January 15, 2014

A Way Out

We have lived here in Nicaragua for over two years now.  Many days are difficult, the reality of what it takes to get from one place to another, to maintain a home, to be surrounded by economic poverty, to interact in a culture where we are often viewed as outsiders but also given a lot of power that we don’t necessarily deserve, to build relationships with our neighbors, and to do the hard work that we are here to do, takes a lot out of us.  But thinking about living any different seems so wrong.  We are completely enjoying life here, both the ups and the downs, and feel so blessed that we have been able to make this our home for the last couple of years.  But I know that I won’t always be here.  Our work will end, we will move back to Minnesota where I will not have to fight the horrible Managua heat for the rest of my life with no air conditioning as I ride on the hot, city busses.

A way out.  I know that phrase sounds terrible, but I often think this as I am running past the U.S. embassy when I see the long lines of Nicaraguans waiting to hear their fate.

A way out.  Kevin was able to fly home last summer upon the sudden and tragic death of his uncle.  He and his family needed to be together during this difficult time and with help of family we were able to pay for the  ticket.

A way out.  I can almost assuredly say that my children will never go hungry and that we will be able to provide them with quality educational and health opportunities.

A way out.  I can go home at anytime, but many of my friends are considering the dangerous trek up north by ground in order to “have a better life” in the United States. 

A way out.  We will leave, but Fabiola, Sergio, Damaris, Cynthia and Elmer will stay.

At times I am embarrassed and ashamed when I reflect on these thoughts.  When I run past the embassy and I see those lines, it really pains me, often brings me to tears, but I am glad that I don’t have to stand in them.  As much as we have immersed ourselves in this culture, in the barrio that we live, in the culture of Nicaragua, in the beautiful and generous families that have called us their own - I have a way out.  I am not sure what to do with these feelings, really, I am embarrassed that I have them.  But, they are honest and true.

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