November 1, 2012

One Year

We made it through our first year here in Nicaragua.  We enjoyed this previous post of our MCC colleagues and friends Adam and Marisa and thought we would copy their outline for our own one year post.  Enjoy!
Things we love:
  • Nicaraguan food. It has been a joy to get to know the local delicacies! Somehow we are going to have to figure out how to make the cheese if we ever do move home.
  • The hospitality, generousness and love that we have felt and experience daily from Nicaraguans.
  • Public transportation. We never thought we would say this, but we actually really enjoy our time spent on the Managua bus systems (more so Kevin, a good book also helps).
  • A good, strong rainstorm.
  • Nicaragua’s landscape.  It is super diverse and there is so much to do.  The terrain hasn’t been roamed like other bordering countries, which makes this gorgeous land special, yet difficult to travel and see.
  • Our neighbor kids.
  • Living 30 miles from the ocean, it is an easy day or weekend trip.
Things we hate:
  • The fact that people are extremely economically challenged.  Economic poverty is quite severe and is very obvious everywhere you look.
  • Being robbed and mugged.
  • A lack of water resource.  Not having drinking water and/or being stuck with shampoo in our hair and no water to rinse it out has led to tears.
  • Litter and trash.  There’s lots of it. Everywhere.
Things we have learned:
  • To know that plans are always flexible and never certain.
  • To appreciate a warmer shower when you get one.
  • Some Spanish, but wow, do we have a long ways to go!
  • That a social life looks a little different here and that this is okay.
  • More about the history of Nicaragua and it's people.  Their stories are incredible and they are a people who have endured much.
Things we do automatically:
  • Throw all toilet paper into the trash.
  • Plan on 20 minutes to enter or exit our house, it takes the turning of twelvish keys.  And keys/locks are not a strength of Cassie’s!
  • Upon entering a room, greet everyone with a handshake and/or kiss on the cheek depending on the relationship.
  • Move the fans around.  Its always good to have air blowing on you.
  • Drink lots of water, it is always hot! 
  • Clean.  There is no such thing as a clean house when you live feet from a dirt road and do not have windows screens, but only security bars.
  • Set aside everything for a visitor.
Embarrassing moments:
  • Most of our embarrassing moments involve Spanish mishaps.  One example was on our first visit to our friend David’s house.  His mom had worked very hard on a beautiful cake for dessert which is not very common here.  When she came and presented it to us, Kevin said, “Oh, caca!” which means poop in Spanish.  He should have said queque.  It did lead to a good laugh.
  • Being stuck in several public bathrooms with no toilet paper when you really need it.  Let’s just say that we have had to be “resourceful.”
Things we are looking forward to:
  • Our continued teaching at the seminary and building relationships with our students.
  • Continuing to work and learn new things in our other work positions.
  • Continued relationship building in our neighborhood.
  • Visiting friends and family.
  • Seeing other parts of Nicaragua.
  • Improved Spanish.
How do you measure a year in the life:
  • in gallo pinto: 999 (approx. Eaten every morning and evening while living our with host families, and since then a few times a week for supper)
  • in bus rides around Managua: 2,190 (approx. On average we each take day 2.5 busses a day, each bus ride costs us 10 cents)
  • in bars of chocolate received from home: at least 15 (Each and every one was greatly enjoyed)
  • in pounds of coffee: 40 (It is delicious and always freshly roasted by Kevin in his popcorn popper) 
  • in visitors we’ve had: 14 (One was in the womb, we look forward to more visits in this next year)
  • in books: 44 (for Cassie) and 32 (for Kevin).  Not work related!
  • in tears: just a few (We miss friends and family back home and some days life is just plain hard here)
  • in smiles: many (Life here is hard, but good.  We love the relationships that we have built and look forward to this next year)
Thanks for your support throughout this year.  We hope that you have enjoyed our blog updates and that they give you a glimpse of life here, the work that we are doing and more importantly what God is doing.


lisa said...

Congratulation on one year! You two are such a beautiful team and I am amazed by your courage and optimism. We miss you!

Anonymous said...

congratulations on one year!