If you and I had five minutes to chat, here’s what I would tell you:
It rained last night in my site for the first time in 5 months. A sweeter sound has never been heard.
Every other minute of the day is mid-90s and crazy strong wind that causes dust storms. I have eye infections galore due to the crud that travels with the dust and into my eyes every time I open them. Regardless of how often I sweep and mop (multiple times a day is my normal routine), there is still an inch of dust coating my floors, books, clothes.
Mangoes are coming into season. Watermelon is delicious, as is the cantaloupe I bought today. Avocados are making their appearance in the market again after a long absence. Well worth the 20 cord splurge. Green peppers are now huge and amazingly delicious, and only cost 5 cords.
My site mate made my week by making me a morning iced coffee to start a long day. And it was amazing. My recycled Gatorade bottles now have a steady job of chilling full of chocolately-coffee goodness in my family’s fridge to be waiting for me in the morning.
I only had three guys ask for my phone number this week. And only one of them was a student!
I spent today rechecking in with various contacts in the community since I don’t have classes Fridays. Besides visiting the superintendent, I even snuck in a visit to the NGO in town that has air-conditioning and purified water. Sweet bliss. I ended my day by showing up at my friends’ house and begging to chinear (snuggle) with their one month old baby boy. Between baby snuggles and being named ‘Tia Kacie’, this lady left with a very happy heart. I have strict instructions to come back every day and am happy to oblige.
There has been a lot of death and random violence in my community in the last two weeks. Between a horrid car accident I saw in Managua last weekend and one that happened right outside my community on Wednesday, no less than 11 people have been killed in the last 5 days. At one of my schools, a fight broke out between a couple students and ended up with 16 students fighting and somehow beating up an old man in the central park. I saw another car/motorcycle accident this morning in town. Thankfully the driver was okay, just nursing some cuts on the side of the road, where the local business owner had provided him with some bowls of water to wash up, his motorcycle laying sprawled in the middle of street. During a break in classes on Wednesday, I had to notify the vice-principal about another fight at a different school this week, and she called the police to come handle it. Too much.
I may have broken out into a really embarrassing celebration dance on the sidewalk in the center of town today when I caught the quesillo lady 30 seconds before she was leaving. She not only unpacked all of her stuff to make me a fresh quesillo, but gave me double cheese. For free. Best. Day. Ever.
I bought a basil plant in Managua two weekends ago and a planter to put it in last weekend in Caterina. I finally planted it today and words do not even begin to express how happy it makes me to see that little plant when I come home.
I have started working out more frequently, even going on 6 AM runs. If you know me, you know the level of stress required to get me out of bed that early and to go exercise is high. Very high.
I am trying hard to remember to be gentle with myself. These have been a couple rough, stressful weeks. And I need to remember to breathe, to give myself some grace, and to loosen up a bit. Life is going to go on.
“But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.”
~ Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines