If I had to sum up Nicaragua in just a few words I would tell you all that I finally learned how to stop doing and just be. It took me the whole two weeks, but I finally have it completely down. Like Manuel, my 8 year old brother said, “You just need to be here when I get back.”
I did some crazy things in Nicaragua and I have no idea where to even start to tell you about my adventures. I guess I’ll start with where I lived. My little village in the middle of nowhere was called La Montañita 1. I lived with Hermana Ana, her daughter María, and her grandson, the cutest little boy ever, Manuel. They took me in the minute I walked in through the door and I will forever be thankful.
So what did I do? Well, my job within the community was to play with kids. I just would like to say, thank you GOD for that one. I was child-deprived. I am so used to being constantly surrounded by kids in the states and here it’s not like I can ask my 23 year old brother to play with me or my 20 year old sister if she wants to play hide-n-seek. To say the least, I would have been content with that being my only job, but it wasn’t :)
I was also able to work with the youth and children within the church. We lead Bible Studies and were just able to share our own beliefs and evangelize with those in and outside of the church. I led a children’s service twice, once in the church and once outside. We also had meetings with the youth and had a special Bible study where we simply just poured out the love the Christ has to offer. Other mission trips you’re working on a fence, or painting a building. This is essential to some trips and that’s how it was like for the majority of people on my trip. For me, it was completely different. I had to take charge to do something but I actually left knowing that I personally had left an impact on the children, the youth, and the church in general. They were so willing to learn and that made my job easy. All I needed to do was come up with a Biblical way to play “Go Fish” and I was set! :)
Of course I cannot leave out funny stories...I always have those.
Day 1: I get there and I can already tell that it’s going to be awesome. I have been on a bus for hours and I also just walked a while to get to my house so I need to go to the bathroom. Take into consideration that this is my first time going to the bathroom in a hole. I was a little worried so I was barely squatting, skirt pulled up and tucked into my shirt, and of course, underwear at the ankles. Little did I know that my trash bag door would swing open mid-pee and I would flash my 13 year old neighbor boy that I had to then play with the rest of the week. There was nothing I could do, I was standing, fully showing...so what did I do? I waved with both hands and said “lo siento”. Gooooood idea.
Day 1: 3 hours later....I feel pretty gross. I’ve been traveling around Nicaragua and I’m already dirty from just traveling there. Obviously, I need to take a shower. Little did I know that Manuel was going to scare me and I was going to jump up and flash my brother and my neighbor. hahahahaah
My house might have been tarp, cardboard, and steel. My bathroom might have been cardboard and tarp and hole in the ground. My shower might have come up to my chest and been made of white sheets full of holes. I might have slept on a hard bed on a dirt floor. I might have flashed my neighbors, ate a lot of nasty pig/pig hair, and almost killed a chicken. Oh, and I might have left a chunk of my heart in La Montañita. But over all of this, I learned that in any circumstance, it’s all about how you approach it. I wanted everything listed above and now Nicaragua rates #1 on my best experiences here.