Monday, May 12, 2008



My mind is a dance of English and Spanish, the English leading while the Spanish moves swiftly to come to the forefront. My family and I are sitting near the doorway, listening to the firecrackers and distant thunder. It appears there is a parallel between the natural and our creations. Finally, it is time. Prayers echo out of the speaker on top of a slow moving car, the nearby church attendees all holding candles and singing praise. It is the procession of Santisimo, the celebration of the host and the miracle of the Spirit’s indwelling. We weave our way around other faithful and begin walking in step with the nuns. I can’t quite catch all the words, but I recognize Jesus’ instructed prayer and I feel at peace, knowing that my faith translates across language. As we round the blocks and past the church, it begins to rain. Just slightly. By the time we find ourselves back home, the rain begins to pour. And as I laid underneath the heady mosquito net listening to the pounding on the tin roof, I find strange identification with the procession we just had and the soaking rain above my head. While my townspeople were celebrating the miracle of the Spirit’s indwelling in one part of their faith, I felt like my Father was infusing me with His Spirit once more, baptizing me and reminding me that He goes with me. And that was enough to set me at peace and draw me into restful sleep.


I awoke this morning to the clattering palomitas on my roof and the rising heat wafting into my upstairs window. Climbing out of bed, I realized I have a ton of laundry. Now, there are no washing machines or press the button type chores. Everything is dependent on your own muscles, your own creative devices. As I drank cafĂ© y picos with my Nica mama, I asked her if she could show me how to wash my clothes. She smiled widely and took me to the backyard. In 30 seconds, she had my skirt tumbling across the cement ridges with a teal soap brick in her hand. Watching her, I thought, this will be no problem. I can handle this. And then it was my turn. I don’t know how anyone could feel uneducated doing laundry, but I certainly did. My hands awkward and timid, water and clothing spreading across the countertops, with a certain humility and appreciation swelling in my chest. It took me a good 3 minutes to wash my first t-shirt. But Dona proved so patient and kind, she allowed me to continue washing and did not insist on standing over me or doing it for me.

With my clothes dripping in a colorful array across our cement backyard, I smiled and thought to myself, si se puedo. I can do this. I might falter and slip and make huge errors, but there is something within me that is adapt to growing in these kinds of unfamiliar places. I began to think of the day when laundry washing and making gallo pinto will be second nature. And the fact that this is my path gives me great hope for the coming two years.

PS: I even ironed all of it tonight. How bout that?!?


This is something offered to me multiple times a day – the invitation to sit. I’ve only been here two days, but already I can tell there is so much more to sitting than sitting. It is not just the action of placing your sweating self into the proffered rocking chair or plastic silla. It encompasses being a part of the community around you. People are coming and “sitting” all day. I know that right now my experience is only two things: invitation to sit and rest or sit and participate, but I am excited to perfect the art of sitting with people. It was something I had begun to explore back home, particularly with my pals Sara and Lauren, but here, this is what you do. There is not much else, especially on the weekends [and DEFINITELY during a transportation strike], and there are at least 3 hours of the day that demand you to sit – to do anything else results in major fatigue and buckets of sweat. My American self is rather worn out by all the sitting and missing chunks of language, but my global soul is excited to learn this ancient art of loving people by just being with them. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

Mosquito bites: 5
Sunburn: 0
Crying fests: 2 little bits
Massive Bugs: 0

I can handle these counts…let’s keep hoping they stay this good.

(buenas tardes to everyone...i have an internet cafe in my town, so these will be coming once a week or so. much love!)


R.W. Shipshape said...

I wish I were with you.

Interesting concept: The idea of relaxation wearing you out. I think any sort of transition, even one toward relaxion, can be exhausting. Here's a toast to transitioning into less doing and more sitting (clink, clink).

karlie nicole mann. said...

oh sarah. my heart is leaping for you. i already sense you have (some) comfort there). i am so so so excited for you, and i'm glad you have a spanish mom, what love!

praying for you.

Sara said...

Know that I will await each and every update with anticipation...yayyyy for Internet!
We are all thinking of you constantly (especially this girl).
SO impressed you tackled that laundry! Look at you go!
Long-distance-cross-cultural hug! :)
-Your B-F-F

Han said...

Oh my darling, I almost felt like I was right there with you. I will pray the counts stay good and you learn quickly. (I can relate with the large bugs... some of them I really never thought existed until I saw them...)

luke said...

sarah, you're amazing. those counts look pretty good. and i'm so glad you are knowing the spirit with you. peace my sister.