Nicaragua Dave here,
We are in the process of assembling some 600 pictures from the trip and I will have access to them soon. My camera, however, is still unavailable for use.I have a story to tell that I don't think we have pictures of anyway and is probably one of the highlights of the entire trip.
One morning the guys were invited to be a part of a group of men that pray through the town we were in and neighboring towns. I really didn't think anything much about getting up at 4:00 AM to do some praying cause I do some of my best praying at all hours of the night. So here we are at 4:30AM piling into a van to meet the group of Nicaraguan men set to pray through the neighborhoods. So like I said all the Americans piled into a red van and drove up to the church which would be the starting point.
There sat a slightly used truck. Ah, Ok a greatly used jalopy pickup truck with a 3,000 watt power generator lashed on the rear. Toward the front of the pickup box setting on top of a specially made platform sat giant speakers along with the electronics to run them. It was a pretty awesome sight to see the power house PA system mounted on the back of a pickup truck powered by a portable generator.
So at 4:30am, they started up the generator, plugged in the boom box as the input to the PA system with Christian music and cranked up the volume. Wow, my pant legs vibrated to the music. Unbelievable. Off we went down the street with about 5 or 6 Nicaraguans in the back of the truck in front of us and us Americans following behind. A microphone was passed around to the men in the back of the truck to preach short Jesus loves you type messages through the PA while the music blasted away. We moved down the street away from the church with a plan to go to a neighboring town some 3 clicks away. We pulled out on the road and headed toward the town. The truck in front speeded up and a cloud of blueish black smoke billowed out the tailpipe of the truck with the aroma that would rival sniffing an oil can. I have never in my life seen so much smoke come out of one little engine. The could became so thick that we could barely see through the fog. We made it to the next town and slowed to a crawl which seemed to diminish the smog spewing from the truck in front.
Now we've reached our destination with the music still blasting and with the mic still being passed around, we slowly made our way up and down the streets of the town. Every city in Nicaragua has a city square in the middle of the town. We made our way to the city square and the truck in front stopped and the men piled out of the truck. I thought we are going to prayer walk the city around the town square. Awesome, I could get into that.
The next thing I know a lug nut wrench appeared and there they were lifting the side of the truck up off the ground while a skinny little guy slid under the truck and put a jack under the back tire. A flat tire. So there you have it tire changing the Nicaragua way. I just love the way things are done in Nicaragua.
The tire came off and what do you know there's no spare. So the tire is thrown up on top of the red van and at 5:00 AM we pounded on doors to find someone to fix the tire. Can you imagine that. I guess the Pastor thought it was probably too much for us Americans to digest and we were brought back to the house we used as home base to catch another couple hours of sleep before breakfast.
The rest of the story was told to us by the Pastor later that day. When we left to get the tire fixed, the music still played on and the messages still were given. Upon arriving back with the fixed tire, a crowd had gathered around the truck and was listening to the music and messages. The people of the city wanted to know if they could come back every day.
I tell this story not make fun of the Nicaraguan culture, but show how different the mentality of the people are. Here in the US the cops would have been called and people would have been hauled off for disturbing the peace. In Nicaragua, it just a natural way of life and a blessing. Man I just loved it there.
Many of the houses we painted were nothing more than something slapped together from scrap tin with black plastic vinyl hung up for interior walls. The floors were dirt. Most had nothing more than a single light bulb hanging in the middle of the room from a electric cord run over to a neighbor's house. And yet almost every place we painted always gave us something to drink or eat. We blessed the food and drink to keep us from getting sick. I drank everything from cold coffee to coke in a bag with a straw. No not that kind of coke. Fountain pop is sold in a little plastic baggie with a straw through the knot in the top of the bag. Sometimes, the locals will just chew a hole in the corner at the bottom of the bag and drink the fluid that way. It's not too difficult once you get the hang of it.
Pictures next time. I promise.