Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Traveling through Nica and discovering a few things . . .

Looking over these photos, I believe you’ll quickly spot a difference between what I saw in Nicaragua and what we see here.  You might notice a slight contrast in rules and regulations!

I spent a good portion of my time in Nicaragua traveling in the back of a truck.  It was awesome!

I SAW things.  I HEARD things.  I SENSED things that I would have missed in the cab with the windows rolled up tight, the air conditioning blowing and cool tunes playing.  My time with Together Works Nicaragua was a special one, and I’m thankful that was lucky enough to ‘get in the back’ of the truck so often.

The first day or so of the trip, I was baffled by the lack of restraints and laws and safety regulations.  I couldn’t believe it when I saw an entire family happily riding along on the highway atop a small motorcycle.  I was stunned when I saw a bus with folks filling it past comfortable.  I was astonished to see men and women and children hanging off of vehicles in the oddest places, in the most precarious spots.  I could not make sense of it at all.

The longer I spent in that different world, the more okay I got with it all.  I arrived at a different place; I saw the behaviors with a new eye.  (Let me add here that I am not suggesting that we lose our safety laws and throw caution to the wind.  Stay with me, though.  I’m looking at what we might learn from folks who live in a different way.)

I saw people getting around the way they could, taking care of business in the way that worked for the moment.  I think that’s my point . . . I was witnessing people living in the moment.  They weren’t fearing the what ifs or voicing the it can’t be dones.  They were blooming where they were planted and covering territory in the way that proved available.  And sometimes, they were enjoying being close to each other or feeling the cool wind blow.

I don’t contend that the folks in Nicaragua are without transportation woes.  Many roads are often impassable.  Public transport is hit or miss.  People can’t always get where they need to go.  There are problems.  It doesn’t always work.

I will have to admit, though, that it might not be all bad.   They are living in the here and now and smiling a whole lot!

A sweet toddler would relish sliding in between Mama and Daddy on the motorcycle to go see Grandma.

Hanging off of the back of a delivery truck, watching the world through a nice wind, would make a boring job a little more tolerable.

                                Traveling everywhere with your best friend would be nice.

I found the whole scene refreshing.  I know that accidents must happen.  I didn’t see any while I was there, but I’m not completely out of touch with reality.  I’m only suggesting that there was a lot to learn from my friends there.  I won’t forget riding along  in the back of the Toyota truck.  I would have missed so much if I hadn’t been in that spot.  I’m thankful for so much I learned there; and witnessing the way my new friends live in the moment, was among their finest gifts.

We’ve come a long way.  We’ve figured out a lot.  We have fine automobiles that will get us where we want to go and keep us in perfect comfort as we travel; but we miss some things.

I’m hoping I’ll be able to hold on to what I felt in the back of the truck.  I pray I can remember that progress isn’t always a gift and remind myself to open the windows and feel what’s going on outside of my comfy car.  I loved seeing the sights, hearing the sounds, talking to folks along the way and being in the moment.

At present, I’m working to figure out ways for my kids to experience what I did.  I don’t want any horrible accidents, but I sure wish they could feel what I felt.

As a matter of fact, I wish we all could, from time to time.

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