**A quick note to all…we have very little internet access here, so my posts may not be as frequent as I had hoped. But I will do my best to share as much as possible with you all! Also, I am having difficulty posting more than one photo at a time, which is frustrating.
A Feast for the Eyes:
Today, we were up early to take part in a full day that the women of Stitching Hope planned for us. While we waited for the bus to pick us up on the road, we saw all kinds of Nicaraguan life going on around us. Motorcycles, horse drawn carts, women carrying large containers on their heads, young men playing soccer on a dirt field, and two massive oxen pulling a wagon, to name a few.
When the bus arrived, it was packed like sardines! It looked impossible to fit one more body into the bus, but several of our group (led by fearless Brenda Grauer), decided to go for it and cram into the overcrowded bus (Brenda counted 110 people. No one objected…people were patient and squished closer together to make room for more bodies. The rest of us boarded our private bus and followed the first bus into Leon. Those that braved the crowded bus reported that there were indeed chickens in some people’s laps, market
products, pinatas and who knows what else!
When we entered Leon, the street burst into a million colors and faces. Vendors lined the street selling everything under the sun. Friendly waves and smiles greeted us as we drove slowly through the street absorbing the experience.
We got out to walk among the vendors and meander through their market. It reminded me of the West Side Market, but without refrigeration in many of the booths. We really stepped up our pace when we walked by the stinky fish booth! We had a brief tour of San Juan Cathedral – the only building that wasn’t destroyed by the 1972 earthquake. From there, we all squeezed onto another crowded bus to another feast – a magnificent meal served at the home of Bertha, one of the women from Stitching Hope. A long, bumpy road delivered us to her home, where she had prepared a wonderful lunch for all of us. She then gave us a hands on lesson on how to make Werela tortillas. After shucking the corn, they taught us how to strip the corn from the cob, grind the corn and make it into a dough, then cooked the tortillas and served them up to all.
It didn’t end there, we shared our reflections about the differences in our cultures, and the women shared with us more about what their lives are like on a day to day basis. The strength and work ethic of these women are amazing…and inspirational.
Next, we headed down the hill to take part in the Baptism celebration for Bertha’s grandson, Jefferson. Two pinatas thrilled the children as they tried to be the first to release the candy. MORE food was served as we watched the festivities.
We returned to the Peace House, tired, dusty, happy and well fed! We were all desperate for a shower…and I must say that a cold shower has never felt so good!!
Today was a day of feasts – a feast of the senses with the vibrance, smiles and music of the marketplace; and the best feast of all…a meal that was prepared in our honor at the home of Bertha. Our bellies were full, and our souls were touched by the women who planned and shared this day with us.