Dr. Elise Harb’s Nicaragua Travel Journal, January 2014: Days Five Through Eight

Day 5
imageGreetings from Pearl Lagoon! We arrived this morning after a beautiful 2 hour panga ride to one of my favorite places – instant Caribbean relaxation. We got a chance to relax a bit and have a wonderful lunch by my favorite cook on this trip – Miss Ingrid (fresh bread, fried shrimp, fish casserole, rice and beans, and cucumber and tomato salad). Still without glasses, we managed to hold a clinic and saw about 300 people (to date we have seen about 1500 people- chill for this time point). We are staying at the Green Lodge with my favorite family. The lady of the house is Miss Arlene. Tomorrow more of the same – apparently the glasses are coming in the morning. Now off to my favorite hangout- Queen Lobster- for a drink and a great view of the lagoon.

- elise

Day 5 Video: Pearl Lagoon


Day 6

baseballHey, everyone.

More of the same here – the glasses situation is quite frustrating. But we have been making the most of it. I have been trying to be creative with my time since the clinics are slower than normal. Yesterday we held clinic at the Pearl Lagoon Academy of Excellence, which educates preschoolers to high schoolers. I had enough pediatric equipment to leave so I showed the administration how to do vision screenings for their students. After clinic, we went to a local baseball game and then to the usual spot. Tomorrow off to Bluefields in the morning – panga ride down the lagoon. Until then…

- elise


Day 7



Greetings from colorful Bluefields!!

While the glasses have yet to arrive, we saw over 200 people and are making an announcement on the radio for tomorrow. Bluefields is the main city of the Atlantic Coast and our hotel deck overlooks the bustle of the city. The students’ morale is pretty high and they are enjoying the sights and cuisine of the country. We have renamed the course ‘Culture and Cuisine of Nicaragua.’


Day 7 Video: Bluefields

Day 8


Almost at the end, but we have saved the best for last — Corn island!

I am currently in Bluefields sitting on a rocking chair at my hotel after a fairly decent clinic day and an interesting day overall. Started out learning that we would have a 14 hour blackout — apparently those yellow trees in Managua that I mentioned in  day 1 (which are illuminated at night) have been sucking the electricity from the Atlantic Coast.

The Atlantic Coast has also been suffering with many of their goods (eg shellfish) being sent to the more touristy and affluent Pacific Coast. Early this morning, I took a walk at the public market and many of the goods normally there were not.

I think so far we have seen about 1250 patients so far, but we have managed to supplement our time with some other lessons. Today we had a lesson in Creole at the school where we see patients. There is debate about whether it is a language on its own or just broken English. The written Creole language was initiated only in 2002!

After clinic, I managed to make a trip to a restaurant on the lagoon and had Flor de Caña and fresh pineapple juice. We got there just in time and sought refuge from a deluge (see video of the day).

Hope you are all well! Go NINERS!!!

- elise

Day 8 Video: Deluge

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