It was another beautiful scorcher of a day in Managua. In the morning I had iced coffee and quiet time, then headed off to Vida Nueva to play with the kidos. I think I pushed the kids on the swings for an hour straight. They loved it! And so did I—the swing set is in the shade : ) It’s fun getting to know their personalities and to bring smiles to their sweet faces.
Lunchtime rolled around and I walked home, toward the smell of homemade pico. Pico is a pineapple-filled pastry and it is muy rico. Ivania gave me a lesson in the basics—and don’t you worry: I’m not leaving without the recipe. After lunch, my cousin Wyeth kindly drove me to House of Hope. When I got there Brittany had just gotten back from the grocery store and the girls were (mostly) at the table doing their homework. House of Hope still doesn’t have a reliable source of water and as part of an interim solution, today Brittany and the Site Director purchased large plastic barrels to store water. I tagged along to Mercado Oriental.
Brittany drove in the truck—what an adventure! I’m learning that driving in Nicaragua is akin to playing “Frogger.” You really need to stay alert because there are many unexpected obstacles. The road to House of Hope is like a river delta and you need to dodge nearly constant holes and ditches just to get to the main road. Once on the main streets, you still have to look out for uncovered manholes as well as rogue pedestrians! I thought pedestrians in San Francisco were gutsy, but what I witnessed today is another level of recklessness. There must not be crosswalks because everyone crossing the street just goes for it. One chavalo chose an especially bad time to run through a busy intersection and was nearly hit twice—once by us. Eek! On the way home, we managed not to hit anyone or anything (including three HUGE bales of hay that fell off of a big truck).
My favorite part about the excursion is that the Site Director was asleep nearly the whole time! She stayed only conscious enough to give some direction (people in Managua give directions based on the relative location of the lake: up or down) and issue the encouraging “¡Dale, dale, dale!” when merging.
Once back at House of Hope, I helped Brittany and some of the girls prepare dinner. Brittany used to require that the girls to help with dinner, but with so many other chores to do, she stopped. Now, helping with dinner has become somewhat of a privilege. Funny how that works : ) We made rice and chicken soup.
It was dark before I knew it, so I said goodnight to the girls and I took a taxi home. Don Julian, my cabbie estimado, brought his son along for the ride. He sang the whole ride home. Kids are the best.