Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Day Seven: What bad tires and being flex-EEE-blay will get you

One of the things that make for stronger development is good infrastructure in a country. In many places, that begins with roads that can actually be driven on. I suppose you can call the roads we’ve traveled in rural Nicaragua passable, but only because we’ve had 4-wheel drive vehicles and determined drivers. And even then, we’ve had to have two tires repaired from punctures.

This “insufficient infrastructure” is a nuisance when we’re trying to keep to a tight schedule. For someone like a pregnant women in labor with complications, it’s life-threatening. It’s a sobering thought that keeps me from complaining about delays.

Flexible. Flex-EEE-blay. Marcos, our translator extraordinaire, told me our first day that it’s a Nicaraguan adage to live by. It’s a good one to take home with us as well.

And when you’re flexible and waiting for a tire to be fixed at a Texaco station in Matagalpa, you never know who you may run into. Doug Orbaker, a Presbyterian missionary working with CEPAD, who we met with earlier, pulled up to the gas station. He took a wild guess that we were the Bread contingent he’d heard about. 

He was hosting a mission group from Michigan. So, in one of those crazy moments of serendipity, I got to meet Hester Newton and Libby Kara of First Presbyterian Church in Muskegon, MI, a church that’s been involved with Bread for the World for 25 years. In fact, they told me that the church is celebrating this partnership with a special service this month. I’m always inspired by Bread members I meet. To make that connection in the mountains of Nicaragua is crazy and unexpected and wonderful.

Now it’s on to Leon and Chinandega to check out how the Millennium Challenge Corporation works in Nicaragua. Guess what one of their main projects is up there?

Yep, roads.


Kimberly Burge is senior writer/editor at Bread for the World.


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