As you read in part 1, the first days of our trip to Nicaragua were a whirlwind. But the moments on day 3 left the largest impact on me… Below is a highlight video from our trip inside Nicaragua: Day 3 Waking up at 5:30am, I started the day by going on a walk down the beach at Punta Teonoste. I had been so tired the night before, that I didn’t really get to fully appreciate where we were staying. This hotel was cool! With no air conditioning, safari-style huts, and outdoor showers coming from a stone wall … it was definitely an eco-resort. We met up with the Las Mercedes village and team again at 10am for Eddie to throw the first pitch of the baseball game. Before the game started, Eddie had the team vote for which they would like first: new uniforms, including cleats, or improved stands for fans. Overwhelmingly, the team wanted to standardize their uniforms – so Eddie assigned one of the team managers to get sizes for equipment and clothes for the Las Mercedes team. I had a ton of fun at the baseball game playing with a big group of local kids, who were totally intrigued by my iPhone. I forgot how fun the app “cam wow” was as a little kid, so when I put it on, they were totally blown away – it’s a version of photo booth for the iPhone. A few hundred pictures and laughs later, it was time for us to pack up and head to the next spot. What came next blew me away. We drove to a family where the kids had been left alone by a mother that walked away years ago and a father who was forced to move to the city of Managua in search of work. Ecedero, an 18 year old guy just like me, was responsible for caring for his two younger brothers (5 and 6 years old), and his 16 year old sister in their house made of essentially plastic bags, because wood was too expensive to buy. We gave as many supplies to them as possible to help in any way that we could… But what amazed me most was the fact that a smile never left Ecedero’s face. In the worst possible situation – with a house made of plastic, no electricity, and no parents, all while acting as the father of the family at 18 years old, he was smiling. That single stop hit the deepest chord for me personally. Next, we visited a group of 5 families that lived together in a few houses centered around the fields they work. Exhausting our supplies with that last group, we headed to Gigante for the night. Day 4 With supplies exhausted and no stores for hours away, day 4 was set aside for exploring the countryside. We drove on the beach in the fishing village of Asillero, checked out the new airport being built by the Iguanas Resort, and gave away the last of our candy to any kids we could find along the way. And after 3 hours of driving, we arrived in Managua for our overnight before the flight back the next morning. Day 5 Leaving Nicaragua was tough. The trip was truly a whirlwind; I can’t wait to go back to explore the country in more depth. On the way home, we stopped for fuel and lunch in Belize, passed through customs in New Orleans, and headed back to Gulf Shores (KJKA). I’m so happy that I was able to make it down to Alabama for this amazing adventure. Thank you Eddie Spence for bringing me along. As Rod told me when we took off from Managua, life for me is now “post-Nicaragua.” -Swayne Share this:ShareTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint 3 Responses Randy Cabrera July 23, 2015 I’m happy for you man that you got to see and live the sort of life people have in the Caribbeans. Did you get to learn a few words in Spanish in these three days? Reply Swayne Martin July 24, 2015 It was a great trip! I did learn a few Spanish phrases but not too many. Reply Jose Martinez January 19, 2016 I’m happy to see you got to see the humbleness, kind heartedness, and joy of the people of Nicaragua. Thank you for sharing a bit of my home country and please thank Eddie for his good deeds. The storyline as well as photos were great. I am too working on my CPL and are always at awe at the scenery, landscape, etc. that as pilots we get to see but seldom do you have an opportunity to put your license to a charitable use. I most definitely look forward to one day having a similar experience. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.