Saturday, July 14, 2012

Once a Month Play Day

We are challenged daily by life in Nicaragua. Not only for us, but the boys as well.  It cannot be easy living with 2 senior citizens that barely speak their language and the constant daily learning of the most basic  skills.  Yes, life is a challenge for all of us.  But one Saturday each month, we get away from it all and treat ourselves to a day of fun at the beach.  And this particular Saturday, the boys had a guest accompany them.  Our former student Michael had spent the night and was going to be with us for the day.  Our good friends and fellow missionaries were to meet us for lunch.

Everyone was up before 6:30 which was very unusual for the boys; but it was a sign that they were excited about the day's event.  The egg man did not come by, so it was biscuits for everyone, again.  Biscuits fill their tummies and there is not a lot of clean up; these boys were anxious to get going.

We headed for the bus stop to wait for the 9:30 bus, or whatever time it would show up; there is usually a half hour window either side of 9:30.  Today, the bus was 9:30 sharp and it was an unusual sight to see.  There was a man standing on the roof of the bus who seemed to be watching over a lot of parcels that were loaded on the top.  When the bus pulled up, the boys went towards the rear door and we adults were ushered to the front door by the "conductor".  Wait a minute!  There was a reason why the man was on the roof, there was no room in the bus and now they were going to cram us into it.   The conductor kept shaking his head "yes" and motioning for us to climb aboard.  So we stepped into the bus standing on the bus steps with 5 other people while the conductor hung half out of the door AND away we went.  We hadn't gone one mile when the bus stopped to pick up one more person.  You've got to be kidding!  The person was a female, so she climbed on the step next to me while Preston and the conductor hung half out of the bus holding on to the folding doors.  This is where it starts to get interesting.  Preston had his arms above his head because there was no room to put them and he had to hold on to the upper part of the door. Visualize, we are like sardines in this bus and my nose is up inside the sleeve of my husband's shirt and I have a clear view of his armpit as well as able to smell. Fortunately he was freshly bathed.  We have an 8 mile drive to the ocean and luckily without picking up another passenger.  But, my mind keeps focusing on, "where's our boys"?

As we neared the beach, the passengers started unloading here and there.  Each time, Preston had to step off the bus to let someone off and one of those times I heard him talking to Freddy.  Freddy had walked around to the front of the bus to get on to be near us. He begins to tell us the story that he and 4 of our boys had been hanging off the BACK of the bus the whole trip.  There are 12" wide ladders on each side of the rear door and that's where they had been standing and holding on, while Aroldo was sitting on the floor of the bus with his feet dangling outside the door.  I've seen this kind of thing before, but never experienced it. Next time, I think we will be taking the 10:30 bus, at least we never had to hang out the back of that bus.

Once at the beach, we have our special place where we like to spend the day.  It's quiet there and away from the other heavily populated restaurants that cater to tourists.  The owners are nice, treat us very well and are good to the boys.  We spend the rest of the day soaking up the sun, the boys play in the surf as well as play their version of soccer, we eat and we nap.

It's a day of relaxation and indulging ourselves with hamburguesas and gaseosas; no cooking, no cleaning up, a welcome break from the everyday. Life is good.  We all love the sea and are blessed to live so close.  We do not take our day to the beach for granted, it is a gift from God.  He loves to give us the desires of our hearts and He is faithful to provide the extra finances each month to cover the costs. In March, when we first started the beach trips, the cost was $25 for a day of fun, food, and transportation.  Now with the addition of boys the cost has doubled to $50.  A real strettttttch for our very limited budget.  

Perhaps there are "padrinos" (godparents) out there that would like to sponsor monthly our outing. 
Donations can be made to the general fund at

We are developing traditions in our Nica family and going to the beach one Saturday each month is one of them.  The boys are coming to depend on the traditions.  It's not only fun but the traditions are therapeutic.  It's an established routine in their lives, it's something they can count on, it brings a sense of well-being and security.  All our traditions represent home to them and more importantly they represent  family.