Once we decided that we could actually return from Nicaragua, after the big court hearing in the Hague, we bought our bus tickets from Ticabus. Our bus left Thursday around 12:30, and it was the nicest bus we have been one. Air conditioned and with bis soft seats. To get to the border, it takes about 5 hours, the the fun starts. The border was so unorganized. You go into the Costa Rican station and get your passport stamped. There, probably 20 money changers were outside and they all swarm up on you to change your money. It was pretty intense. My friend Hope's face was priceless... she was so nervous about it all and all of the guys around her. Once we changed our money into Cordobas (20 cordobas = $1) we got back on the bus. Once getting on, we paid our exit fee and gave our passports to the driver? We drove through a car wash of pesticides, literally. I guess it was to kill any bugs on the bus, but it is not like they could not have flown over?? After we got off at the Nicarguan post, we waited outside for about an hour and a half more. Someone took all of our passports inside and got them all stamped. Then they would just call our names out when we were getting on the bus to retrieve them. I am not sure if that is legal, but I would go ahead and say no?
Hope's mentor Marsha and her family picked us up from the bus station along with the missionary that we would be staying with, Kim Pate. We drive about an hour from Managua to get to Diriamba. It was a bit confusing all of the roads in Nicaragua are VERY nice. Managua looked to clean and nice at first too. Obviously once you got out of the city you could see the poverty, but the roads were still great. For being the second poorest country of the America's, only behind Haiti..... it was a bit surprising to see.
Kim lives on grounds with a mission center, health center with dentist, doctors, counseling, and three missionary houses. There was also a Nicaraguan girl named Bildad who stayed with us. the house was very nice. We all just hung out and played games then went to bed. The next morning I woke up to my first sickness here :( That was not to much fun, but it passed pretty quick, so I was thankful for that. We are pretty sure that it was a bag of dried plantains that I ate. Ben had the same type as I did and we were the only ones that got sick. To bad, they were delicious!
We went to a small village to help serve food to the children at lunch. there was a guitar there so I started singing Revelation Song in Spanish, and I think they really enjoyed it. I was glad that I had been learning it in Spanish, and am starting to learn more too. After that we were going to the Pacific Coast. We did not realize how close we were going to be to it. It was about a 15 minute drive and we could see it from the church grounds. We could not go in though because of the Tsunami warning. At that point, we had not heard about it yet, and did not get to find out more until we got home that night. If you are reading this, please remember to pray for the people effected by this, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I am getting a bit confused with my days, but I am pretty sure that we went to a Volcano next. It was nice, because you could drive right up to it and look down. It was huge and very different from the other volcanos that we have seen. Once again, you could nt breathe in to hard or you would have a coughing fit from all of the sulphur. It is mind boggling to think of the power that a eruption requires. It has to break through the crust first, the flow down the mountain and tremendous speeds. Looking at how high up we were and the plains below, I still could not grasp it. Sometimes they can destroy cities miles away, and I could not even picture it making it up the crater???
We went to church that night, and Kim asked me if I would play at the worship service. I played after the regular band played and it was so great! I could hear other people singing along with me, worshiping the same God. I felt so thankful that I could be such a tool for Him. After, many people thanked me and I could tell that they liked that I took the time to learn it in Spanish. It certainly was a precious moment for me.
Saturday we went to Jinotepe, Masaya, and drove to Granada. At first we just went to this really nice market in Masaya. It was local venders but it was inside this huge castle looking thing. After, we drive to Lake Nicaragua! I could have sat there for hours. I feel like I had a bad image of Nicaragua before going, maybe just from the bad wrap it gets from Costa Ricans. It was so beautiful though. I just can not think of more adjectives to use other than powerful. I took pictures, but multiply them time 2 billion to get the full effect! We then headed home, but were to late to go to church.
Sunday, we woke up a bit later, and headed back into Managua. She jsut had a small truck to bring all of us plus Marsha's family to ride a long. The bus drive who picked us up from the bus station was supposed to pick us up but never did. the whole weekend, the boys would ride in the back, but Ir ode in the back on the way home from the Pacific and on the way to the bus station. It was so nice. I felt like a little girl in Arkansas again! I wish the bus ride home could have been like that, a high convertible bus! You can just see so much more that way!
The ride home took a total of 10 hours..... but it was still nice. On the way over, we all could get separate seats and sleep because so few people were on them, but the ride home was tighter. It is really coming ot an end. I can not believe that I have less that 2 weeks here. Rides like that home with my friends make it that much harder to want to leave. On the other hand, my feelings are moving away from missing people back home to getting EXCITED to see them!!!!!!!!! I am just a little Costa Rican ball of feelings right now! ¡PURA VIDA!
|Marsha, Hope, and Bethany waiting for church|
|Josue, our little mini our guide. His mom worked with Kim the missionary|