These precious boys lost the walls of their home
This morning my heart is so very heavy and to be honest, a bit scared. The what ifs are screaming – I hate what-ifs. What if we cannot help everyone? What if we fail?
This is always where I have no choice but to reach down deep in my soul and grab hold of my faith that there IS a God – there is Someone Else who cares even more than I do, than we do about the victims of the flooding that happened in my very own communities in Tola, Nicaragua a month ago. So many affected families!! I woke this morning with my neck in knots and my stomach also. But I also was grateful that I know a remedy – it just takes some effort and taking a bit of time alone. I grabbed my yoga mat and my Bluetooth speaker and headed out to the sun. I first chose music that pulled and tugged at the pain in my heart – that made it come to the surface and also caused the tears to flow. I bent and bowed and reached to the sky. I cried loud, from my gut. Nobody was around – I could do this without inhibitions. It hurt but my heart was thankful that I acknowledged the pain, that I unburied it. Strangely, it felt right.
Then I chose a song called “It is going to be worth it all”. I sang it loud. Then the old one “It is well with my soul”. Some Yanni, a bit of Cello with the Piano Guys. 30 minutes later, I paused. I laid down. I rested. My heart rested and was grateful. This feat of helping so many is not up to me. It is even not up to all the amazing volunteers who are giving of themselves. We are the hands and the feet, even more than that, we are Love, we are Hope. WE SEE YOU. Someone cares. We are in this together.
Valentina was very thrilled with her gifts. #Ilovedonors
Today I am moving my suitcases out of the comfortable, warm loving home of my daughter and going into the pueblo. I will enjoy the many meals of Gallo Pinto (rice and beans) with my pueblo friends, I might fight off some monster mosquitos, I might not sleep with A/C, but I will be there. I will see and hug and cry and Know. I am honored to be an expat here because I have access to resources that my pueblo friends do not. I have access to the internet and caring people flung across many places. I am not alone. We are not alone.
It seems so strange to me but it is true, that when I allow my heart to hurt, I become more resolved and stronger for the fight. Some families have lost their entire homes but even more have lost walls, as the photo above. The Wells are contaminated and no clean drinking water. I will share in next posts encouraging stories of all the hearts and hands that are helping and also stories as I visit the people and take photos and interviews. Come along with me on this journey!
Taking Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) down the full length of the Rio San Juan! Along with a motor boat with a guide. I have had this trip in my heart for a very long time now.
Five years ago the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health requested that MOG Missions of Grace
take our Ultrasound Program to the remote areas of the Rio San Juan River, which runs along the border of Nicaragua and Costa Rica. This was not possible until now.
We will be visiting the remote villages along the river and tributaries seeking out the needs of the local people. We love pregnant mamas and babies and want to be there for them!
We are delighted that Tony Smith of Jarvis Boards
will be joining us with two of his amazing wood SUPs (Stand Up Paddleboards.) We have hired a guide with a boat but the paddle boards will be crucial to navigate the tributaries that the boat cannot access. Watch out Alligators!
David Wells of D&D Media Collective
will be filming the entire journey, creating a documentary for Jarvis Boards and one for MOG!
Our small team will consist of myself (Cheri), my son Johnny Mauldin, Tony Smith and David Wells. We are planning to travel all the way to the Caribbean Coast, ending at San Juan de Nicaragua.
We are taking hammocks and gear generously donated by Kammock
and will be roughing it all the way. We will utilize the guide, ride the stand up paddleboards and sometimes take the public panga bus boat. The Tributaries are drawing me because I think that there will be small villages along the banks.
I will have such a smile on my face as I climb out of the water and say “Hola!!! May we hang our hammocks here for the night??”
This is one of the activities that I thrive on. Adventure to remote places, coupled with reaching out and helping people. I love love love it. Not sure how much we will be able to send updates while on the river, but I will do my best and certainly when we complete our journey, a blog post will be sent asap.
Please follow my blog. I have moved out of my home in Texas and will be traveling or living in Nicaragua except when I get to be with my kids and grandkids. So many exciting adventures planned. You will be glad you did!
I had the extreme privilege of traveling to my beloved Nicaragua with my two oldest granddaughters. My oldest daughter will be married on July 9th on the beach here and we came a few weeks earlier than the rest of the clan. Adri (11yrs in the blue cap) lived here when she was younger, but Lilly (9 yrs- yellow cap) has only been here once when she was 2 years old.
I love to travel on buses, walk the dusty roads, eat fritanga on the curbside, stay with friends in tiny pueblos and even bathe out of a bucket if necessary. I was curious how my girls would handle the extreme differences from their lives in San Antonio, Texas. So many differences, especially very limited access to the internet on their phones and Nana’s (that’s me) Nica lifestyle. I was honored that both set of parents gave their blessings for my plans of adventure. 🙂
We stayed at a beach house without running water and the necessity of mosquito netting and thank God for FANS. We walked a long way on a beautiful empty beach (Guasacate) and discovered great shells for them to carry home. I was most excited to take them to my dear friend, Martita Romero’s home in a tiny pueblo to spend the night. The wonderful Nicaraguan hospitality reigned and the gallo pinto, queso and fresco was delicious. Lilly saw Martita hand sewing a pillow when we arrived and whispered to me that she wanted to learn how to do that. The next morning she managed to communicate this desire (even though she is just learning Spanish). Before I knew it, the ladies of the house cleared their entire day for us and even brought the sewing machine from next door. Adri and Lilly will never forget that day, I promise.
We went home, riding buses and taxis, dirty clothes and all, but tired and very happy. My granddaughters passed the test and cannot wait for me to take them further remote next summer. They pried many stories out of me during our adventure but no worries, I have plenty more!
If you ever have the desire to join us on our unique adventures, just let me know!