Bright and early on November 8, this group of 10 embarked on our long voyage to Nicaragua. After 3 hours to Houston, our final leg of 3 hours took us to Managua. Upon our decent from the sky, we were thrilled to see several volcanoes standing majestically over the terrain. Then, as we got closer to landing, the mountains and volcanoes gave way to a patchwork of tin roofs of many colors – red, rust, black, silver…one right next to the other, so the ground looked like a giant quilt made of earth tones. The bright sun shone down on the roofs, some gleaming brilliantly in reflection. Upon leaving the airport, we were welcomed with a blast of hot, humid air. The warmth was welcomed after the past few cold days in Cleveland…but after awhile, all I could think about was how much I wanted to take a cold shower! The had a tour of several spots in Managua and learned quite a bit of the history of Samoa, Sandista, Samoa Jr., and Ortega. The true history of what happened in this country and their “conflict” with the United States was remarkably different from what we heard on the news at home. Hmmm… The road from Managua to Chacraseca was filled with sights of multi-colored homes and businesses, and people on the street selling whatever they could to make a few dollars for the day. They were selling anything from shirts to baked goods to tap water in bags. There were horse drawn carts and mini-three wheeled taxi cabs; horses and massive cows grazing right on the side of the road…everywhere we looked was something else interesting to behold. After a quick pit stop for gas and to load up on cerveca, we took the bumpy, mostly washed out road into Chacraseca. We arrived in the village to our friends greeting us with cheers and hugs. It was a reuniting of friends made from past trips, and introductions for those who are new to the group. Their hospitality was wonderful…dinner had been prepared by Nimia nd Estella. Homemade tortillas, vegetable salad, chicken, rice and beans. We are all thankful to have arrived safely and to have been welcomed so warmly. We are settled into our rooms at the Casa de Paz (Peace House) and ready to get some shut eye before we begin another day bright and early tomorrow. We have much to be grateful for, and much to look forward to in Day #2. Buenos noches, amigos!