On Dennis and Bev Bedard’s first trip to Nicaragua in 2001, they arrived in Managua at 9:30 pm. They were met by Padre Denis and introduced to two men, Jose Andres and Bambino, and then were driven to a village 3.5 hours north of Managua. Jose Andres and Bambino spoke no English, and the Bedards spoke limited Spanish. They arrived in Somotillo around 2:00 am and discovered that no one had arranged a room for them. Jose invited them to sleep in his room at the men’s compound. Bev got up in the morning and soon returned to wake up Dennis to tell him there is a man from Fort Saskatchewan, AB, outside.
Thus began the Bedard’s relationship with Jayson, our McGyver, interpreter, problem solver and friend. He went on to complete 13 missions to Nicaragua and one to Guatemala (in 2009) with DFA’s teams. At the beginning there was only Jayson and the Bedards. Jayson was a certified welder and pipefitter, and there were not many mechanical or electrical problems he could not fix. He was always asked by the people to solve their many problems. Jayson had a very calming effect on the extremely nervous and scared patients. Jayson’s soothing low voice helped so many patients complete their dental treatment. Only due to a back operation did Jayson have to give up coming to the villages with DFA.
Jayson built a relationship with the people of the northern villages that DFA serviced. Everyone knew who Jayson was and the first question was always, “Where is Jayson?”