Some final thoughts about my Nicaragua trip
Now that I'm sleeping in my own bed, not doing "bug checks" at night (Dorritt was especially concerned about scorpions, and we did kill one) and showering in a real shower, I can remember the beauty of the country-here's a photo of a bandera flower, taken at the Hotel Raizon in Maysaya, Nicaragua, where we spent our first and last two nights.
What a beautiful, complex and infuriatingly "messed up" world we live in, where folks can work really really hard and still have nothing, where a beautiful country can house so many people in poverty (Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, after Haiti). We met a woman from Ecuador who now lives in Chicago and is an environmental engineer for Texaco. She was amazed and touched that Americans would come to Nicaragua to help build houses. Kind of restores your faith in all of us, doesn't it?
Here's a "parting shot" taken at the airport in Managua. Emily, Alexa, Lauren and Becky, looking very happy to be on the way home! I don't yet know how, but I know that this trip has changed me (and all of us who went on it). It sounds silly and trite but I definitely received more than I gave (I'm not a very good house builder) and came home with a much healthier perspective on what it means to be happy and successful. Now if I can just figure out what that means in my daily life, I'll be all set!