we started saturday by relaxing after the craziness of friday night. decided to hit some waves :) a huge part of why this country is so fascinating. we hit the pacific ocean, i’m so sorry to say i don’t have any pictures. the beach was perfect, clean sand (i’m from chicago so you know i’m used to filthy sand), warm water, and it was so gradual – the water was about three inches deep, then waist deep, then chest deep, then where’s-the-bottom deep; the boys showed me how to duck under the sometimes six or eight foot waves that crashed down over us. i spent the entire, maybe, two hours we were there just chatting and bobbing under the waves, feeling so blissful and literally without agenda, fear or passion, just existing without a care in the world.

developed a massive sunburn :) but it was worth it.

[switching gears for a minute to transition into the rest of the day]
so let me tell you a story about the last time i was here. one of the incredible people i met was Cameron, a tall, white-haired, steely-eyed rock who is one of the most gentle souls on the block. we were driving one night from a point A to point B, i was sitting shotgun, we had been talking families and i almost absentmindedly said “and your wife? what is she like?”

THE CAR WENT SILENT. inside my head the bells started going off.
“we lost her about four months ago,” he answered. “in a snowmobiling accident.”

i immediately apologized and said something along the lines of “please change the subject because although i just met you i really like you and the last thing i want to do is make you uncomfortable although i’m sure she’s wonderful and worth talking about.”

oh God, i thought. what a horrible mistake i’ve made.

but instead he patted my hand in a very paternal way and told me about his wife. and later on, brad’s mom told me that no one had done that yet, no one had the nerve to ask about how he’s doing and really Cam had not spoken about anything, so maybe my embarrassment opened the door for him to talking about it. so that was interesting.
and mortifying.

and now, two years later we spent our saturday morning reveling in the legacy of Susie and Cameron Syke: the dedication of la Clinica Susie Syke.
Clinica Susie Syke

we were in a rural, very poor part of the country outside of managua

it’s still early; the structure is set but the inside is not yet done
dedication ceremony
we had some very important guests – a doctor from Global Connections, the local Mayor and Vice-Mayor, and people from the community who were ready to break in their services. this clinic is meeting a great need.

we passed out healthy snacks and played with the kids until the yammering on of the adults got the better of them and we took the fun outside
kids and me
passing out food
whitney starting some games
what a peanut
it was a great way to pass the afternoon – i tell a lot of people that i basically played tag for a week with various children, and this falls into that category.

after being there for a few hours, we headed back. i talked with brad and a couple guys about some very interesting topics, mostly having to do with life / work balance – and brad being a musician, that’s a really soft distinction. the two are really almost the same thing in a lot of ways. and i don’t think i as a fan and tentative friend (i am starting to consider myself that, and james tells me i’m part of the family), i understand the pressures and intricacies of his day job. and he doesn’t always see why people expect so much of him when he really doesn’t know them. i explained, “it doesn’t matter that you don’t know them. they feel like they know you because you say things on stage and on your web site and in emails. they do know you much better than you know them and these kids don’t have any sense of that.” and that conversation has me thinking about how that extends to so many people. how many of us have expectations of others? and get pissed when they’re not met, not realizing that we never really put them on the table in the first place. or even if we think we did, the object of our expectations wasn’t sitting with us at the time.

anyway. our first day here was so mellow, i said on the blog it was a great day watching ourselves stretch out – and this was the same. good day of stretching after several days of labor.

dinner was at a restaurant on what’s kind of The Strip of managua, we were in a chic business district and shared a great meal.
dinner back in managua

and for dessert, deise got up and sang with the band :)
deise got up and sang with the band


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