The first week of February, Ben and I were given the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua on a mission trip with my Parents.     My parents have been involved with  Partners World wide in their Farmer to Farmer  program for almost 10 years.  In fact, the photo on the home page at their website is my Dad.    This program works with Nicaraguans in a land bank program.   The organization purchases the land and gives it to the farmer with  the idea that they farmers will make payments to eventually own their own piece of land.    Partners works with several local Christian  agencies to provide education and training to help the farmer be successful.   The purpose of our trip was to visit and encourage the farmers in their daily tasks.   We hiked many trails to see the farmer's homes, families and crops.   Each farmer was extremely proud of their little piece of God's creation.  I can't begin to tell you all the stories from the week, but here are some photos to capture a few.  
Once we finally arrived in Managua, we had lunch at Papa Johns.   Interestingly enough, it was pretty much exactly like the North American version.   
Ben and Grandpa are standing next to Masaya, an active volcano. Currently, the volcano is rumbling, gurgling and releasing sulfur gases.    
We spent most of the week up in the mountains.   The scenery was amazing and the weather was a perfect 85 - 90  degrees

The mountain roads were another story.  We drove at least an hour everyday to get from our guest house up to the farms.   The roads were more like trails with rocks, ruts and the occasional stream
The restroom of choice at the farms.  I must admit, that I have been in campgrounds with pit toilets dirtier than theses. 
Ben took a photo of me after we had hiked up to a farm.  The view was spectacular. 
hiking the trails to visit a farm. 
A typical farmer's home.  1 room with a tin roof, dirt floor and hammock hanging from the ceiling for their beds. 
Ben gets to help grind coffee at the Mombachito coffee farm. 
Our group stands and listens as a farmer describes what he been doing with his farm. 
Our translator / interpreter  Freddie is wearing orange.   He has the hardest job of the week.   A Nicaraguans like  to hear themselves talk.  Freddie often put his hands to his head and said,  "they keep repeating themselves"  or "I missed most of that"  
Ben had a great time playing with the kids.  This is Michael. 
A soccer game in the pasture.   It's a miracle, but Ben did not get cow poop on his shoes or clothes.
A little game of leap frog. 
The kids caught a gecko.   Notice that Ben is holding it's tail in his hand.   Their defense is to lose their tails if they are pulled on. 

Howler Monkeys

yellow beard snake.   You can see it's head hanging down in the tree, with its body up on the other branches.  It's green and yellow and matches the foliage perfectly.   The Nicaraguans were very nervous, warning us to get back.    This photo was taken by my dad, not me, I'm to big of a whimp.  
If a Nicaraguan has enough food to feed their family, they will sell the extra in the market.   This is a meat stand.   They sell everything.  Heads, feet etc.     

a small vegetable stand.

I hope that gives you a little glimpse into the amazing week that we had in Nicaragua.   If you are a coffee drinker and would like to try some Nicaraguan coffee straight from the Mombachito farm.  Please let me know.  We are selling them for 7 dollars per bag.