The past week has been a whirlwind of travel and no internet.
Last few days with the group of six, so we headed to Granada to look for partners and enjoy the city.
Granada is more touristy – even with a little strip that looks like Bridgeport-slash-Italy with outdoor seating at restaurants and light posts and manicured trees. It’s still Nicaragua, and you can tell by the street children that come to your table trying to sell you wooden whistles or palm branch flowers, but it is a weird combination between third and first world.
We had breakfast at this adorable little garden café, with hammocks and vintage décor and old books.
Had some unsuccessful partner meetings, then randomly walked in on a winner. More about that in another post.
Took a history tour by carriage ride.
Found a mouse in our hostel room. I am so conditioned now that it didn’t even warrant a scream. I just picked up a chair, blocked off its hole, and tried to sleep (and ignore the fact that it was just in my suitcase eating trail mix. Yeah. That was gross).
Dawson, Annalee, and I said goodbye to the rest of the group and drove two hours back to Leon on Friday for our first microloan workshop. It went well, even though it was crazy hot in the elementary school classroom where the workshop was held.
Spent five hours at a nice restaurant on the fourth of July: two hours waiting for our potential partner to show up (during which time we downed some sodas, then decided an hour and a half in that we could probably order an appetizer and have the evidence cleared before our partner showed… so we did), an hour of the requisite “talking” before ordering, and then two hours of eating and more talking. It was exhausting. But she runs a coffee co-op and we are talking about getting them Rainforest Alliance certified.
Saturday we headed back to Granada for a second meeting with a potential partner, and then packed the three of us into the backseat of compact car (our luggage needed the front seat and the trunk) for a four hour drive south to Limon Dos, on the coast.
Arrived at Jicalite, a beach “hotel”, which is really just an absolute dive but it has character. And by that I mean, the type of people who reside there. Annalee and I had a room that was literally a bunk bed with a foot and a half of space all the way around it. And that was it. With some dead cockroaches on the floor. But I can deal with a shocking amount these days. It was very hard to take in at first, but I got over it in a few hours. The outdoors is really the best part, so I might as well enjoy God’s creation rather than the inside anyway.
We swam in the ocean for a while and swung in the old hammocks and then sat on the old wooden patio furniture in our swimsuits, in the still warm evening, and ordered a steaming ham and green pepper pizza and orange Fantas in glass bottles.
That night I sat out on the beach for some much-needed alone time (I really don’t get any time alone here, since Leon is too dangerous for me to be out alone), just watching the stars. I was having a really good reflective moment about my future and God’s plan and I felt the need to read so I opened up and read John 14, which started out so perfectly: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. I kept reading and had a lot to think about, and then I l heard people behind me and looked up to see floating Chinese lanterns drifting up across the sky. Red-orange lights, being let off from a point way down the deserted beach, were floating gently up across the sky, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I laid out on the sand and watched the lanterns and the stars and the bright moon and the amazing bioluminescence in the water and heard the pulsing waves, loud then quiet. It was wonderfully peaceful.
That night was our only night with AC, the next two were horribly muggy and our 8 x 6 ft room had no air flow and it was miserably hot. And no internet the whole time. It was hard.
God was watching out for me though, as always, and my Sunday sermon, listened to Sunday morning while laying on my steamy hot bunk, was so applicable and needed.
Some adventures that day as well, that I’ll save for another post.
Annalee had a potential partner meeting with someone in town the next day so we set off with high hopes. You cannot find a place more rural than this, so we walked at least forty-five minutes along a dirt road, in the scorching heat, until we finally found some people we could ask where the lunch place was. It turned out to be a fun little café with pet monkeys in a café next to the tables (this is all outdoor, of course. Like everything here). Chickens were walking around the cafe floor, also like usual. Just don't think about it. The monkeys were adorable and then the little girls at the café gave them little yellow lollipops and it was SO CUTE.
We found a tuk-tuk to take us back to Jicalite so we wouldn’t have to do that crazy walk again.
Tuesday we had a driver pick us up to stop back in Leon for a night (four hours north), before continuing another four hours farther north to Ocotal on Wednesday.
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.