Devotional time with Jorge at 6:30 again - last one! We talked about what some of the most memorable things were or what we took away from this week. I think what really got me was how we came down here to serve them, and they constantly tried to serve us. I mean they treated us like royalty, honestly. And who are we to deserve that?! I mean I'm just a girl from Kansas, nothing special, just trying to live my life and do some good, and these people, who have nothing in our American standards, would do anything to share with me or serve me. Man or woman, young or old, when they saw me standing, they jumped up and drug over one of their cheap little plastic chairs that they carry with them everywhere they go and offered it to me to sit in! They are very proud of what they have, even if it isn't material in our eyes... I will never forget how greatful and happy they are with so little.
Breakfast was ham and eggs. I had some, and of course had my usual pb and j too. :) Sooooo my original plan was to leave at 8:30 this morning for Panama, but I couldn't make it to Managua in time. I'm on the first flight out tomorrow morning, so I'm here in Nicaragua for one more day. I packed up with everyone else and took off to Managua. Angel drove the white van, and thank goodness Kenia came along too - it would be a long day without her! She speaks good English...Angel, not so much.
|Carla and Jorge (and Diva)|
We stopped in Leon at a street corner and exchanged some money from USD to the local currency, Cordobas. That's how they do it here - there are just people on the side of the street and I guess you just trust them to know the exchange rate! That's how it was in Lima, too...
We drove for about an hour, and I had to ask them to stop so I could pee. I've had to pee several times each day in the village, and no one else has!! I guess they are sweating all theirs out or not drinking as much as me? I don't know, but they all tease me for peeing so much! I'm just staying hydrated! ;) There was a nice little gas station on the side of the road, and the bathrooms were surprisingly clean - AND they had toilet paper!
We got pulled over by one of the cops shortly after that. The cops are so lazy here! They just stand in the road and wave / point you over to the side of the road and check to make sure you have a drivers license and insurance - and no drugs - I guess. We were all good, so it didn't take long and we were back on the road.
Kenia sat next tome and we talked pretty much the whole drive to Managua. She asked me what my "big dream" was and I didn't have much of an answer for her. Her big dream is to own her own house (she rents now and its exoensive, a new house in Leon costs around $20,000) - and to have a good family. She already has a son but the dad left for the US before he was born. She has Omar now though! :) She went on to talk about how happy she is, "full" is the word she used - her English isn't perfect, but it makes sense! Her life, her heart, its all full. The rest is just "accessories" she said - not necessary. She has God, her fiance, her son, and a good job and a roof over her head. That's it. She's full. She told me her favorite color is purple and she loves to wear dresses. She has two. TWO dresses. I was serriously embarrassed to even think about my closet at home. The kids in the village are probably "full" is you asked them too, and most of them don't even have shoes. I probably have 30. :( You get my point...I'm ashamed of what I have and what I think I need...and they are so happy with so little... This week has really put a new perspective on my life. I hope it sticks when I get back home.
ANYways, when we got to Managua, Kenia leaned over and locked the doors on the van, and continued to tell me how dangerous Managua is! We drove on through the city, uneventfully, and continued for another 45 minutes or so, and stopped at Masaya volcano. Its an "active volcano" but its just spewing sulfur and gases and smoke. It wasn't anything special, even from the view point which was like 200 steps up! I mean I'm kind of spoiled with volcanos after last year's adventures in Guatemala and Costa Rica!
|Climbing the 200 steps to the view point|
We didn't stay too long, because as the sign says, it is an 'active' volcano and is emitting sulfur or whatever. You're only supposed to stay 20 minutes -- it smells like rotten eggs, that's all I know! We went to the little 'museum' at the Visitors Center closer to the entrace. The museum had some cool paintings and stuff, but I didn't take the time to actually read anything. Too much time / effort. ;)
Then we drove in to the town of Masaya and went to the local central market for some shopping! I found the spoons just like the ones we ate with at the village!! Well actually, Kenia found them and bought them for me, but they were super cheap. I got some more jewelry, some shirts for my nieces and nephew, matching bracelets for Kenia and I, a top for her little boy, and a new headband...I think that's about it. Souvenir shopping is officially DONE for my family/friends! :)
|paintings on feathers|
|Kenia's is purple, mine is dark blue|
|My new headband!|
|Lots of hammocks...I was tempted to buy one!|
|"Donde esta el bano?"|
After some fried chicken and french fries, we drove back to Managua and I was dropped off at the Best Western Hotel - literally right across the street from the airport! Its like $100 / night and LWI paid for it - AND I got a voucher for dinner, and breakfast is included. Kenia cried...and I cried a little too...when we had to say goodbye. :( She made me promise to not go to any discotecs tonight (I had been teasing her about going out in Managaua) and said I had to stay at the hotel. "It not safe for you!! No!" with the mom-look that every mom has!
I checked in to my room - its pretty nice...REALLY nice for Nicaragua and what I am used to when I travel! Once I dropped my stuff off, I walked across the street to the airport to get my boarding pass printed for my flight in the morning. Checked my email for the first time in the lobby of the hotel, and went for a quick swim in the pool! The water was warm and felt so good!
|action shot - haha : )|
After my little swim, I showered up and went to dinner - I had a hamburger and french fries. Yea, real "Nicaraguan," I know. :) It was average, but the real excitement for the night was the huge storm that moved in while I was eating outside (under a giant tent / canopy thing). Thunder and lightning and high wind and lots of rain!! The electricity flickered on and off, and by the time I was done eating, the hotel was flooding in spots!! It was one big storm!
I'm in bed now, listening to the tv and hearing about the deadly tornado in Joplin that I guess happened earlier this week?? I've been so out of touch with the US this week (no television or internet), and to be honest, its been nice! Its been an amazing week actually, and I have missed much of anything! ;)
Hopefully I'll catch my flight in the morning, and actually make it to Panama for a couple days!!