Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Justice of Oranges: October 21, 2013

Hola familia y amigos!

Okay, wow.  I don´t even know where to begin--there is so much to say!
 Leaving the CCM was sad, and I am pretty sure I took the last hot shower I
will have in 17 months, but I was ready to go and teach actual people and
not just my teachers, although Hermano May truly was fantastic.  He might
just be a General Authority someday; I wouldn´t be surprised.

So here´s what happened in a quick blerb: woke up at 4, got ready and
weighed my luggage (both of my suitcases were exactly 50 lbs, hallelujah),
got on the bus at 6:30, drove to the airport, went through airport
security, and after waiting in the airport for about 2 hours (and talking
to a nice stranger about the Church and Star Wars), boarded a plane for
Panama!   On the flight, I made yet another Spanish mistake.  Juicio =
Justice.  Jugo = Juice.  But, I mixed up the two, and when the stewardess
came over I asked her for Juicio de Naranjas, or, the Justice of Oranges.
 She laughed and corrected me.  But I stand by my statement. They have been
oppressed for too long.  Drink apple juice, my friends.

We were in Panama for five hours, which was fun because I had my four other
Nicaragua-bound hermanas with me. We all wished we could have escaped the
airport and explore for a few hours, because the view from the plane was
beautiful.  Low, fluffy stratus clouds and puzzle pieces of islands
interspersed with ocean, the land consisting of patches of russet reds and
oranges and surrounded by dark forests and light greens and then huge
cities (comparable to New York, which was surprising--thin, spindly sky
scrapers dotting the coastline).  There was a road that extended from the
land and then branched out by itself into the ocean, circled all the way
around an island, and circled back.  There was also another longer highway
that connected one island to the next--which made me think of my dad (happy
belated birthday, by the way!), because he hates bridges.  Try driving on a
highway with nothing stopping you from plummeting into the ocean. The plane
was sideways for awhile and we had a neat view of the city, the ocean
melting from deep green to blue to brown, then marshy forests that were a
lush green (with palm trees, of course), and mountains in the distance.  I
have never felt the desire to explore Panama before, but that desire has
now been kindled.  Mexico, too.  There are many adventures to be had here.

On October 14th, I arrived in Nicaragua! Safe and happy and ridiculously
full, on account of the fact that I ate three dinners. I never wanted to
eat again.  My mission President, Presidente Collado, came and picked us up
with his family, and we met everyone at a church in Managua.  Afterwards,
we drove somewhere (it was dark, so I had no idea where we were) to a large
villa in the middle of nowhere.  It felt kind of like...Girls Camp.  There
were 5 or 6 bedrooms with bunkbeds and 2 showers, and it was so
ridiculously hot I got little to no sleep.  The next day, however, the
saying "hit the ground running" took on a whole new meaning for me.

We got ready for the day and were driven to President Collado´s house,
which is beyond gorgeous.  Classic hispanic villa/mansion in the middle of
a jungle. I´m talking palm trees, beautiful white walls and russet orange
tiled roofs, walls dripping with flowers (fuschia and purple and
white--Yaya would love it), the whole shabang. The inside was gorgeous as
well.  We had interviews with President, and ate a typical Nicaraguan lunch
(fried platanos, beef, rice, potatoes.. it was heavy, but good).  I have
been assigned to serve in La Villa, Leon with a darling El Salvadorian girl
(shout out to Ally Haynie!) from San Salvador, Hna. Najarroz.  She is
wonderful. Patient and hardworking and lovely, I´m really grateful she´s
not the fat and rude Latina companion I was imagining (whose imaginary
name is Hermana Smith, in case you were wondering.)

Once we left the Collado´s house...oh my goodness. It was chaos.
 Definitely the closest to culture shock I´ve ever had.  I don´t think I
even have the words to convey just how different it is here.  Managua is
just...teeming with life. And steaming, is so dang humid here.
 There was some minor confusion, getting our luggage from one bus to
another, but then we were safely on a dirty looking school bus and sat and
waited for maybe ten minutes.  Tons of little shacks and vendors are set up
all around side by side, and the vendors came into the bus, trying to sell
us random goods. I got offerred peanuts, limes, stickers, donuts, meat on a
stick, bagged water (?), some sort of tan meringue looking pastry, etc.
They just hopped on the bus, repeated what they were selling in sets of
three, and left. For example: "AguaAguaAgua". When the bus started moving
the vendors and various people just continued to jump on and off. When we
stopped for traffic, we were bombarded! It was crazy. People just hopped on
and off the bus while it was moving.  A guy sitting in the front was
yelling "Leon Leon Leon!", which sounded like "OleeOleeOle", and people who
had a desire to go to Leon (which is 2.5 hours away from Managua),
just hopped right on.  Okay, this is all I have time for right now, so
I will continue my Nicarguan adventure in my next email!

Les amo muchisimo!

<3 Hermana Behan

No comments:

Post a Comment