Dr. Elise Harb’s Nicaragua Travel Journal, January 2014: Days One Through Four











Day 1

We arrived last night and had an uneventful passing through customs. After some much needed rest, our group (13 Williams College students this year) and I, did our usual tour of the active Masaya volcano and marketplace. I was able to visit a new town today, Granada, which is an old Spanish colonial town with amazing architecture. We had lunch on the shore of Lake Nicaragua (the largest lake in Central America), where I art my favorite, pescado d’entero frito, caught that morning from the lake. A new addition all over downtown Managua (the capital) is these yellow spiral tree statues. President Ortega apparently has decided this is his new mission- beautifying the city. Tomorrow morning off to start the work…

– elise

Day 1 Video: Masaya Volcano

Day 2


Hi all-

Kind of a chill 1st work day here — we awoke and drive 4.5 hours to the town of Rama – a bit inland from the Atlantic Coast- only to find out that all the glasses we shipped 6 months ago were still stuck in customs. Luckily, we traveled with some and were able to make due for the 200 people that came to the clinics. Let’s hope we are able to jail break them by tomorrow morning…

It’s 6 pm here and I am sitting on the patio of our hotel watching the sunset (see pic of the day) and enjoying the local life and music ( see video of the day). This may turn out to be more of a vacation then I thought…

Hope you are all well – until tomorrow.

– elise

Day 2 Video: Nicaragua Night Life


Day 3

In Central America, things can move at molasses pace…aka still no glasses. However, we managed to see about 400 people and surprisingly were able to help all of them, even with our limited supply. Thank god a friend of mine donated a large supply of glasses and I had them with me.



Our clinic was full of interested bystanders. Off to make the most of my day with some camarones y flor de caña…

– elise

Day 3 Video: Nicaraguan Traffic



Day 4

So apparently so much can ride on a name. We learned today that the reason we haven’t gotten our glasses is due to confusion at customs on who shipped the glasses. While we know the glasses will eventually be released, it is possible that they will be after we leave, so we are doing examinations and the local organization will distribute the glasses.

Today, I had the pleasure of going to a small community called Calderon, which thrives on agriculture — namely bamboo and palm oil. We travelled on the back of a pick up truck on a road that makes Boston potholes look tame (see video of the day), although the scenery was beautiful. Out clinic was busy. Tomorrow off via panga (boat) up the river to pearl lagoon to the Caribbean life ;)

– elise

Day 4 Video: Nicaraguan Potholes

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