Graditude and Celebration

Giving daily expression of gratitude is easy for me here in Nicaragua.  For more than 20 years I had a photo of a house on the beach magneted to my fridge.  The house looked like a cottage and the water was big but non descript.  Now I can say that my house on the beach exists.  It doesn’t look like the place or the water in the picture, however, here I am living in a house with the most beautiful ocean view in a country that is tranquillo, warm and beautiful.  You notice I speak the word “warm”. Temperature average of 82 degrees suits me just fine.

I am also grateful for my wonderful family and friends both in the US and here in NI.  My circles of friends are supportive and encouraging for the nutty life that I have created and lead.

This month was especially interesting and deserved a bundle of gratitude.  One of my Barnes School of Nursing friends, Carole Manners, nominated me for the new Barnes Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award and I received it as the  Barnes Graduate at the College Homecoming Event October 9th.  Now, just in case you may be thinking that this is a big deal and it is, the Jewish School of Nursing Alumni, Olive (Ollie) Coe is 92 and graduated from Jewish in 1944.  She is beautiful and fun.  Carole Manners and I flew to St. Louis for the day long Event where Ollie and I were given our awards.  We had a great time for two days enjoying the Barnes Jewish Foundation dinner on Thursday night and then the lectures, etc. on Friday.  Thursday night was also the unveiling of a commissioned sculpture for the BJC Goldfarb School of Nursing.  Carole and I were both highly impressed with the growth of the College since we attended the Homecoming Event in 2009.  At that Event we walked with the second graduating class from the new Barnes Jewish College Goldfarb School which coincided with our 50th year anniversary as graduates of the Barnes School of Nursing in 1959.  It is interesting to note how the school is organized program wise.  Students without a bachelor’s degree in another area who are just beginning their nursing college experience are in a five year program.  Students with a previous bachelor’s degree are in an “excellerated” program and graduate in two years.  These students are then put into mentoring programs in the field of their nursing choice.

I have to say that I was given the 2015 award mostly for the work I have done in Nicaragua, although the Lord knows my work is eclectic, diverse and continuous.  I am grooming my maid right now to enter a nursing program in Rivas from a private college.  Melvin Lopez, the young man I sent through nursing school graduated with his diploma from a public university in Rivas.  Melvin, incidentally, will continue his studies next month to receive his nursing licensure.

Before I flew to St. Louis, I flew from Managua to Chicago and then drove to Indiana to see my cousins from the northern Indiana area where I was born.  Out of 32 first cousins, there are only nine of us left.  My three brothers and I are four of those nine.  I had a great time being shown around the farmlands that I used to know.  However, so much has changed with new superhighways and subdivisions, that without my wonderful tourguide cousins Dorothy and Clayton Hoevet, I would have been hopelessly lost.  We had a ball though and didn’t eat dinner at home one night of the four nights I was there.  We were “on the road again” as the song goes.  Five of the IN cousins all met for lunch one day, thanks to Don Kotrba for the treat.  We laughed and stayed in the restaurant until their dinner clientele were beginning to arrive.  So many fond memories for which I am grateful.

My Nica family has grown in the past week.  My friend and former landlord, Carmen Guzmán had a baby boy a week ago.  Sebastian is beautiful and Carmen is amazing.  She continued law school up until the week of the birth via an emergency c-section for baby stress.  Now she is trying to see how she can take the final exam, one week after the birth.  Carmen is also the mover and shaker of the Guzmán family. She opened her Spa where I used to park my car.  And now the little Guzmán Pulpería that was next to the casita where I lived is tripled in size to a mini-store.  I am so very proud of this family.  They are wonderful role models in the Limón #2 community.

Rain has finally begun so that the flora are turning green again.  The weeds in the yard are growing “like weeds” and I can’t complain.  As I look out over the hills to the ocean at least it is green again, another cause of gratitude.

I am happy to report that the new Costa Esmeralda International Airport had its grand opening last week.  Now for a healthy sum people can cut their driving time from Managua, NI or Liberia, Costa Rica by 1 1/2 hours to Rancho Santana.  The paved road is inching its way toward us and the airport which is scheduled to have regular flights in November.  I look forward to the day when the road finally gets out to the Limóns, although I am grateful for the amount of block road that is already completed.

Yesterday and today I had the opportunity to watch them create that road as I was headed to Rivas to the attorney.  The paver blocks look like a square jigsaw piece.  After the concrete road edge is laid and initial string line is placed, the blocks are stood on their side edge in a row like you would line up Dominoes.  Then they are laid down like puzzle pieces one after another.  Line by line no cement.  It helps to have a lot of workers who are now VERY familiar with this process.  It is fascinating to watch, however.  In between the two days that I made the trip past this paving area, I think they laid more than a football field length of road.  They lay one way first diverting the traffic to the dirt on the other side and holding traffic for turns in use of the only part remaining.  Today, we actually drove on a part of road that was being laid yesterday.  Progress in NI for sure.

Nothing major or urgent going on this past month in Nica for me.  However, I have become a consultant to many locals as well as expats.  In case anyone needs consulting information, I am currently a person for Business Plans, Land Sales, Wound Care, Health Triage, Area Guide, and Business Referral.  You can see I am not sitting around eating sweets all day.

The condo has renters for a few weeks in November and December.  I am grateful for this gift.  The condo is beautiful and comfortable.  My maid works four days at the condo keeping it open, aired and clean.  She works two days for me at the Wisley house up here on the hill where I am living.  All is well.  Life is good in Nicaragua.

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Waterford crystal vase with plaque “Margie Fincham, RN, MSN, GCNS Distinguished Alumni Award 2015”

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Guest lecturer at BJC Event via his robot.  Henry Evans is a 50 yr. old man, totally paralyzed except for head movement.  His wife speaks for him as he reads a letter board and blinks his eyes.  He developed the system of robotic software whereby he virtually attends lectures, museums etc. throughout the world where a robot can be acquired.  (The red dangling piece is his “tie”.)  I couldn’t resist talking to him after the lecture and asking to be photographed with him.

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Carole Manners and I with Agenda for the Event.  Me, Carol Luckey, and Carole Manners 1959 Grads.  Full Sails Sculpture at BJC Goldfarb School of Nursing.  Bricks at the base are from the torn down Barnes and Jewish Schools of Nursing dorms.

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