Continued from we're back!
Days Six-Eight (July 14-16)
The regional MCC retreat is held about 20 minutes outside Managua at a place called Pueblo Viejo.
When we received the informational letter from the Nicaraguan team telling us that the retreat center was at a higher elevation and would be quite cool, my husband and I scoffed: Managuans! If it drops below 85 degrees, they think they’re freezing!
But they are right and we are wrong: it is delightfully cool! I am shocked. How could it be that I lived in Nicaragua for three years and never knew that there was climate relief only a few kilometers outside of Managua?
the jungle view from our porch
The facilities are amazing. We have our own cottage which is actually more of a house with its full kitchen and two bathrooms.
There are lizards everywhere, and the kids see their first (small) scorpion. Mangoes and avocado trees abound—it feels exotic to see such gorgeous fruit scattered over the ground.
can you find the lizard?
The meals are delicious, and waiters bring out frosty glasses of fresh fruit juice at every meal.
We have meetings in the morning and games or free time in the afternoon.
One afternoon, a group of us goes to see the Masaya volcano.
my son and this little girl are best buddies
There is a TV crew filming a mostly naked buff guy as he waves around some weights.
Afterwards we go to the Masaya market to do some shopping. I am immediately distracted by a stand that sells fruit drinks.
do you blame me?
I convince the rest of the family to forgo the trinkets in favor of enormous goblets of pitaya, melocotón, banana, etc.
The boys both have swimmer’s ear, so my husband finds a pharmacy and then drops the (hopefully) healing potion into their ears.
The fruit drink moves through my younger son’s body at a rapid clip and soon we have a mini crisis.
However, it's nothing that a concrete wall and shady corner can’t fix.
We leave our little piece of heaven and relocate to a guest house in Managua. The pick-up truck we have arranged to rent arrives at the door and the entire family is electrified.
That we can drive!
All by ourselves!
My husband is practically giddy.
That afternoon we visit a friend of my husband’s, and his wife and their two little boys.
rellenitos from their plantains, pitaya, guacamole, pineapple upside down cake, marvelous coffee, and mint tea. We talk for hours and then finally tear ourselves away in time to get back to the city by dark.
(Note to our Virginia neighbors: the coffee is being sold in Harrisonburg out of our friend’s mother’s basement. It’s ten dollars a pound. It’s not highly acidic, so some people say it’s inferior coffee. The coffee is not inferior (and anyway, who are the coffee gods that say coffee has to be acidic?)—in fact, it’s very delicious. Those of you who are turned off by coffee’s bitter bite? This is your coffee.)
To be continued...