Tuesday, April 21, 2009

quality time

It's all I have left really--a few precious days to spend with all the people I love in this amazing country---and so that is what I have been doing. In between selling off my furniture and trying to figure out how to fit 3 years into 2 suitcases and organizing files and leaving things in a good place for the person who will take my place, I have been spending every other spare moment with dear, dear friends. And I couldn't be happier.

Maybe I'm still in denial that I'm really leaving, but, in a way, maybe it's better I save the sadness for the other side... when I can no longer look into their eyes and hear their voices daily...when the daily commute no longer involves fruit stands and crazy ayudantes....when instead of endless trees and sunsets, skyscrapers fill my horizon...when I no longer speak Spanish for 6-10 hours a day...when I can no longer buy gallo pinto off the street, when the radio no longer plays bachata, when the fresh green mountains are much further away than a 3 hour bus ride...

When I am home, but maybe never really home again.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

esperanza verde

In Spanish, it means "Green Hope", and indeed this farm high in the mountains of Matagalpa was a super green reprieve from the oppressive heat of Managua.

Andrea and I escaped for a couple days just before Easter--probably our last trip to the region together--and we had a wonderful time hiking all over the place, relaxing, reading, and reflecting, and drinking amazing coffee and eating delicious homecooked meals.

Unfortunately, my camera battery died like 3 hours after I got there, but here are some of the photos Andrea took. :-)

Saturday, April 04, 2009


I’ve been avoiding the obligatory “my whole life is changing” post for a while now, but with the one-month-left-in-Nicaragua marker having passed this week, I figure it’s time.

First, I have to say that the last 6-8 months of my life here have been amazing. Even in difficult or stressful work or cultural situations, I am truly happy here. I love my life. I love my roommates, the North American friends I have made, and my Nicaraguan friends in my office and in my church.

I love everything about this country—well, except for the recent oppressive heat, the dust, and the sketchy guys who made rude comments on my way to work—and I would come back in a heartbeat if God opened a door again down the road.

When I think about leaving, I get teary eyed. I think about all the amazing, faith-filled Nicaraguans I have met, people who have taught me so much with their love, their hospitality, their trust in a God who is bigger than the poverty that surrounds them. I think about the people who welcomed me into their homes and gave a bed and a meal without even really knowing me. I think about the breathtaking places I have gotten to see—volcanoes, beaches, mountains, rivers, colonial cities—and how sadly, so many Nicaraguans have never realized the beauty and richness of their own country.

I think about how my own faith has been challenged and stretched, strengthened and confirmed. I think about all the things I never thought I would ever do that God allowed me to do—from little things like ride a horse to bigger things like build trust-filled relationships with Nicaraguans. I think about the concrete things that maybe I am leaving behind just a little bit better than I found them, and the intangible things I may be leaving behind that I will never know about.

I think about how God has protected me—from serious illness, injury, crime and/or accidents. (Hmmm, except there was that one time with a motorcycle….). I think about how He has been faithful when I have been faithless.

And the most recent evidence of that faithfulness is the news two weeks ago that I was accepted to graduate school. For much of the last year, I wasn’t sure what I was going to be doing when I went back home, but now it’s settled. For those of you out there who didn’t see my Facebook message, I’ll be pursuing a Masters degree in Latin American Studies at the University of Texas in Austin beginning in August.

So, on May 1st, I will get on a plane back to Texas and begin a whole new chapter. And while the transition—which has already begun—will be hard, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and in all other ways—I am also happy as I prepare and look forward.

For I know in Whom I have believed, and I am confident that this story has a good, good end.