Sunday, November 21, 2010

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others, One of These Things Doesn't Belong

This little song from old school Sesame Street could have been our theme song yesterday as we ventured into the city of Managua. There was a car we wanted to check out (and by that, we mean, we needed to check to see if my (bethany's) short legs could reach the pedals in this particular SUV). So, we decided to take "public transportation." There are no bus schedules; there are several different types of buses...although most are retired yellow American school buses that have been painted and decorated. They pack as many people into them as they can. You essentially stand on the side of the road until you see the bus that you think you want and then, you wave at the driver. There are a few formal bus stops...but really, any space works.

This is us waiting for the bus.

We rode the bus for several kilometers (we were the only 'gringos' on the bus and then got off (we thought the bus driver was telling us that the bus was going to turn before we wanted...but maybe he was inviting us over for coffee later). We walked for what felt like a long time, especially when it is hot, you are being stared at due to the fact that you look really look like you 'don't belong'...oh, and you have a 4 year old who wants to jump over all the cracks and spots of grass he finds on the sidewalk.

A Glimpse of the Scene While Walking

Finally, we decided to take a taxi. When hailing a taxi, you have to pick one that is passenger-less and you haggle the price before you even get in. We let many taxis pass us by first...even though they all honked at us, indicating that they'd gladly give us a ride--5 white people standing confusedly on the roadside look like good customers. We did make it to our destination successfully. We saw the car we wanted to see. I was able to reach the pedals. Jeff even test drove it around the parking lot. Having done what we came to do, we decided to call it a day. We walked to a "bus stop" but the bus we wanted didn't appear. So, we walked. And we walked. Finally, we decided to hail another taxi to drive us back home.

We managed to use our limited vocubulary of Spanish. We enjoyed getting out and being among Nicaraguans. To be honest, we were rather proud of ourselves, and definitely proud of our kids, for "getting out there" and trying something new. Getting from one end of town to the other used to be something that we took for granted. Now, it is a major accomplishment. Interesting, how your perspective changes. God was glorified yesterday through our weakness.