Today we are in Esteli, taking a much-needed break. It's fairly bizarre to be at a hostel where English is actually the majority language. We're planning on hiking to a close-by waterfall today, then returning to work tomorrow. We generally work about 6 and a half days per week, which can be a very lot if it doesn't rain, or frustratingly little when the skies open up like clockwork at 2 PM each day. This past week, it was a lot; we went through a mini-drought (it must have been, it didn't rain for 3 whole days).
Above is a picture of our house. As you may be able to tell, it's a little tight, but we are getting an authentic Nicaraguan experience. We wing up spending a lot of time reading or playing cards during or after downpours; it's often just about dark by the time the rain is gone. The sun sets here around 6:30 PM.
The picture above is how we found the bridge when we got to the site. Because we only have a limited amount of time in country, B2P assigned a crew to the site, and they began masonry work a few weeks before we got to Nicaragua. Looking back, it's kind of hard to remember so little of the bridge being done. Each side now have three full tiers of stone masonry, cinder-block towers, and the beginnings of approach walls which will form the ramp on each side.
As mentioned in the last post, we are working with a crew of 8 Nicaraguans who have worked on other B2P projects as well. It definitely is not quite what we expected, but it is cool getting to know a whole crew of people who are all very different from one another. In addition to them, we have several committed community workers, and often have all of the school-aged children in San Francisco. They come in the morning and gather rocks, and have school postponed until the afternoon. Materials are delivered several times a week by one of the ferreterias in Esteli, and moved around by ox-cart.
Here is a picture of our most recent progress. We hope to update again soon!