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Nicaragua Day 4





Today was dedicated fun day, so we planned to take the kids to a water park. One problem, no two: No swimsuits. No towels. So a small group of us trekked to find some at the market.
A Nicaraguan market is very similar to many third world markets. Lots of fresh food and grains displayed, and you can find most anything, if you know where to look. Raquel knew where to look. Sort of. Legend has it the U-2 song, 'Streets With No Name' came from Managua. How do you find anything with streets with no names? You simply stop at corners and yell to loiterers. We asked four or five people and narrowed down our search, got out to walk and asked three or four more. This was in a driving rain. They directed us to a store. Locked. Raquel (our tenacious interpreter and local expert) knocked on the door anyway, and finally they let us in their living room. Off to the side, a parlor that is a clothing shop carries boxes of used clothes in no particular order. Imagine the shopkeeper's surprise when we appeared through the downpour and bought sixteen suits. Cha ching!
We couldn't score on towels, so we went to a 'supermarket'. They laid cardboard boxes flat in the entry for the water, and a guy blocked the aisle assembling a crib. Previously we were able to barter on the swimsuits, but the supermarket was less willing to negotiate with rich Americans. Ouch. Should have bought the half-dozen we could have at the parlor. Sixteen towels later we were off.
Back to the orphanage and off to the water park we went, two buses full of anticipation.
The water park is quite different from an American one. First the towers for the slide are quite rusty. Good, I got a tetanus shot before coming here. No lifeguards, so people slid down in five person trains, one behind another, and Keith even passed someone on a turn while descending! No one got hurt. Badly,anyway. No yelling, "Stop running!" either. Sure a few kids crashed to the ground, but hey, they're just being kids, right? There is that pesky life expectancy thing...
Being a goal oriented person, it seems trite to play all day with the kids. Not so. This is probably the high point of their past six months, or perhaps all year. Jesus said, "Whoever in the name of a disciple give to these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward."
They got a whole lot more than a cup. And thankfully, it was rather warm. Speaking of warm, hot water would be nice in the showers, don't you think? Whiny Americans.

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