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Managua, Nicaragua
I'm participating in a month-long medical trip to Nicaragua, so I'd like to use this blog to document all of my experiences abroad and keep everyone at home in touch!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 7

We took a break from working in the clinics today in order to rest a bit and enjoy some sightseeing near the colonial city of Granada. We were up by 7:30 for a breakfast of traditional pancakes with, of course, rice and beans! We loaded up the van and headed to Mombacho for a nine-part canopy tour. Some of the students were even gutsy enough to zipline upside down. The guides were wonderful and the view from above was certainly a beautiful sight to see. Best part of it was, it was only $14 USD.
After we finished up our canopy adventure, we participated in a brief tour of one of the nearby coffee plantations (free samples included). Coffee has been a key part of Nicaragua’s national economic development process since the mid-1800s. It is among the nation’s primary sources of foreign exchange and provides the economic backbone for thousands of rural communities throughout the country. The United States has been a major importer of Nicaraguan coffee for several years.
Next, we ventured to Granada, one of the first European cities in mainland America. Founded in 1524 by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, it was not only the settlement of the conquest, but also a city registered in official records of the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Castile in Spain. The architecture in Granda is completely different from anything else I've seen in Nicaragua thus far. It was a lively city with many bright colored building and churches. We ate at an Italian restaurant for lunch in the central park area. It was my first meal in a week without rice or beans. We finished up our recreation day with a trip to one of the markets in Masaya. We saw a number of crafts ranging from beautifully intricate and unique home decor to a rather odd collection of baskets made from dead turkeys.
This evening, I learned that tomorrow we have our last visit to the community of La Concha to spend time with some of the local families and educate them about health and medicine. In the morning, we have a number of games (including a pinata) we will play with some of the children we have treated in the clinic over the past week. I'm really looking forward to interacting with the families outside of a hospital/clinic setting. We will have our first suturing and injections class tomorrow night. I know Thursday will be a great day in San Juan de Oriete, the next community we will be serving.

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