Well, we're here! After a very long day of traveling on Thursday we finally arrived here in Jinotega late that afternoon. After dinner that night and a few phone calls home we went to bed for some much needed sleep. We slept in to about 8 AM on Friday. We ate lunch out at a place called Papa Gayo (sp?) that serves both Mexican and Italian food. (BTW, the food here is not really like Mexican food that you get at a Mexican restaurant in the States. It is much simpler and less spicy, but we can explain more about that another day.) For my drink I ordered a "limonade," which I expected to be a regular lemonade, but we all had an awkward moment when the waitress presented something that looked to be a fancy mixed drink. Upon further inspection, I think they just put regular lemonade stuff (water, lemon juice, sugar) in a blender with some salt to make it all frothy, but as we're definitely in a "no alcohol" situation, it was pretty funny. That afternoon we were supposed to go look at a rental property, but the owner was not available. Instead, we went to a cellular phone store so that David Henniger could get a local cell phone, and then to Pali, one of the grocery store chains here. Along the way we purchased some plastic clothes hangers from a street vendor. That night our team had a devotional. Today we had breakfast at a coffee shop, and then we walked around and checked out various stores. We also got to check out a new grocery store on the other end of town, which we all thought was a little nicer than Pali. For dinner tonight we will be having chicken (purchased at Pali yesterday), and rice and beans and fruit (purchased at the street market this morning). This will be our first chance to have rice and beans here, which is surprising considering how often we had it on our trip here in January. After I finish this post, I hope to organize our "stuff" that is currently haphazardly strewn around our room and in our travel crates.
Time is different here. While the U.S. is still in Daylight Savings Time, there is a 2 hour time difference (after you "Fall Back" the difference will only be 1 hour). However, Sunrise and Sunset are about 2 hours earlier here, so when you are experiencing 7 AM there, our 5 AM feels like your 7 AM. We awake to many birds chirping, buses hoking, and market vendors advertising their wares, as well as random Latin music (and sometimes the odd song from the U.S.). Side Note: I find that certain styles of music here, such as rap and dance music, don't bother me like they would in the U.S. because I can't yet understand what they are saying. Thank the Lord for small blessings. :) Anyway, there is a lot of activity here (on the streets, which we can hear perfectly well here at the mission) in the morning, and it really doesn't stop until around 5 to 5:30 PM when the sun goes down. As for our own activities, we have learned that it is best not to expect too much. It is enough to pick one goal for the day that we're in, and if that goal doesn't work out (which is apt to happen), we just pick another goal and move on. It really is a "one day at a time" culture. Planning too far ahead can lead to disappointment. That is fine, though, as it is good to have time just to get used to things here. The best analogy I can think of is of wood planks you might use to put together a hard wood floor. The planks need a certain amount of time to sit in your house and acclimate before you can install them. So, right now we're just "acclimating" to our new situation. It is a bit of an emotional ride, but overall things have been good. Like I said before, we just have to think about one day at a time (sometimes it's more like one hour at a time). Well, that's about all I've got right now. Feel free to comment with any questions you might have about Nicaragua.