Almost exactly a year ago, I took a missions trip to Nicaragua. Today as I was perusing through the pictures and reminiscing, I felt the familiar sting of tears hit the back of my eyes. I miss it.
For one I am not able to go back this year which already has me mopey, but all this also has me in a reflective mood. I need to spew some of these stories for my own sanity and I hope you will take something away from it as well.
I am not a tentative person, I have a natural lust for adventure. I am not reckless… but I am most certainly not one to shy away from a challenging situation. This having been said, today I was pondering over the fact that, even though the normal things one would think would stun a foreigner didn’t inhibit me, I still look back now and think, “I really did that. That really happened.” Almost looking on as one reading a book or watching a movie. Sometimes the pictures stun me more than actually having been there does. It brought to mind the “I have confidence” song from the Sound of Music. More specifically the part where Maria belts out, “To do the things I never dared!” Allow me to add to this line with “And to feel the things I never dreamed.”
I was fully ready to meet the stark culture shock with stoicism and resolve, which I did. But what I never expected to happen is that now, one year later… the people I met, both good and bad, young and old, still have a pull on my heart. I did the things I never dared, and yeah, cool, great, I’m really happy I accomplished that. But really, who cares? The smallest smile I gave to a person I never even talked to in the market could have had a bigger impact than anything else I did on that trip; AND I’LL NEVER KNOW.
I realize this whole post is rather jumbled and cryptic… but if you come out of it with anything, come out of it with this… Go! Do the things you never dared, but touch someone’s life while doing it. Without love we are nothing.
So, to end this post on a lighter note, I will write my top ten list of “Doing the things I never dared… in Nicaragua.”
10) Catching hypothermia our first night in our concrete rooms. Someone failed at setting the cooling unit’s temperature.
9) Giving the 3/4ths of a Big Mac I couldn’t eat to two children outside of a McDonald’s. I will never look at one the same way.
8) Having two men reach in my bus window and begin stroking my arm… no! no! VAMOS!
7) Sitting on our concrete balcony,watching thunder storms roll in like clock work every night; amazed every time.
6) Helping care for a woman who passed out from heat stroke.
5) Praying for a little boy in the middle of a marketplace.
4) Haggling with shopkeepers at said marketplace.
3) Zip-lining… I can’t even begin to describe
2) Finding it normal to: Not flush toilet paper, not have a toilet seat, not have toilet paper, not have running water, sleep in a bus, greet with “Hola” answer with “Si” thank with “Gracias” and pardon with “Lo Siento”, never look a man in the eye.
1) Describing a raccoon to someone who had never seen one before 🙂 <..>~
Go… Love… Keep your head in the clouds~