nicaragua.
The trip was absolutely amazing!
I was blown away by the beauty of the people and the gorgeous landscape I was surrounded by.
I took the trip to Jinotega (about 2,700ft) and stayed with some friends at Mision Para Cristo for a little over a week. While I was there I got to work with several amazing organizations (One Child Matters, Hope4Life, MPC, Casa Materna, etc) and while Jinotega is definitely 3rd world, if anyone expects sorrow and despair to go with the extreme poverty there, they've come to the wrong place! Jinotega is buzzing, vibrant, joyful, and abounding in hope -- we, as North Americans, could learn innumerable lessons from the the people of Jinotega.
One day while we were there I was taking a hike up to "The Cross" and a girl on the trail (nearly to the summit) started having an asthma attack... and had forgotten her inhaler. Now, the cross trail head is about a mile from the mision I was staying in and then the cross itself is about a 900ft ascent straight up the face of the mountain and up 1,000 concrete and stone stairs.
I ran down the mountain (since the question will come up, I was actually wearing my Russell Thula Thula boots at the time), through the 'city' of Jinotega (a gringo sprinting through the streets of downtown Jinotega is quite the spectacle!), to the mision, retrieved an inhaler from the clinic there, ran back through town to the trail head, and back up the ~900 steps to where the girl was waiting.... quite the impromptu hill work!
Luckily, the young lady was fine, got stabilized, felt better, and was even able to finish the last little bit of the climb to the top with me. This was a good reminder that it is important to realize that you never know when simply having friends, families, or helping strangers will call upon one to be able to exert themselves physically (consider that next time someone asks you "what are you training for!?" Life.)
Below are a few of the pictures of the trip, including the girl who had the asthma attack dropping down into a pistol (which she had never seen or tried before - she was quite the trooper!) with me for a photo op on the top of the mountain!