Sheree flies to Managua…
For the next few days, I, Sheree, am going to give you Nicaragua through the eyes of someone who has never been there before. I am also very likely going to condemn myself to a reputation of absolute pathetic-ness (starting with that word right there!).
The trip started the night before our flight when we had to leave our 4 children at 3 different places. (Divide and survive, right?) We left 2 with grandparents, took one to the home of one of our favorite couples at church, then drove to Phoenix to drop off the youngest with another favorite couple. Some of the kids cried. I cried. I’ve never left them so long. Not ever.
My extremely sweet sister in law took us to our hotel so our car wouldn’t be at the airport for a week. We told the hotel we needed a ride to the airport at 4:30 am and we tried hard to sleep. After a blissful 3 hours, we got up and ready for our 4:30 departure, only to find the text saying our flight had been delayed for 4 hours. If only I hadn’t already done my hair!!!!! Not about to have to do my hair all over again, we opted for an early breakfast and to head to the airport, hoping to get on an earlier flight.
Allen has Global Entry, which means the feds, or the president, or some guy name George or something has checked him out and he can just kind of “bypass” all the security at the airport. But when your passport looks like mine, all shiny and new with no stamps in it, they like you to wait in the other line – the one that means you have to get scanned by a robot named Priscilla. (Okay. I made up the name but I had some time to think.) Sadly, Priscilla didn’t like the buttons on my shirt and demanded that a tiny little German lady put on her blue gloves and make absolutely sure I wasn’t smuggling something in places I’d rather not discuss. Priscilla and I are no longer on speaking terms.
After the pat-down, I was pretty sure I was home-free. I mean – what else could possibly go wrong at an airport, right?
I’ll spare you the details about how we spent a good amount of time trying to track down our luggage for an earlier flight, or how our seat-mate on the first flight spilled ginger-ale on my hands, skirt, foot, shoes, and purse. But a very grumpy lady did begrudgingly bump us up to first class for the second leg of the trip! They gave us unlimited cups of coca-cola, tiny little earbuds for watching Andy Griffith, and a very yummy dinner!
I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what to do with the hot towel they gave me, but I did have some fleeting thoughts about taking out Priscilla’s main computer panel with the moisture…
Through it all, there was one maine theme to my flights. It was this…
He was tired, poor guy. He works so hard! I may or may not have tried to wake him up multiple times because I was lonely.
We did finally arrive in Nicaragua, and as everyone walked away with their luggage except us, I did start to imagine how I would be received at the government meetings wearing the clothes I was wearing at that moment, and hoping they didn’t have any button hating robots anywhere in the country. But our luggage finally arrived and we walked out into the beautiful city of Managua.
Our friend, Mario, was there waiting for us, along with his beautiful wife, Kelly, and a driver named Luis. Our work is in Diriamba, which is a solid hour to hour and a half from Managua, so we hopped in the van so graciously loaned to us by a Pastor friend there named Irving, and we bumped along up the mountain, through the greenery and crazy traffic.
We had no translator for this trip, so I felt badly that I couldn’t really communicate with anyone, especially Mario’s wife. I wanted to get to know her. I asked as many questions as I could with the words “where”, “how many” and “how long” because we could do those! Then she very sweetly took the large, beautiful ring off her finger and told me she wanted me to have it as a “regalo”(gift). These people are precious. But here is where I get even more pathetic.
After a very gringo “Gracias”, I put the ring on my finger. Maybe I should mention that this sweet lady is young, and thin and beautiful. She is a model in Nicaragua. I, on the other hand, am pretty much the antithesis of these things, and I have one big problem now… her fingers are long and slender. Mine are short and fat. Somehow that ring went on just fine, but there was absolutely no way it was coming back off – not without a fight.
Not wanting to embarrass myself, I struggled silently with it in the back seat, my finger swelling with each passing moment. Goodness. Who else has days like this?
Finally arriving at our hotel (which was beyond cute, by the way!), we said “Adios” to our friends, took our luggage inside and began the process of removing the ring from my finger. I say process, but it really just involved Allen pulling really hard and me yelling loudly, but whatever. It got the job done. (Flash forward for a moment to say that back home, in the States, without the humidity, the ring fits better. :.)
Day 1 finally wound down and though I really needed a shower (the ginger ale was the gift that kept on giving), I was too tired. I went to bed wondering what in the world Day 2 would hold….