August News from Nicaragua
Hello to all Family and Friends,
Everyday since I have been back home here in Nicaragua has been busy in some form or another. I better start at the beginning.
Life in the Guzmán compound is definitely growing. Two new babies were born to the various young families, both beautiful—one girl, now 8 months old and one boy, two months old. The later is a confounding situation for me to understand but I am not to judge. The mother is a 40 + woman who lives next door. The father is the 18 yr. old son of my maid and the oldest Guzmán son who live behind me. I have asked for some details about this occurrence from my friend Lidieth who also lives here, and the best that I can figure out is that the woman wanted a child. And I guess Isael was a willing student of sex education. At any rate he is proud of his son, who is indeed guapo. Since Isael has only temporary jobs, it is curious how he can support his new child. Although in this culture as far as I can tell, supporting a family isn’t a great cause for concern. Responsibility is slowly taking form here—poco a poco.
Let me now describe the good news and successes. The first class of Cuidadores de Personas taught in Spanish was completed a week ago with two persons receiving their certificates of completion. The classroom that I am using at Fun Limón is a perfect size for five people and not much more. We push four conference size tables together to make a bed that requires one person holding on to one end of the “bed” for stability while practice takes place making a bed with and without a person in it. Let me tell you, since I was the patient, lying on a hard surface isn’t exactly my cup of tea. Next class I am bringing two pillows. Yes, the second class begins this coming Monday. Hopefully, there will be students again. Although I had great fear about teaching in Spanish, having the curriculum translated in to Spanish was helpful. Google translate is good but not close in some cases. The translation for Día Dos was hysterical as that was the day I was teaching transfers. “Chair to chair” was translated as “President to chair”. At this point I asked a Nica born friend of mine, Maria Elena (Do you remember the lady who rented me her car in January?) a professional translator from FL, to fix Día Dos. She also reviewed the other four days and made very few changes to the documentation. Therefore, the class was a success, the students learned a lot, practiced daily in class, and I feel comfortable recommending them for hire. We discussed pricing for both pobre family members and the wealthy potential clientele. I give copies of transfer techniques, physical exercises in bed and chair, the pain scale, photos of pressure ulcers, and a cooperative method of caregiving for their own clientele. My next step for the course, besides teaching it every other week, is to get some form of documented approval from MINSA, the Nicaraguan Dept. of Health. I found out last week that the Director General from Rivas who had reviewed and approved the program in February was fired and demoted for stealing from the Rivas Health Dept. Also found out that one of the weekend doctors at the Roberto Clemente Clinic was fired last month for the same issue. It is a sad situation that the doctors and nurses who are employees of the national health department, the Salud, are so underpaid that they resort to other means of income. So much for socialism!
Success number two: I now have a daily water source to my house. After several days without water, a new pump for the 60 yr. old well, various levels of placing the pump to get water, all the while using my tools and me observing the action—and my tools–, it was decided that the well behind my house wasn’t sufficient for our daily use. There is a second well that was dug on the property next to the bakery cooperativa in February. Solution to our water problem here in the front houses was to run a hose from the back well to the pipes for the cistern–above the ground tank. That worked. The new pump was put on to the new well. AND I have a new one-valve connection to my shower. No more leaking shower if you turn on the wrong faucet. The other good news about water is that it has been raining off and on now for the past day so I am a happy camper.
Success number three: To keep me out of trouble in the future, I purchased three lots across the road and a few houses down from where I live in Limón Dos. The lots are behind the owner’s property on the main road and butt up to a lot that Lidieth bought for her Fundación Fenix project—a garden, worm farm and classrooms to teach the youth who are in her group life skills. There is by law an access road to all of the lots behind an existing property. I am having my three deeded as one lot. Before the end of the year, I hope to have built a lavandería, auto storage for 12 vehicles, and auto wash on my property. These are all services that I need for myself, as well as other local families, property owners from Rancho Santana and other developments. My retirement account is diminished. However, my gut and RS friends are telling me that this venture should bring me closer financially to building the house on my Guascate property. This venture has introduced me to a couple of new attorneys in Rivas. Both are very encouraging about my Cuidadores de Personas program as well as being helpful with the property documentation and recording. They are both Drs. of law. Here in NI, Dr. of law is different from Licensia of law. Unlike the US, each of these lawyers is costing me $150 total. They charge by the task not the hour and laughed at the cost of lawyers in the US.
My attempt at obtaining residency failed and perhaps it was for the good. The application was for a retiree and I really want residency as an investor, especially as I progress with the classes and the Limón Dos project. My Managua attorney for residency has applied for a certificate of investment from the NI Dept. of Finance. When this certificate is obtained, he will go back to Immigration and apply again. I am keeping this process high on my list of daily meditation thoughts. Although I am told that this takes a longer time. I am ever the optimist.
I had a great time with my therapist friends who came to NI to work with special ed schools and orphanages as music, speech, and recreational therapists. At Sor Maria Romero, the only school in Rivas Department for special needs kids, my friends were besieged to come back. My friends were only here for three days, one day at Sor Maria Romero. We crammed in as much sightseeing of my area as possible. Hopefully they will choose NI again for their project next year.
My CA families seem to be settled into their normal routines again which is good. My health is good. I am using the TRX exercise system in my house every other day. AND I still love my life here.
Thanks to all of you who keep me informed about yourselves. I don’t do Facebook or LinkedIn very often as you can tell so don’t count on my knowing what is going on outside of NI.
Photos are: Cuidadores practicing, Dentistas sin Fronteras
I forgot to mention. 16 dentists from Spain working in the Fun Limón gym for four days, patient with head in lap of dentist, me assisting as the water application during drilling—no novacaine, mouthful of water and spit into a bucket, three dental stations after triage: cleaning of area for filling, filling with calcium, and extraction—head propped against wall, novacaine this time, 5 minutes and out the door. Occasionally it took four of us to hold down a young child for their procedure.
Pretty amazing work. You can see this group by googling Dentistas sin Fronteras.
Solo el amor prevalence.