“Hannah tell them…”
He’d explained it to us at least 3 times. His wife explained it at least 5 times. Of course, the directions they were giving us were in Spanish but through some sorta magic I actually understood. Or maybe it was a miracle.
But…as we stood on the front stoop waiting for the bus to come by so we could jump in front of it to hail the thing, Don Alfredo — the head honcho of the family — second guessed (or however many guesses it was at this time) his family’s ability to communicate with the newbies. Or maybe it was our (in)ability to understand Spanish that had him concerned. Upon reflection, it was probably the latter.
No, it was most definitely the latter.
Just before Jesus came riding down the street on a donkey (I shit you not…there was a processional/parade thing where a big Jesus doll rode a real live donkey. People were in front and behind and every where, waving palm leaf string wands in the air and chanting. As fireworks scared the crap out of unsuspecting people at 9:00 in the dang morning.)…
…Why was Jesus riding a donkey? I have no idea. What do the palm leaf string wands mean? No clue. Why was there was a parade? With fireworks? First thing on a Sunday morning? Your guess is as good as mine.
I figure it’s because it’s almost Easter…or maybe it just happens every Sunday. Nicaraguans, they’re a festive bunch.
What was I trying to tell you about?
Oh ya – before the processional ended, actually before it started, Don Alfredo called Hannah over. Hannah will be living with the family for 4 months as she does volunteer work at the English school. Her Spanish is amazing and her English is great (she’s from Denmark if that matters to you). She’s the perfect translator.
She explained what to do again. But this time in English:
Get on the bus. Tell the driver you’re going to La Laguna. Tell the guy who collects your money, too. They will tell you when to get off.
Thank God they did just that. Because really. We had no idea which part of the middle of the highway we were supposed to jump off the basically still moving bus at.
Then cross the street and there will be taxis waiting. Take one up the hill and down the hill.
We couldn’t find a taxi.
I thought we could walk the 5 kilometers. Matt thought that wasn’t the best idea. Then I thought, maybe any vehicle will become a taxi if you wave your hand around like you’re flailing and hailing. Afterall, we’re not in Kansas anymore Toto.
Then I thought, that’s how people get kidnapped and robbed and maybe killed so I’m not going to say my idea out loud. Or try it.
Shortly after, the taxi found us. Actually more like a couple of gringos found us and asked if we wanted to share a cab.
Great – yes we did!
We started walking with them and turned a corner that was like 5 feet from where we’d been standing helplessly a few seconds earlier. And don’t you know, there was a row of taxis just waiting for people like us!
Finally we made it: La Laguna de Apoyo!