The team’s first week on the ground has been exceptionally successful. They are all such hard workers and I’m very proud to call myself part of this Continental Crossings team.
Last Thursday they had their first look at our site after a bus ride from Managua and we got straight to work setting up our cable car with Milosz and Brandon. The maiden voyage was a thing of beauty!
And we were off! That evening we set up camp with our host family in Jicaro. They are very nice and we are enjoying getting to know them. It will be a bit crowded for the next six weeks, but we’ll just get to know each other that much better.
Friday we filled our foundation tier on the road side. Our first encounter with the rainy season came on the half-hour walk home and we were all completely drenched by the time we got back. Already out of drinking water, we began to worry that all the rain would cause the river to rise too much for a truck to bring us more from Esquipulas. Suddenly the isolation we are here to solve became even more alarmingly real. Luckily the river stayed down with the ground so dry and a truck brought us more water later that night.
On Saturday we tackled the grueling task of cutting the cables. At a whopping 1 3/8¨ diameter, it took close to 30 of us to unspool 100 meters of steel cable five different times.
We also strung up a smaller cable and used it to hang our water tube across the canyon so we will be able to mix concrete there without hauling water up from the river.
By Sunday we were already pretty wiped out so we worked a half day, finishing one third of the foundation tier on the village side before cooling off in the river.
On Monday I had to travel to Esquipulas to buy more food and water. We had been eating nothing but rice, beans, and corn tortillas for the last several days. It was time to add some fruit and vegetables to our diet. The meals improved dramatically after that. The team stayed in Jicaro and blazed through the rest of the village side tier.
On Tuesday I became the third person to come down with an ailment that completely drains you of energy and had to return to the house early. Louie and Katie experienced it as well but we are all fine now despite some gastrointestinal discomfort.
In my absence, the rest of the team put in another long day and completely finished the towers on the road side. On Wednesday we started on the village side towers until lunch and then packed up for a mini vacation.
Today is Mother’s Day in Nicaragua and Sam and Chepe have the day off to spend time with their mothers. We are taking a well-deserved break as well and recuperating in Matagalpa, enjoying real beds and a more diverse food menu. We will return to Jicaro tomorrow and then hopefully keep up our great pace with bridge building.
In other news, our house in Jicaro is a complete zoo. From the following list, I will let the readers decide which event has not happened to us in the last week: a goat had projectile diarrhea all over our kitchen floor while we were eating, a herd of pigs urinated all over our tents, ants have invaded every nook and cranny of our living space, a frisky horse had to be chased off with machetes and large rocks, we gave up on walking anywhere without stepping in poop, a herd of cows surrounded us during a bucket shower at the well, roosters crowed every night all night long (not just at sunrise, unfortunately), and we have gotten greater than or equal to one great night’s rest without being woken up dozens of times as a result of living in a zoo. One of these things is not like the other. But that’s just one more reason this trip is one of a kind and we are all doing very well.