After months of planning and preparation, I board a plane for Nicaragua first thing tomorrow morning! It still all seems a little unreal. I applied for this trip in October 2011, and I can’t believe it’s finally here. Friends and family have contributed more than I ever imagined. My checked bag is packed, and it’s full of donated medicines. I sent a letter requesting medical donations to all the local pediatric clinics a few weeks ago, but I really didn’t expect too much of response since it was pretty short notice. I ended up getting an overwhelming response!
This is donations from two different pediatric clinics. They were so excited to help! One of them called me and said that they “didn’t have much,” but when I got there, it was three boxes full!
I guess I want this post to give everyone an idea of what I’m going to be doing over the next few weeks. I fly into Managua, Nicaragua tomorrow morning and will be there for two weeks. I’m on a Well Child International team, through International Service Learning. (Read more about both here). This is my first international trip; in fact, I’ve never left Louisiana for more than a week before. (Shocking, I know!) However, now that I have a passport good for the next ten years, this won’t be my last international trip.
My team is all-female. That’s all I know. I don’t know anyone on the team, or even how many other girls there are. They’ll all be about my age, and there could be anywhere from 6 – 15 of us total. This doesn’t make me nervous at all – I love to meet new people! Besides, I know we’ll have a lot in common just by the nature of the team. We will spend 5 days working in a rural clinic, 2 days doing home visits, 1 day touring a hospital, and have 2 recreation days and a fiesta day with the community that involves dance lessons. (And here is the hotel where we’re staying!)
What does make me nervous is making a fool out of myself trying to speak Spanish. I’ve studied it on and off over the last four years, and I’m just fluent enough to get myself in trouble. I communicate okay in a classroom setting, but this is my chance to put all my studies to use. I’m hoping being completely immersed will help it all come back, like in PR last summer. I’ve studied the (long) list of questions and terms that I was sent to be able to take medical histories.
Will you pray for and with me? Please pray for safe travel and good health for our team. Pray for me to receive affirmation for God’s calling in my life. Pray for lifelong connections with my teammates, and for us to have Gospel conversations.
While I will have wi-fi access at the hotel, I most likely will not post anything. I plan to be completely in Nicaragua, and abandon social media technology (except for my camera) for the next two weeks. Expect plenty of stories when I return!