Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Off we go!

We're on our way! After a flurry of packing that followed a month of seeing family and getting lots of work done in Washington, we're finally heading out to begin the on-site work in Ometepe. 
Goodbye for now, Washington!
The support we've gotten is amazing. Many people are cheering us on at home, and even people we connected with professionally but never actually met have expressed their support. Our crowdfunding site plus extra donations totaled well over $2000, and we've got the goodies to show for it:
Surprisingly, this all packed into two suitcases - very big, very full suitcases, but just two. And a cousin of mine who works for the airline we're flying is bringing them down for us, donating her vacation time to carry all that gear.

We're pretty excited to bring down good hiking equipment, of course, including some shoes we found barely used and trekking poles to see if the guides feel they help. But backpacks - oh, the backpacks:
We got several different styles to see what the Nicaraguan guides prefer. Frame or no frame? Big or small? Lots of pockets or few? We'll let them choose.

Books and binoculars, though, are really in the most limited supply down there. You may not be able to get really good shoes and backpacks, but you can get something that functions there. Books and optics are much harder to come by. So we're bringing lots of books (see the last post) and several pairs of binoculars. 
In addition to the funding from friends and family, we got a small grant from an organization called Idea Wild, which purchased these items:
The binoculars Idea Wild donated turn out to be pretty fancy, actually, so I hope the Ometepe guides don't get too attached to them - we will have to get really creative to afford (or even find!) lots of those. But it sure is nice to see that our project can get support in the international arena.

Now it's time to see if it gets local support, though, so wish us luck. Especially in schlepping all of this stuff to the island!

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