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This page has information useful for the volunteers going on the second BRIDGE Nicaragua trip this January 2009
- Do preliminary inventory of water; get gps and altimeter data for existing wells, surface water sources, possible tank locations.
- Obtain topo map for future water project.
- Scout out eco-tourism opportunities.
- Identify one person as our main contact - we may need to pay this person. We might also consider constructing a "board" to review this person's performance. We may nominate this person and construct this board at the same meeting at which we determine what to do with the money and give away the laptops.
- Go horse back riding with eda.
- Can the old phone line be fixed for internet?
- Investigate potential feedstocks for biodiesel
- Work on BRIDGE anthem.
- Make contact with someone in town who checks their email to be a message person.
- Make contact with the peace corps volunteer in the adjacent town.
- Develop briefing/orientation document for future volunteers to read before the come on one of our trips.
Do some fun activitie with the kids
- Story time with kids books in Spanish.
- Hide and go seek.
- Water fight.
- Take a video of them playing and let them watch it.
Work on library project
- Draw good map of site.
- Interview foremen.
- Draw up list of books.
- Discuss construction documents with fise.
Perform needs assessment survey in several local areas
- What problems do Morritans face?
- Why are people suffering from lung caner? Do women suffer more? Is it from chemical exposure or indoor smoke?
- What diseases are common? Which cause the most troubble?
- What is the leading cause of death
- Good info on every person
- Age, religion, gender, profession, wages, source of water, method of waste disposal, sanitation methods, indoor stove, electircity, indoor plumbing, bed, number of family members, age of pregnancy, amount of eduction, kids going to school, quantity of water used daily
Make 6 two minute videos showing what life is like in Morrito
- The food of Morrito
- How to grow corn in Morrito
- Interview Vital Medina
- Water issues
- Womens issues
- Day in the life of a Morritan
- Education issues
- History of Morrito
- Waste disposal
Things to bring:
Before you leave
- Make photocopies of your passport. Give one to your family, one to the US Embassy in Nicaragua and hide one in your luggage.
- Have some $1's to tip people at the airport with.
- Hide $100 in your luggage somewhere.
Essential Things - if you leave N. America without these things, life will be miserable
- ATM card
- Printout of airline ticket information and confirmation number
- List of nicaraguan contacts
- The To-Do list at the top of this page
- One liter Water Bottle
- Notebook, tape and pen for taking notes and getting contact info
- Something to read (book/magazine/etc)
- Nicaraguan cell phone
- Business cards with your contact information
- 2/3 tee shirts
- 4/5 underwear
- 6 pair socks
- 1 pants
- 1 shorts
- If you plan to be doing any construction work, bring construction cloths
- Thin rain jacket/poncho - we will be traveling during the dry season so you can probably skip this
- 0 sweaters/blankets - Nicaragua is 11 deg north of the equator, it is always hot
- Flash Drive
- Chargers for cameras, laptops, cell phones, etc
Toiletry bag - Remember to use 3oz bottles
- Sunschreen/Bug repellant
- Iodine tablets - in the event you end up somewhere without gringo friendly water
- Emergency toilet paper - for some reason, some percentage of nicaraguan bathrooms come sans toilet paper
- Pepto Bismal
- Thermo-rest Backpackers matress
- Water Filter
- Lactobacillus Acidophilus
- Grapefruit seed extract
- Post cards of your home town
- Sport equipment
I use a bunch of small plastic bags to keep everything separate inside of my duffel bag/back pack
Try to use no more than 2 backpack sized bags to hold all of this stuff. This is the max amount for carry on, and can help you avoid problems with lost luggage
Don't give out money.
On the first trip, we ended up at a dump where there were a dozen or more kids and the odd adult picking through trash. David did the wrong thing and started handing out money proceding to get mobbed and have the crap scarred out of him. So the key is to never give out money - at least not in public.
Everyone wants to help you in Nicaragua could be better states as everyone is hoping for a tip in Nicaragua. Give out lots of tips.
These people are smart.
They may not be as educated as you but, these people are every bit as smart as you and a hell of a lot more familiar with their situation and what aught to be done. Listen to them.
Perhaps you have heard of the Red Crescent. The Red Cross had a lot of trouble working in Muslim countries because of the Cristian connotation of the cross. The point is to be as aware and sensitive to your culture as possible. A relevant example is that many Nicaraguans think that rapid temperature transfer will cause sickness - For instance eating a hot food such as Nacatamale and a cold beverage such as coke will cause sickness. Please respect these cultural differences.
We didn't end up with much nasty food on on the first trip, but f you are confronted with nasty food, the trick is to cut it into very small pieces and swallow it without chewing. Any available condiments such as catsup should be used liberally. Don't turn down food or other gifts.
Average temperatures in Nicaragua in January range between 68 and 87 degrees Fahrenheit. DO NOT bring a thick sleeping bag, and warm clothing will be most useful during the trip to and from Nicaragua.
Pure Castle Soap is recommended as it is very concentrated and versitle (hair/cloths/hands/etc) This can be found at Trader Joe's or under the brand name “Dr Bronner”
If you eat it, you will probably get sick. It's not the end of the world to get the runs, but you might want to try and avoid it.
It is not very common in the parts of Nicaragua we will be in, and when people do get ill with Malaria, it is the less severe form. That said, a travel doctor will still recommend you take anti-malaria pills while there.