High in Nicaragua

June 4th

The last three days have left me a bit crippled. I am not cut out for manual labor. Triathlons? No problem. Running, hiking, sewing like a sweatshop worker? Cake. Digging ditches, moving heavy roof tiles, shoveling countless truck loads of sand? I am worthless.
And sore. And trying hard not to lash out because I hurt just about everywhere. Plus Tall Dark and Handsome sent me an email today that, in fact, he will not be joining me in Africa. Damn it.
There goes that idea.
Needless to say, I am now drinking Chilean white wine, listening to an afternoon downpour and cheering myself up by admiring my tropical surroundings now that the day¬¥s work is complete. There have been a series of highs and lows in this adventure. We have been very productive — a plus. We¬¥ve put on a roof, helped several other future home-owners with the construction of their homes and hopefully left these rural Nicaraguans with a good taste of hard-working Americans. Today we painted roof tiles with paint that was, let¬¥s say ¬¥¬¥extended,¬¥¬¥ with a hefty dose of gasoline. We painted about 200 before I thought I was going to be sick. Several hours later and I¬¥m wishing I¬¥d gotten my first Nicaraguan high from a Cuban cigar instead of Venezulean petrol. Gasoline and tropical heat don¬¥t mix. Who knew?
I´m rambling. Consider it the after-effects of the wine and the gas and the exhaustion. The work continues. Tomorrow we are digging ditches and laying pipe for a community water project. Friday we deliver the peace t-shirts to the orphanage. Saturday we tour Granada. If you have a second, Google ´´Nicaragua, Granada.´´ One of my favorite cities in the world. I can´t wait for a great cup of coffee and a day without a shovel.
See? I told you I´m not cut out for this manual labor. I´m a whiner after just a few days. These Nicaraguans without a doubt know how to pace themselves much better than we do.


Posted in
Journal, Public Health, Travel
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16 Responses

  1. You say you’re not cut for manual labor, but you’ve done so much so many times!! Sorry you are hurting but it will all soon feel so good. Especially for those families you are helping out. Hugs to you Kelli!!!

  2. Dearest Kelli,
    You are not a whiner by ANY stretch of the imagination. Just a girl who sniffed a little too much gasoline and dug a little hard with a shovel. Thanks for sharing your exciting trip with those we are slow to even make it out of our back yards, let alone change someone’s life.

  3. Awww, you’re not a whiner, sounds like there’s some really hard-core work going on there! Take it easy – don’t hurt yourself!

  4. you are so amazing kelli.
    is the gasoline added to the paint to extend only or is there any other benefit? horrible that you had to inhale that toxic stuff.
    wonderful that you are making a difference in their lives. can’t wait to see photos.

  5. If you can run a triathlon, you can work a shovel. It’s the same exact mental toughness. Remember the revolution. You’ll be fine.

  6. Hope things take a turn for the better. Pity about tall, dark and handsome … makes any adventure more adventure-ier … ah well, may hope and destiny unfold to delight you 😉 Enjoy your time where you are!

  7. Oh, and you are missing out on the great, big Obama lovefest … in which many of us are reveling and delighting 😉

  8. You’re a winner Kelli, don’t forget it. A little sore maybe, but I’m sure you’re satisfied with what you’ve accomplished so far. Thanks for keeping us updated.

  9. Was gasonline really added to the paint? Glad it wasn’t flammable–Yikes! And, for the record, you’re not bad at manual labor. Good for you for all your positive contributions to society!

  10. What a great thing you are doing! Keep up the good work and reward yourself with some more wine :O)

  11. Tall, Dark, and Handsome? Gosh, I don’t even recall sending that email…

  12. ali la loca June 6, 2008

    Keep strong, girl!!

    You can do it, gasoline and sore muscles and all. 🙂

    One of my good friends is from Bluefields – there is a whole side of Nicaragua’s history that I never learned about until meeting her. Wish I could visit someday!

  13. I truly admire what you’re doing, Kelli. The kind of manual labor you’re enduring will have lasting positive effects for the people there. It’s perfectly okay to acknowledge that it’s challenging you physically–and you are in excellent physical condition. I’d probably keel over afer the first shovelful. The smiles on the faces of the children at the orphanage when you deliver the Peace t-shirts will be balm for your spirit.

  14. But I’m sure you’re wielding that shovel in style. Cheers, my dear. You are one of the good guys for sure.
    Hugs and a bottle of Advil!

  15. I had no idea gasoline could be mixed with paint. I’m glad to be learning it through your experience rather than first hand.
    I do admire what you are doing. Enjoy the wine and the trip to Grenada. Viya con dios!

  16. On my, whine away my dear, but you really don’t sound like you’re whining. You’re making a difference! I raise my glass of pinoy grigio to you 🙂