We are in the midst of rainy season which means that it rains everyday. Most of the time, it pours for anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour. Yesterday afternoon, it rained for a few hours! There was just so much rain! The rain brings cooler weather, although increased humidity, and new life. Things are turning green and little plants are pushing their way up towards the sky.
Rain nourishes, purifies, and cleanses. It gives life, heals, and soothes.
As I sit here reflecting on the rain, I find many parallels between its characteristics and where I find myself currently - admist a process of healing and cleansing and soaking in life-giving words and experiences. Grieving is an unique process that everyone experiences in her own way. I have been very blessed to be surrounded by the love and support of my community here and friends and family, as well. Some days are still hard and I find myself missing Gram a lot. Other days I am so busy that I don´t take time to reflect on how I´m feeling. On the whole, journaling and reading have helped me quite a bit.
I am feeling more at ease speaking Spanish at the same time recognizing I have so much to learn! I have had some good conversations with coworkers and students and I feel more and more connected to my school. While it continues to be a process of learning and growing, I am more comfortable in my surroundings and with the people around me who make me smile and laugh.
Rain can also be gloomy and overwhelming, especially thunderstorms here. When the thunder cracks, it sounds like a tree just split right outside my window and the lightning illuminates the whole room. The ground reaches a point where it cannot soak in any more water and turns the streets into rivers. Walking to the bus in the rain becomes an adventure, trying to avoid puddles and taking cautious steps so as to not slide in the mud.
Lately, I have been overwhelmed by hearing stories of suffering or challenges from coworkers, family members, and other volunteers. The other day, I was at a coworkers house talking to her and her husband about the financial struggles our school is facing. Her husband turned to me and asked if it was difficult to listen to these disheartening possibilities of people losing jobs or families not being able to pay for their children’s tuition. I honestly replied that I do want to hear about these realities because I don’t want to be oblivious to what the people around me are experiencing, but it is also really hard to hear these things. I wonder what my role is here, especially when I feel so helpless when confronted with stories of lack of resources or physical illness. At the very least, my eyes continue to be opened and my perspectives are broadened. There are definitely times when I feel like the moisture rich earth that just can’t take in anymore. I am so blessed in so many ways and I know that I am here to share those blessings and myself, with humility, sincerity, and honesty. Each day I am able to spend in Nicaragua is an opportunity to learn and grow and accompany. So, while at times I feel overwhelmed by all the suffering and challenges, I am grateful for this time to go deeper and attempt to understand the reality of life here for many Nicaraguans.
I just got back from a trip out to the campo (rural area) where I was able to get to know, laugh, and play with a wonderful family. There are 16 people in this family!! They are filled with such admirable strength, determination, and happiness and I certainly learned a lesson or two about hardwork, generosity, and hospitality. We had lots of fun playing many games, going for walk, wading in the river by their house, and just spending time together in the kitchen. The campo is such a beautiful and peaceful place, especially this time of year since everything is green. Although it was a pretty short trip, it was worth the long bus rides to get away from the busyness and noises of the city. I am quickly approaching the end of this week and a half of vacation from work and I think I will be ready to get back into the swing of things, well maybe not the waking up early part!
I think I might just go take a nap and fall asleep listening to the afternoon rain on the tin roof...