Just a quick note today, as I am exhausted! The time on this blog is local time – and Nicaragua is 6 hours behind, so that means I have been up for more than 24 hours!
Up at 4, coach at 5 (National Express coaches very handily stop at the bottom of my road in Brighton, so the journey to Heathrow was nice and easy), some delays there as computer problems meant that they couldn’t check us in for over an hour, and then a 9 hour flight to Houston. Delighted to find that the seats have plug sockets so I could work on the plane (not all work though – I did manage to watch a film too!).
After a four hour transit at Houston, we joined about 40 people all in matching green shirts from the ‘Mission of Hope’ (on their way to do some volunteer work in a community north of Managua) on our flight to Nicaragua’s capital city. Most of them were young (I’d guess about 18) and as far as I could tell it was probably their first time going to a developing country. I think every young person should get the chance to see a bit of the world, get out of their comfort zone, and see the reality of how most of the world lives. My work with charities has definitely changed me, and my priorities in life. Whenever I am having a bad day I think about the people I have met in Africa and Asia who have lost children through disease simply because they didn’t have access to clean water, or effective medicines – and I think just how lucky I am.
I thought that again on the taxi ride from Managua airport to our hotel. We passed an area of houses which could only be described as slums – tin, tarpaulin and wooden constructions crammed together – no electricty, no sanitation. What must life be like there? Apparently the original houses were destroyed in an earthquake in the 70’s and were never rebuilt.
Talking of earthquakes – checked the hotel ‘services’ book and it has instructions on what to do in the eventuality of a quake. Stay calm (!) and stand in a doorway apparently. Let’s hope I don’t need that advice!