Monday, April 09, 2012

Corn Islands, Part One

Tomorrow I go back to work for the last nine weeks of school! I can hardly believe that we're in the fourth quarter and the end is near.  

For those who are keeping us in your prayers, Daniel's Visa appointment at the embassy is in ONE week, on Monday the 16th.  Please pray that we have everything in order and that all goes well. 

And now I shall recant the gloriousness that was our past week....but in parts. As you may know, Daniel and I went with three of my friends to a place called Big Corn Island in Nicaragua.  To get there, we first travelled by bus to Managua, Nicaragua.  Around 3:00 in the afternoon on Saturday, we stepped out of our rolling refrigerator (aka TicaBus, with central air) and caught our first glimpse of Nicaragua.  It wasn't a flattering first impression.  Aside from the sweltering heat, I recall barefoot boys begging and offering to help us with bags and a pair of skinny pigs rummaging through trash.

We were not there yet--just at the border. After passing through customs-part-one we got back on the bus and headed on our way... or so I thought.  Really, we just crossed a bridge and stopped again at another checkpoint.  Parking in a line of vehicles waiting to be fumigated, our bus gave an abrupt shudder and turned off.  Seconds later we could hear the driver, now outside, shout that the bus broke.  I'll skip ahead (past my unreasonably hopeful optimism that it was all just a misunderstanding...) to the part where the bus person informed us that we had to wait there until they could send another bus from Managua (at least 3 hours away..)  Let me just summarize by saying that there is not much nothing to do at the border of Nicaragua.

The beginning of our wait... still in fairly good spirits (and
still trying to pretend it wasn't actually happening)

A little big later, boredom had set in even further.  

Nighttime at the border.  Not fun. 
The surprising highlight of our stay at Nicaraguan customs was when a bus full of fellow Pinares teachers, en route to Costa Rica, rolled in.  Sadly for them, they told us all about how their bus had broken down only an hour into their trip.  However, unlike ours which died in a fairly civilized place, theirs decided to stop in the middle of nowhere, where they were forced to sit on the side of the road for THREE hours waiting for a replacement.  Eeww....

Finally, around 7:00, our new bus came for us and we reached Managua around 10:30.  We checked into a hotel that was far too cute for our meager six-hour stay.  At 5:00 a.m. the next morning we trekked to the airport, gallo-pinto breakfast in hand.
"Gallo Pinto" is the Costa Rican/Nicaraguan
name for rice and beans... and it's oh-so-yummy!

The national flights terminal at the airport

Our boarding passes

Friends on the trip.  The girls were Cara, Sarah, and Stacy.
Let me just say that it is lots of fun introducing yourself
to people when most of your names rhyme.  We changed Stacy's
nameto Farrah by the end of the week, and Daniel became
Ezra, too... for consistency, you know.  

 Finally, after an evening and a morning of far too many lines and far too much waiting, we disembarked our small plane and stepped onto the most beautiful island I've seen!  

More to come! 

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