Hijacked…or Waylaid (Managua, Nicaragua)

“I was thirteen when I made the decision to leave home,” Ubense told us. “I grew up on a farm where my dad was a machetero (one who uses a machete to cut crops) and I knew I didn’t want to do that the rest of my life. I had never really had the opportunity to go to school before that – I kept starting, but then I had to leave to go help on the farm. So when I was thirteen I finally left home to go into the nearby pueblo to live with my sister and go to school. I was in second grade. Second grade at thirteen! Imagine that!”

Our lives took a dramatic turn today… Early this morning John started complaining about his thumb. He’s not sure exactly what happened, but he thinks he hurt it the night we arrived here in Managua when he slipped and fell. The next day it hurt a little bit; the day after that a bit more. But this morning he woke up in excruciating pain. We pulled out the Soothex and hoped it would help quickly.

We had planned to leave this morning, but Adolfo had asked if we would be willing to stay in town in order to be interviewed on a TV program the church does each day. We went about the day – the interview, lunch at McDonald’s, and sightseeing around the city (visited Somosa’s presidential palace and an exhibition about Sandino – quite interesting!). By the time we got back to the retreat center, John was hurting.

“I can’t see how this could be broken,” he said, “but I think I need to get it x-rayed just in case. I don’t want to do any more damage to it.”

Adolfo took us to the state hospital – an amazing example of efficiency! We had expected to wait in line for hours and hours – it was, after all, a free hospital. But within seconds of arriving, they had whisked us in (they only let me in with him because he doesn’t speak Spanish – Adolfo and the boys had to wait outside). The doctor examined his thumb and sent us down for an x-ray – which was taken immediately with no wait at all. Back to the doctor who saw him immediately and assured him there was nothing broken. She sent us to the pharmacy where they gave him some anti-inflammant tablets and we were on our way. I think US hospitals could learn a thing or two from them…

So anyway, it looks like we will be “stuck” here in Managua another four or five days while we wait for John’s hand to heal. Pastor Adolfo arranged for us to stay with Ubense, Elizabeth, and their two kids.

Ubense an amazing man. After leaving home and spending a year with his sister in the pueblo, he moved to Leon to take advantage of the better schools and stayed at a residential school. Because he was bright, he moved through the system quite quickly – determined to make something of himself. Now, he is a lawyer married to a doctor with wonderful children. They also have a farm near Leon and try to get out there every month or so.

We feel so privileged to have been welcomed into this community so warmly. The entire church community has opened their hearts – and now their homes as well – to us. It’s really quite overwhelming.

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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3 Responses to Hijacked…or Waylaid (Managua, Nicaragua)

  1. Eric Tepner June 7, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    Hey guys! It’s been awhile since I’ve written, but I’ve been keeping track of your progress over the last year. It’s been great reading! By the way, happy anniversary on the 10th! Hasn’t it been a full year since you left Prudoe Bay? My family and I are heading to Argentina for a couple months. We’ll be thinking of you as we fly over Central America. Have fun and be safe! Eric

  2. nancy June 8, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    thanks Eric! Yes it has, indeed, been a year – it doesn’t seem possible. This past year has been absolutely incredible and we’ve all learned so much – what a wonderful experience for all of us!


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