Day 3 - I Have Seen the Rain

Despite the stifling humidity, sticky skin, lack of bug nets or spray, fans (which all other rooms have) and cramped sleeping conditions, the boys slept pretty well. We woke up at 8 to the sound of howler monkeys howling, dogs barking, and exotic birds chirping. Eggs, some amazing juices and, of course, rice and beans.

Even though we didn’t have the tubs with the computers, we had already promised the school that we would come in and work. The sun was out and it was hot. The humidity was about the same but the sun added enough heat to make Mike crack a joke about it being 110 degrees in the school and only 100 degrees outside. It doesn’t actually get close to 100 degrees during the rainy season at nine in the morning, but you couldn’t tell that from the sweat drenching our bodies.

After 15 minutes of Catherine attempting to direct the students (in Spanish) to get into groups of four, two American students and two Nicaraguan students, a teacher came out and told us that they already had formed groups. Catherine did a great job though and continued to engage in conversations with the Nicaraguan students throughout our time touring the town of Balgue. Each group had one American student who could speak Spanish (Abe being able to speak is debatable), and they all had some very interesting conversations, ranging from snow in Seattle to explaining how my name (Will Reed) is funny in English because it has the same pronunciation as the future tense “to read” (“I will read this book to you…”). Ha. Very funny, Catherine.

Spaghetti was served for lunch, which was a nice change from the usual rice and beans. The blistering sun and humidity along with the fact that we had absolutely nothing to do in the afternoon resulted in decision to head to Ojo de Agua (Eye of the Water). It was this quaint swimming hole type thing. The water was cool and it was quite refreshing. The adventure was flawless except for that we had our first injury. Not to scare Amy, but it was Ben who began to dive into the water only to realize that Chara was standing where he wanted to dive. Ben adjusted his dive to aim for a new area. The entrance was flawless, earning a 10 from the Nicaraguan judge (only an 8 from the Russian judge…). The problem was that his new dive spot was only about 2 and a half feet deep… Upon realizing this, Ben rotated while entering the water. He was close to escaping, but his back scraped the bottom. As he climbed out of the water the crowd let out an “OOOHHH” as they saw the red scrapes on his back. Ben was fine, and luckily Nikki and Jennifer (acting as medical lead) were quickly there to clean and bandage his wounds.

Only minutes after leaving the swimming area, we learned why they call this area a “RAINforest.” The wind picked up (enough to knock a branch off a tree onto Kate’s head - She’s OK) and it started drizzling. Within 5 minutes we were standing in a torrential downpour. The jumping flies attacked our legs while we waited for the bus in unbelievable rain. A van pulled up to us and said they had enough room to transport all 17 of us back to Balgue. Whether or not they actually had enough room for us is debatable. Let’s just say we got creative. The rain slowed down but continued until just before dinner time. For dinner they served us something called “Old Indian” (we honestly have NO idea what it was. It was enchilada-like), and, once again, rice and beans.

Immediately after dinner, Bob called from the airport with an update on how they are going to get customs to let us take the tubs! The phone call got cut off before Mike was able to get too many details, but I will share what we do know. Bob and Scott have not been incarcerated. They somehow convinced the customs people to let them take the tubs. They are staying in Rivas tonight, a town with a ferry terminal. They are getting up and catching the first ferry to Ometepe and claim that we will have the tubs at the school by 9:30. We’ll see how that works out.

Although the computers are the main reason for the trip, I think a lot of us are secretly happier to be getting our toiletries. I thought we were doing fine until I was shown on camera my insane farmers tan and burn on my neck and Hannah showed me her 20+ (no exaggeration) mosquito bites on her leg. Izzy and I are tied for second-most mosquito bites with probably around 11. A surplus of deet will be welcomed.

After the rain, it has somewhat cooled off here and it’s actually extremely pleasant. Hopefully tomorrow we can start setting up the lab.

Que pasa calebaza!

Will

(That means “what’s up, pumpkin?!”)

P.S. To Maggie – Bob’s been without his sleep apnea machine for two nights now… Apparently this makes him sound like one of the howling monkeys that woke us up today!

P.P.S. – Hannah and Madeleine are forcing me to tell their mommies that they love them.

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