This is my last Nicaragua post! I'm going to tell you all about what we did on our last two days in Central America.
On Thursday morning, after three and a half days of medical clinic, we loaded up the truck and headed back to the mission house. There was a mad rush to the showers, and I am not ashamed to tell you that yours truly didn't wash her hair the entire time we were in the village.
Let's just say that when I took my hair out of my braid and ponytail, it stayed right in the same position. Didn't move an inch. DON'T JUDGE ME. I have my reasons. Okay, one reason, actually. I'm lazy.
Anyhoo, after washing every crevice about eight times with lice shampoo, we all collapsed in our beds for a nap. I don't think I'd ever been so tired in my life, and that's quite possibly not an exaggeration. (Side note: whenever people ask how our "vacation" was, I'm like, "Vacation? Um, no.")
Later that night, Jordan's parents celebrated their 30th anniversary (which had been earlier in the summer) by renewing their vows on the balcony of the mission house. It was Jordan's mom's only request for their anniversary. Our associate pastor was in Nicaragua with us and officiated. It was really sweet.
The next morning was Friday, the day before we flew back to the States.
This is traditionally "free day," which basically means BMDMI has some kind of group sightseeing outing planned where we finally get to see some of Nicaragua instead of just being in the village.
This year, they did something they'd never done before: they took us ziplining in the jungle! Oh. My. Gosh. Coolest thing ever doesn't even come close to describing the awesomeness. I literally cannot think of the words to describe how fun this was, so I'm just going to do this:
^^^ This is me doing the "super chica."
(When you do the "superman" pose on your stomach, you have to go with a guide so they can hold your legs and break for you. When you go upside down or regular, you're not with anyone else.)
The best part of the whole thing was that Jordan and I almost didn't go. Just two weeks earlier, we'd actually gone ziplining in Oklahoma City at the new Adventure Park by the Oklahoma River. It had been my birthday request.
When we heard they were going to take us ziplining, I was immediately like HECK YES. And Jordan was like, "Um... we just went ziplining, and it was kind of lame." And I was all, "Yeah, but this is in the jungle." And he was all, "I don't know.... Maybe we should just go to the market."
But logic won out in the end, and we decided to go ziplining.
I probably don't have to tell you that ziplining in Nicaragua compares in no way to ziplining in Oklahoma. Sorry, Oklahoma, but you lose this round. For ease of viewing, I made this handy comparison chart for you:
Again, I really don't mean to hate on Oklahoma, but come on. Most of our time was spent standing in line waiting to zip. In Nicaragua, we were literally up in the trees for a full hour, zipping 17 cables. AND THERE WERE MONKEYS. Like, legit, real-life monkeys in the trees. This is serious.
The best part was that we had to use gloves to break ourselves. In Oklahoma, a spring-loaded stopper thing caught us at the end. In Nicaragua, we were in charge of breaking or running into a tree at the end. To break, you pulled slightly down on the line with your hand. At the end of the line, you had to hold yourself up so a guy could unclip you. Sometimes the cables were hooked to the tree directly, and sometimes we had to walk between the trees on rope ladder bridges.
ROPE LADDER BRIDGES!!!!!
Sorry I keep all-caps shouting, but seriously. You guys. I so wish I had pictures, but since I didn't bring my camera, I'm lucky someone else got one of Super Chica. The rope bridges looked basically like this (thank you, Google):Short story long, we were so glad we didn't go to the market with the other half of our group. Ziplining for the win.
After ziplining, we hit up Narcy's Pollo for some fried chicken. This is about the time when I started to feel sick. You see, something I didn't mention was that everyone (and I do mean everyone) on our team caught what we lovingly referred to as the Nicaragua Bug. It didn't hit us all at once, but eventually it got us all. My turn was Friday afternoon and all day Saturday on the trip home. Jordan got it once we got home on Sunday and actually took off work Monday because he still wasn't feeling well. The symptoms were different for everyone. Luckily for me it just caused chills, headache, and some nausea.
Friday afternoon was spent at a touristy site where BMDMI usually takes groups for free day. It's the site of an old volcano, which exploded back in the day and is now a lake inside a valley. The sun was beating down, and it was really hot, but it was gorgeous and fun! Now excuse me for a photo dump.
It was a little strange after being in the medical clinic all week to spend the day just doing fun stuff. Seeing poverty like that and then paying $23 to go ziplining felt kind of ridiculous, to be honest. I think the point is to keep perspective and always be grateful for what we have and realize that everything is a gift given to us from God.
With that said, I am so, so grateful for the opportunity to go on this missions trip with Jordan. We both feel stronger as a couple and as people for taking the time to serve, and I will continue to pray for the people of Nicaragua. We're already planning on going back next year!
I hope through these posts you feel like you got to share in at least a small part of the experience with us. And if you have the opportunity to go on a trip like this, you should definitely consider it. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it time off work? Yes. Is it really hard? Yes.
But I promise: it is so worth it.