A Change in Scenery

Posted on January 11, 2010

The team awoke this morning tired but ready to travel to Managua. Thankfully Sugey, did get some more rest and some of the swelling had diminished around her eye. We were thankful for nurse Dottie who continued to check on Sugey throughout the entire night. We loaded up the van with all of our luggage and hit the road for Managua. Before arriving at our hotel we met up with Sugey’s mother and said our goodbyes. We all felt a special connection with Sugey and continue to pray for her continued healing. It was a bitter sweet moment as we handed Sugey off to her Mother to care for her in the coming days. Remember to keep her in your prayers as she continues to heal and as she begins school.

Soon after we said goodbye to Sugey we arrived at our hotel in Managua, unloaded our luggage, checked into our rooms and prepared for our coffee plantation trip. As you can see by the photos below the change in scenery was quite drastic from what we had been experiencing throughout the week. Our drive to Marshall’s son Keith’s coffee plantation was about one hour of uphill driving. It was apparent as we climbed the hills the difference in climate. The temperatures were much cooler, the humidity was gone, and there was a constant breeze. We arrived at the coffee plantation and Keith immediately proceeded to tell us a bit of background on his purchase and upkeep of his small coffee plantation. The group got a brief lesson on how to pick the coffee, careful not to damage the crop for an upcoming bloom. Some of the team wore a traditional basket used by Nicaraguan coffee harvesters. Although in January there is not as much coffee to pick we were still able to feel what it was like to hunt for coffee and harvest it. After about one hour of working we reconvened to see how much we had picked. The coffee was dumped into one basket that we couldn’t even fill. Keith explained to us how one filled basket would equal 50 cents (US) in wages for a Nicaraguan worker. It was a shocking thought for many of us. He explained how a good picker would be able to fill about 7 baskets in one day.

While we ate a simple meal for lunch at Keith’s house he continued to explain how coffee is grown and handled here in Nicaragua. Keith then explained how they process the beans. From the time the beans are harvested until they are ready to be consumed, it takes about one week. In rapid form (skipping the beans soaking and drying) the team was taught the entire process. We started by removing the pulp from the bean and separating the lighter immature beans from the mature beans. We were then showed how the beans were cleared from any parchment layers surrounding the beans. Meanwhile Keith was brewing a fresh pot of coffee he had picked just one week ago to share with the team. We were all so thankful for this experience. Through our time with Keith we got a glimpse into something completely foreign to many of us and and idea of what it is like to be a worker in Nicaragua.

Tonight we enjoyed a meal at the hotel in Managua and had our final debriefing time as a team. It would be fair to say that the team is quite tired in so many ways. Daryl probably put it best tonight when he shared how we made the most of every opportunity we had throughout this entire trip. We got up early, worked hard all day and went to sleep late. Many of us needed to adjust to eating different food, working in the heat, adjusting to the language barrier, sickness, and living amongst the economic challenges of the region just to name a few but, together as a team we accomplished our mission which was to share the love of Christ with the people of El Viejo Nicaragua. We are thankful to so many of you who have been following along as we blog our experience in Nicaragua. Many times it is hard to express the moments and feelings we have each had in words or through pictures. Our hope would be that you each have seen how sharing Christ to the entire world can happen in real and tangible ways. May you challenge yourself as we have, to seek out God’s plan for you as you share the love of Christ with your neighbors, family and friends.

Tomorrow the team will leave the hotel at 5:00 a.m. for the airport. Our flight out of Managua is around 7:00 a.m. We will fly through Houston on our return to BWI tomorrow evening. Please pray for the team as we travel tomorrow. Pray for the team as we make our flights and move through customs and security in the airports. While many of us have tried to ignore your comments on the chill of Lancaster we will soon be home with all of you cold people! Look for another update tomorrow acknowledging our safe return and any additional stories.

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2 Responses to “A Change in Scenery”

  1. jill and phil miller
    Jan 11, 2010

    hi everyone! you are all such an inspiration to us! praying for a smooth trip back. lea- don’t forget the coffee! love you, hey mamma!

  2. Jim & Sonia
    Jan 11, 2010

    It looks like you all enjoyed your time in the coffee plantation and what a great experience.

    Looking forward to seeing you all. Praying everything goes well in customs and as you are driving home.

    Any coffee Manuel?

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