I am exhaustedly, sadly, and yet, excitedly writing from Matagalpa, Matagalpa Department, Nicaragua at 9:17 P.M on 3/25/2017.
I have had an amazing weekend!!!
You know how I blogged about how it was like a couple bus rides away- maybe no more than a couple hours of a ride?
I. Was. Wrong.
Very, very, very wrong.
Which made it even better! Here’s the story from the top:
First, we head out from our home with our sparse luggage. Well, kinda sparse. I threw my Tums, wrist medicine, and my mouthguard in my purse. I had my two changes of clothes (some PJ’s consisting of a T-shirt and shorts and a outfit for church) shoved in my ukulele case. Other than the clothes on my back, which were a T-shirt and jeans, that’s all I brought.
Now, let me clarify one thing. Some of you may think I’m complaining. You also may not know me very well. I actually chose to bring that – my parents brought a duffel, plus several more bags. Nicaragua has definitely given me a lot to think about – embarrasingly, I brought about seventeen shirts to the country while my dad brought about five. But I’ve obviously changed during these nine weeks.
Back to the story:
The three of us head out from our house at about 8:45 in the morning – yesterday. It feels like a week ago, but it’s really not.
We walk down the road a tiny bit before hiring one of the cheap Matagalpa taxis to take us and the luggage to the south bus station (which could be compared to the international terminal in an airport, and the north to the domestic) in Matagalpa.
We arrive, and stumble into the crowded place at about 9:00 A.M.
While looking for our dear missionary friends, their son Jehoiada comes right up to us. That said, we all found each other, and about five minutes later, our bus pulls in.
We get settled in the bus – kids on the front row and adults farther back. Jerusalem and I shared a bench, and Elisha and Jehoiada shared one.
Eventually, we had to move around and squish in, but we were grateful to have a seat in the first place, as there was a good handful of people who did not.
We sat, and sat, and sat, watching the view turn from high mountains and cool breezes to views of gorgeous, distant mountains and warm breezes. And watching Jehoiada go from the seat to the seat-back to standing up, and back to sitting.
We rode to Jinotega for about an hour.
We then got off at this Americanized bus station that both Elisha and I thought looked like an airport. After buying a few gadgets, we all piled into three different taxis. My mom and Jehoiada quickly piled in a taxi before the rest of us even blinked. Isaac, Jessica, and their daughter, Jerusalem, took the three seats in one taxi. And my dad took the passenger seat in a taxi while Elisha and I crammed in the backseat with a man who seemed to enjoy sprawling out.
We all made it in one piece to Jinotega’s north bus station, after which we sat and people-watched and observed the bustling market and the boys attacked it 😉
After about an hour of watching the market, we hopped on a crowded bus to a town which I do not remember the name of, which took about an hour as well.
After arriving in this small town, we played, ran, ate, sang and sat for about 2-3 hours. And it isn’t a fun, exciting town. If you don’t have friends or things to do, that could get boring.
The place was essentially a large dirt rectangle. Along one of the short sides, there were “restaurants,” which are basically open-air booths. They sold gallo pinto, which is a rice/beans mix cooked together, cuajada (you can find more information about homemade cuajada later in this series, and tortillas. This sequence continued along half of the long side, and heading away from the “restaurants” on this long side, you run into the road that dumps people into the dirt rectangle. You park basically anywhere. After this, there’s just about nothing on the rectangle except a run-down (by American standards) barber shop on the corner. Also on this corner was a bathroom. The doors were curtains, and there was a male security guard outside the bathrooms to charge 5 cordobas for men and 10 for women. (Search the exchange rate if you’re freaking out)
Then, continuing to travel counterclockwise around the square, we reach the opposite end from the original restaurants. This is a run-down (by American standards) bus station with a few breads for sale lining the walls and people selling Movistar and Claro minutes. (I’d like to do another article in my new series about Nicaragua on the technology situation in Nicaragua)
And nothing on the other side.
After this long layover, the kids’ dad headed off in a vehicle to Jinotega to pick up the pastor. (We all got very confused at this point.)
Meanwhile, we had to take a smaller chicken bus to Yali. We all piled in, and it had a comfortable amount of people, so it wasn’t bad, but the music was AWFUL. They played the most horrible music, and the music videos on the TV had half-naked women gracing the screens.
The boys and I quickly started to blast out the sound with our own loud singing, and we all made a concerted effort to stay below the seats so we couldn’t see the TV.
That bus ride was another agonizing hour. But because I had friends with me, it actually flew.
Once we arrived in Yali, we met up with the dad and piled into a truck and another vehicle. My dad slipped in the passenger seat of the truck, while my mom and Mr. Isaac and Mrs. Jessica rode in the little van/SUV/crossover/truck thingie. We kids rode in the back of the truck.
We then embarked on our 30-minute ride into our new home (for a night 🙂
Stay tuned for the rest of the story!