Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nicaragua Sports Ministry - May 16, 2012

Hola Amigos,

Greetings from our next-to-last day in Nicaragua , which still seems a
bit surreal. It´s going fast, but on Nicaraguan time, in which, we´ve
learned from Oscar, *everything* takes place ïn thirty minutes.

After a 6-6 tie in a pickup game last night -- these guys don´t turn
down games -- we went ot bed (but not to sleep) a bit earlier after a
devotional by Shawn.

Bright and too early, we woke up and dined on a more familiar
breakfast than yesterday´s beans, rice, fried cheese and plantations
cooked some way none of us were familiar with.This time, we
appreciated the simplicity of cereal, papaya, melon and bananas before
heading off to our day´s feeding of kids.

Wednesday´s site was at a church whose name translates to ¨Thanks
God,¨and it was its first anniversary. We anticipated a coupl of
hundred people at the celebration, which featured six pinatas among
other destivities.

So there were a plethora of kids as well as adults who took part in
the soccer ¨clinics¨(these turned out to be, I´m told, more of a
´tackle-the-American´ than anything). The girls stayed inside and put
together another round of puppets, which turned out to be a little
more orderly this time. A good number of mothers took part, too, which
was fun for us and them. Nicaragua , like a lot of developing
countries, it seems, doesn´t have a lot of creative outlets to
encourage kids and it was nice to give them a clean slate of something
to do with as they wished. ¨

The food cooked a bit slow at the feeding and we left before delving
out the rice stew, but not before we saw a lot of smiles on the
kids´faces. And again, our dependable Hyundai, even though it bottomed
out and must have left bumper parts based on the horrible scraing
noises we heard, did just fine.

On the bus, Skylar has kept us entertained from time to time with his
video of Bubba, the opera-singing parrot. It´s the funniest thing and
all it takes is a couple of notes and half the bus is howling.

By 1 p.m. or so, we had arrived at the beach: a rare afternoon off and
a lunch in a restaurant right on the Pacific. Most of the guys had
huge hepings of fresh fish or shrimp, then a handful -- Chris, Shawn,
Matt, Stephen and Phil -- headed out to surf as the rest of us just
meanered on the beach, played in the waves and searched for seashells.

Next up, we headed to the town square area, where there´s an outdoor
market for some to pick up souvenirs. Even though we plan another trip
tomorrow morning, it was nice to check out the old cathedral and the
little tourist stalls to shop for yáll back home.

Tonight´s game didn´t have the hoped-for outcome -- we lost, 7-4 --
but the guys did great on the indoor court (it´s really outside but
enclosed in netting). The team they challenged had just won some kind
of international championship against other Central American teams, so
those of us watching felt it was a pretty impressive performance.

As usual, the food´´s been amazing. Tomorrow we´re planning on a
little late of a breakfast, though, and a slow morning. There´s
another trip to the market in store, then we´re planning on taking in
a women´s game before running clinics (for the guys) and bubbles and
balloons (for the girls).