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Things could be much worse.

Per.Sempre.Josh.Fan.Jan's picture
on December 4, 2011 - 2:41pm

I thought I'd share part of a blog from a friend of my daughter; they met and graduated from Cal Poly SOL, Ca. with a degree in large animal science. This friend is now serving with the Peace Corps as an Agriculture and Sustainable Food Security volunteer for 2 years in Nicaragua.

Here are some interesting facts about Nicaraguan Rural Society that she listed:
Nicaragua has about 5.5 million habitants in a land mass about the size of New York State. The West coast/Pacific region was earlier inhabited my Mayan natives moving south, and the East coast/Atlantic region was earlier inhabited by black slaves, Caribbean natives, and the British. All of the volcanoes are found in the Western region, which has the most fertile land.

Stats about rural area families:
Average 7.6 children per woman in each family
Women start the wife/mom role at the range of 14-19 years of age
54% of couples are legally married
34% of homes are led by women
Single moms are common in rural areas
Traditionally men are the landowners
Over 50% of the farm work is done by women
Women don't have access to credit or banks
75% of rural families live in poverty or extreme poverty
Schools are mainly attended by girls
~60% of the population doesn't have access to piped water (must use rivers)
And farmers love baseball!!!

Production Activities:
Main crops - beans, corn, squash, sorghum, bananas, fruits, roots
Main animal products - dairy products (cheese), poultry, swine, sheep, goats

Common modes of transportation: horses, oxen, buses, and boats (some Atlantic regions can only use boats)

-- a few other points she wrote; Sanitary conditions are appalling and PC volunteers live with dysentery 24/7/365.
There is no sense of timing; 3 hours late is acceptable, as is not showing up at all for scheduled appointments.
There are no doors on or in the houses; privacy of any kind is not an option.
In order to post her blog she must travel many miles once a month to the nearest town for internet.

There's more but... you get the picture. It takes a special and highly dedicated person to do such work. My hat's off to anyone who can tolerate extreme conditions long term.

Its stories like this that reminds me that what little I do have, is a lot, and I am even more thankful.

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