Friday, January 13, 2012


So all of a sudden we have time to update the blog - prepare thyself.

The reason we have time to update the blog has a cute little story to explain it. It all begins on a beautiful tropical beach north of San Juan del Sur:
We were tasked with helping a group of MBA students who had helped out with projects in El Jocote celebrate their week's work with a day on the beach. All we had to do was make sure the food got ordered, the transport worked out, and everyone stayed safe.

We realized about an hour after we left the office that we had forgotten the first aid kit. Whoops! Great caretakers, right? So I let everyone know that they had to be extra careful to not hurt themselves, since we only had the few bandaids and tylenol that I normally carry, and we were so far from medical help. But everyone was cheerfully assuring that all would be fine, and we went merrily on our way.

We got to the beach, arranged for lunch at the one small restaurant, and told everyone to go have fun with instructions to be back by noon to eat, and to be careful. The beach was in a small bay with rocky cliffs on either side, so no one could really get out of eyesight, and they're all in their mid-twenties to lower-thirties, so we weren't worried. After a bit, we decided to check out some tidepools the others had told us about. We wanted to get to them before the tide came back in.

A rocky walk...
...led us to a pretty cave...
... which we checked out for a couple minutes before starting to head back for lunch.

We were wandering along, discussing how pretty it was, and how it looked like no one else was on their way back to the restaurant yet, when I made a tiny little misstep. You know how the less graceful of us sometimes roll our ankles a bit? I managed to roll mine when I was on the edge of a one foot dropoff in the eroded sandstone layers.

Fortunately, I learned from drama classes and from skiing about how to fall. I let myself roll and kept my head away from the ground, and felt like a dork when I came to a stop. Jeff came running over to make sure I was okay and I told him I was fine, but that my ankle felt a little sore. He looked at it and his eyes got big... I had a lump.

The lump got there in no time, which made Jeff nervous. I could still move my foot and my toes, though, and figured it was just a twisted ankle. I could stay off of for a few days and then be all better. But in order to stay off of it, I had to get back to the restaurant where the group was based - which was on the other side of the little bay.

Jeff ran off to get a few of the strapping lads from the group to help walk me back, which turned into carrying me back, which turned into me laying in the middle of the beach trying not to cry. A few guys came out from a really fancy house to see what was wrong, and went back to get the owner of the house,who turned out to be a lady originally from Vancouver, BC. She gave me some Aleve and insisted that I go to a clinic in Rivas, a town about an hour away, where there is an x-ray machine. They got me loaded up in the ex-Canadian's Land Rover, Jeff worked out the details with the group, picked up our seafood lunches to go, and hopped in the truck. The first twenty minutes were excruciating over the bumpy roads, but once we got off of those and up to Rivas, we got right into the clinic. The entire visit cost $60: 400 cordoba ($17.38) x-ray, a 400 cordoba visit with the bone specialist, and a 600 cordoba ($26.07) cast, all in under two hours. The diagnosis was an incomplete fracture of the fibula, with the X-ray showing a hairline crack less than halfway across the bone. Everything was in place, but the cracked bone caused a hematoma, hence that big bulge that appeared so quickly. The doctor was super-fantastic, and spent a lot of time with us explaining things and giving us all the options. He asked if I wanted a cast, and explained that without one it would be easy to damage it worse. We asked what he recommended, and he put it this way - in the US, they wouldn't ask, they would just put the cast on. So on it went:
Jeff ran around Rivas trying to find crutches, which only one pharmacy carried. That pharmacy, however, had run out of normal sized ones, and had one tiny pair and one monstrous pair. They told us to check out Managua. So, we waited for our group to join us after their day on the beach, headed back for a wonderful dinner, and had a grand old time signing the cast:
So I'll be in the cast for four weeks, then have another two of careful walking before, as the doctor put it, I can run and dance again. Jeff is on his way to find crutches as I am writing this. Unfortunately, due to the lack of transportation and decent sidewalks (hah!) in El Jocote, this will severely limit the amount of time I will be spending in the village. Boo! I was just getting to the point where I wanted to stay up there all the time! But there is always a lot to be done in the office in Managua, and I'll be darned if I'm going to mess up the healing process and permanently damage my leg over such a silly fall. So wish me luck, and be ready for more blogging!


  1. Ouch! Be safe and take care of that ankle.

    the cave and beach looked beautiful.

  2. What a day this has been
    What a rare mood I'm in
    It's almost like.....

    SOOOoooo sorry Kate, but glad you are OK. Love you lots.