That. Was. Not. Fun.

I just had to say some of the worst good-byes in my life – and they were all piled up on top of one another.

So, we’ve been saying good-bye for about a week now to various people, but the worst ones were the dearest ones.

One of our very hard good-byes was yesterday afternoon. We went with Isaac, Jessica, and the kids to lunch and the outlook/zipline after church. We didn’t know it, but (not really, but felt like) right after our ziplines landed, they had to jump into a taxi and we said our (for this trip) final good-byes.

And then we walked over to Nelson’s house and said good-bye to some of his siblings, after which we walked to the church down the hill, which is the one where we slept at for so long (it’s a month – stop being so dramatic, Elle). And then we saw all the rest of the people down there that we love so much.

Then one of the people we know there that has a van loaded about 20 of us up and hauled us to the other side of town to our house. We chit-chatted and then said our (for this trip) final good-byes.

But today came the brunt of all the good-byes.

This morning, we got up early and packed and dealt with some issues for our flights. And then at around 12:15, Nelson’s mom and his two little sisters (how precious!!!!!!!) came down the steps into our little quarters. We somewhat quietly sat with each other, trying to savor our last moments together for this trip.

About fifteen minutes later, Nelson came down the stairs with Dixon, another friend of ours who is 14. They would hopefully both be accompanying us to Managua.

So we all hung out for about five minutes before our ride showed up. So we ran out to the truck and began to pile our bags in the back. We then sat down on them and began the first leg of our journey back to our house in Georgia, which seemed so far away and still does.

Our first leg soon ended with our arrival at the South Market. We walked a tiny ways into the south bus station, which is in the South Market. We bought our tickets for the 2:20 bus, and found the express bus bay, which is where ours would come in.

Unfortunately, we discovered the 1:20 bus only had two seats remaining, and the 2:20 bus was too late for Nelson and Dixon to go to Managua. By the time they had arrived in Managua, it would’ve been too late to catch the last bus back to Matagalpa.

So we squashed on a bench and began to spend as much time together as possible before we had to leave.

But we finally had to face the fact that the 2:20 bus had arrived and we needed to part.

But we soon noticed that the bus had a sign up on the front that said the last bus left Managua at 7 to go to Matagalpa. We quickly got very excited.

And we counted our money and realized we only had enough money to get us and one other person to Managua in cordobas. And considering they don’t take dollars, we could only take one person with us.

So we asked the boys which one of them wanted to come most. They looked at each other and decided it would be Nelson.

So he ran off to purchase his ticket, after which we all shared some very sad good-byes and piled in the express bus. Nelson found his seat in the back of the bus, and we found ours in one row toward the front. But we moved around a little bit so that my mom and dad were sharing a bench and Nelson and I were. But then we moved around more and my dad moved into an empty bench. So we all stretched out once again. Then I went over by my mom so Nelson didn’t have to sit on the hump.

But after all this, we finally made it to the airport bus station. And I was so weighed down with luggage and getting out the door quickly that I barely had time to reach across a row of seats and give Nelson a half-way-handshake-which-kind-of-turned-into-a-fist-bump-slash-hand-slap all-in-one before leaping out the door.

But you know what was amazing?

Some of you may not know, but Nelson and I sing together a lot for churches and house-to-house ministry. Well, one of my favorite Spanish songs, Al Que Está Sentado en el Trono, was one of my favorites before we even came here thanks to my amazing friend Bethany. Turns out, this was one of Nelson’s favorites all along.

So naturally, when we first met each other nearly three months ago, we sang it all the time and in just about every house we would minister to. So it’s become a special song for that reason.

Well, guess what song started playing right as I stood up and continued as we said good-bye and tried to catch a glimpse to say bye through the windows of the bus?

Al Que Está Sentado en el Trono.

And suddenly everything we were doing became too much. And very, very real. We were actually leaving Nelson’s family, and Spanish language, and everything else we’ve ever come to love about here.

But it was also a sign that this was the correct time and setting to finally cut all ties for this trip and say our last good-bye this time around.

That was definitely the saddest part of the day.

And now we’re chilling in the Managua airport until 2:30 a.m. Managua time – which is 4:30 Atlanta time and 5:30 in Sao Paulo time. I think I covered everybody. Oh, wait. South Dakota. Managua and Western SD are in the same time zone. Okay, good.

Anyways, we have a ways to go before our third leg. But Hallelujah!

See ya!



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