Sheree has a whole lotta time by herself…
So… the bucket saga… Day 3 dawned hopeful. The mayor of Diriamba was coming to our rescue and, taking time from his very busy schedule, personally going to Managua to #freethebuckets! But because I am not allowed in the Customs office and because a person can only stand so much time at a mall, it was decided I should stay at the hotel by myself. As in, alone. You know – in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language and the only people I know were going to be in Managua, an hour and a half away. But no problem! It SURELY wouldn’t be all day again.
Allen got up and left before 6 am, but we had both been awake quite a bit in the night, so I went back to sleep. The locals must have somehow known I didn’t set an alarm, however, because promptly at 7:30 they started exploding firecrackers directly behind my room, to help me wake up. This is a highly effective method that was previously unknown to me. My mom could’ve used that knowledge in my high school years…
I got up and tried to arrange my frizz in a way that wasn’t too scary. (I call it hair in the states but that’s not an accurate description in tropical humidity.) I went to breakfast alone, but met a lovely couple from Ohio who were there to help at a children’s home. I was again served a most delicious meal – French toast with syrup that put Aunt Jemima to shame, and an omelet with I don’t know what yummy stuff inside. Freshly juiced grapefruit was the beverage of choice. I seriously miss someone else cooking me gourmet breakfasts every morning!
After breakfast, with nothing else to occupy my time, I cleaned my hotel room and packed (as we were moving to another hotel that night). I redid my frizz. I sat on the one spot on the porch where I have a wifi connection if I rocked the chair just right. I looked around. I watched a black and red lizard out the window. I made friends with Ernie and Bert, both technically flies, but you know – you take whatever friends will have you when you don’t speak the language.
I visited the birds on the premises. One is a large parrot and he speaks, but he only speaks Spanish. Cool birds, but things are bad when you don’t even understand the birds in a country.
And… then I looked at the clock. 11 am. Only 11 am. I must have rocked the chair just right because the wifi suddenly let a message from Allen come through stating that more problems had occurred and it would indeed be an all day deal again. No problem! I’ll just walk down the street to Terry’s (making sure to use the restroom BEFOREHAND) and get some lunch! Except my wise husband didn’t think a girl who couldn’t even understand the birds in a country should be walking TO a restaurant she saw only in the dark and AWAY from a hotel where she didn’t even know the address and couldn’t say the Spanish hotel name if she got lost. Rats. How was I going to get lunch?
He suggested I ask the hotel owner to order me pizza, but alas, my pathetic-ness always kicks in when I have to ask someone for something and I decided today would be a good day to diet. I also decided it was a good day to blog, so I sat at the counter in front of the one window where I sometimes randomly got wifi. My friends Ernie and Bert were loyal (though captive) company. And my view was bonita! Gorgeous!
About 1:30 pm, just as my stomach was starting to hate me and I was rethinking my diet plans, I saw the owner of the hotel coming to my room, plate and drink in hand. All on her own she realized I would not have a way to get lunch and she fixed me the most delicious lunch ever! I almost cried over her chicken salad and kindness. God is so good to provide for me, even when things go awry.
Renewed by good food, I had some extra energy, and I may have gotten a little bored…
Allen finally arrived about 4:30 pm, WITH the buckets!!! He had made 2 short stops on the way back, visiting for a bit with a man who trusted Christ on a previous trip, and also to pray with the grandmother of a girl who attended our Nicaraguan Sports Camp in 2015. We then headed to Mi Bohio – a hotel closer to where we needed to be (but that was unavailable for the first two nights.) I was sad to leave the sweet hotel where the owner was so kind and the rooms were so fun and the food was so amazing! But the new hotel was nice too.
Needing to redeem the time we lost getting the buckets, we quickly dropped off our luggage and headed out to the “Casa Materna” – Maternity House.
The Maternity House is a government funded hospital-alternative (with an impressive little food garden) for impoverished pregnant women. Mothers and newborns are at high risk of infection in these facilities because of the (lack of) quality of water. The original plan had been to get the buckets Wednesday morning, spend Wednesday afternoon distributing buckets and sharing Christ, and then Allen was planning to personally install a water purification (whole-house) filter at the Casa Materna on Thursday. During this time I was supposed to get to know the women, pray for them, show them the love of Christ and share the gospel… Obviously, our plans had changed, so we had to hire someone to do the installation for us. And when we got there with the materials, we found there were currently no women there. None. Not even one. :.( My son, Nathan, had sent toys for the kids who might be there, and I admit I was REALLY looking forward to holding a baby or two. But, if life with my husband and 4 kids has taught me anything, it’s how to wing it! Life happens. Things change. And sometimes that means you don’t get to hold the baby. Instead, Miriam gave me a tour of the gardens and we fought over what kind of herb “Hierva Buena” (which simply means “Good Herb”) might actually be. (My guess was WAY off) It turned out to be spearmint, which I had never actually tasted before. Just FYI – It is nothing like the gum.
It was quite dark when we left the Maternity House, having made all the arrangements for the filtration system installation the next day, and on the drive home I found out it was Miriam’s birthday! Here I had had an entire day to bake her a cake and I hadn’t done it! Not that I actually had any ingredients. Or pans. Or could have figured out what temperature to cook something in Celsius, though that story might have actually topped the bathroom incidents… #missionaryburnsdowncutehotel #BertandErnieescapealive #nomorefrizzyhairworries
So, we did the next best thing – we stopped and got her ice cream, which in Nicaragua is called “Eskimo”, (pronounced es-KEEM-oh). Incredibly, it wasn’t hard to talk Allen into buying Eskimo. In fact, he has earned a Nicaraguan nickname… Pastor Eskimo. He tries hard to live up to the challenge.
After Eskimo, we dropped everyone off and returned to our new hotel room where we were serenaded by the music of Nicaraguan geckos that sound like birds, a beautiful fountain in the courtyard, and millions of horns honking through the night. I tried hard to sleep but the government meetings started the next day and I had no idea what to expect. I knew my husband would be amazing, no matter what the day turned out to be, but as for me… I just kept remembering the I Love Lucy episode where she flew to Cuba to meet Ricky’s family and because of her misuse of a Spanish word, ended up calling the Patriarch of the family a big, fat, pig. I resolved to smile silently the entire day, but resolve fades quickly in stressful situations and my likeness to Lucy would become apparent only 2 days later…