Tuesday, January 5, 2010
"Day Zero" Part 1
Yesterday, "Day Zero," as we've been calling it, was an interesting day. The events of the day were pretty self explanitiory. We traveled from Newark to Miami, eating some Cuban food on our lay over (something I couldn't have been happier about- the taste of home!). Finally, we were on the flight to Managua. We were all in a weird state, confused about how we were feeling in the moment; strange, anxious, nervous, excited, scared- just a few of the words I heard being muttered around. I was feeling all of these things. I don't think any of us knew what to expect upon our arrival to Nicaragua.
I thought that my presence in this foreign place would hit me as soon as I set foot off the plane, but somehow it did not. The smell was strange immediately. Not a bad smell, just different than what we are used to...the smell of Nica.
We have all been learning about the disadvantages that this great country is forced to endure daily. I still don't think we know just how we are going to face these issues, how we are going to react to them. I am afraid to see the pain that these innocent people go through every day. However, I long to learn from them. I already have.
Although our exit from the airport was hectic, it was warm and welcoming. The Whitness for Peace delegates greeted us with excitement. We loaded all of our luggage ON TOP of the bus and were on our way to CEPAD, the place we will be staying while we are in Managua. It was difficult to see the city at night, but the impression was lasting. We were all shocked to see such a plethora of American companies such as Texaco, On The Run, McDonalds, etc. along the road. Maybe Nica isn't so different? The reality was quickly presented. Groups of young boys, children, gathered in abandoned building. They stared at our bus as we passed by, but they were not looking for trouble. I'm sure they were just curious. The most emotional experience for me on our first night was when we were on the bus, stopped at a red light. A boy, not older than nine years old, was tapping on the window of the bus, begging for money. Another waved as we drove away. I looked away, not in a negative way, but as a shield. I was trying to distance myself from feeling that pain, but I do not want to do that anymore.
I want to understand these children, these people. As a group, we talked about opening our hearts to the people of Nicaragua in order to understand them fully and deeply. We are all extremely excited to continue this project. Although we still don't know what to expect, we will soon confront the experience of a lifetime!
We are all safe and enjoying each other's company, no worries about that! Madre, Daddy, Nikki, Tay, John and anyone who is following this blog in support, I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU SO MUCH! I can't wait to share this experience with you!