I don’t know why I am so taken with the sounds of this place. But waking up to the sounds of life being lived strikes me as so much better than an alarm clock.

This morning, a rooster near the hostel began to crow just after 5 a.m., as the sun began to sneak into the sky. Soon after I could hear people chattering, dishes clanking and what I assume to be the sounds of shops opening and people beginning their days. Just before 6:30 a.m., music and the sound of a voice in Spanish saying something about Matagalpa blared into our room. It sounded almost like a radio station promotion truck was driving down the road, but I don’t understand enough Spanish to know for sure. I was glad to be already awake. One of my roommates was startled awake but found a way to get back to sleep.

Katy and I will return to Casa Materna this morning to visit and exercise with the women staying there. I am the mother of an almost two-year-old and I am stunned at the idea of women who are 38-40 weeks pregnant walking up that hill. They know it could be time to meet their babies any minute. That walk was tough for us yesterday and most of us had no more than purses to carry. It is a testiment to the work they are used to, the physical demands of living in an economically impoverished country where everyone does what they have to.

When we get back, we will all travel to an organic coffee farm. We will meet the farmer, learn about the growing and roasting processes and, of course, try some. There’s more planned for the afternoon as well. It’s sure to be another incredible day.


Part of a mural on a wall at Casa Materna. We were all taken with the doctor holding the baby in front of the sun.

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