Archive for November 2012

Happenings as of late

November 16, 2012

We haven’t updated the blog for a while with pictures of ourselves, so here you go!

We continue to meet with a group of Anabaptist youth that we planned the youth convention with. We are studying the book, The Naked Anabaptist and after each chapter we do an “action” to symbolize an Anabaptist conviction. For this chapter we chose to do a potluck meal followed by footwashing.

As you can see, the footwashing service was not so “solemn” 🙂

We had fun running a 5k to raise money for breast cancer research. It was a night run and we ran with some fellow MCCers!

Cassie, Kevin, Marisa, Adam, and David

We slipped away for a weekend in Granada where we enjoyed relaxing by a beautiful pool!

We had our church youth group gathering at our house. About 30 adults and 10 kids came!

Part of the group on our front patio

Fun games! (we broke one of the chairs we rented)

Dishing up the food. There was a huge box full of tajadas (fried plantain chips)!

Enjoying our tajadas con queso

We also celebrated an early Thanksgiving with our MCC Nicaragua team. We are so blessed to be surrounded by a great community of fellow service workers!

Adam’s contribution this year – spicy green beans. They were quite the hit!

The delicious spread!

Dinner was followed by a turkey piñata! In Nicaragua you have to “bailar the piñata” which means you have to dance before they let you take a whack at it. This might be why we look weird in these pictures:)

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What would my life be like if I were (part 3)…

November 8, 2012

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…A City Bus Driver

I would start my days at 4:30am*

I would drive from one end of the city to another, round trip taking roughly 2 ½ hours*

I would do this round trip 5 or 6 times in one day*

I would obviously have the right of way in all situations – Look at my bus, it’s huge!

I would put my hand out of the window to alert drivers behind me that I want to merge into their lane

I would collect 2 cĂłrdobas and 50 cents from each passenger as they come on the bus

I would sort the coins using one of various methods: little wooden boxes, super strong magnets attached to the dash, etc.

I would encourage the passengers to move to the back. (Even when the bus is packed and there are people hanging out of the doors – there’s always room in the back!)

If people aren’t moving back on their own, I would hit the brakes a couple of times suddenly and all the passengers move (fall) to the back.

Sometimes I would start racing with other buses that run either the same or very similar routes as me.

I would get 100 cordobas or $4.16 as a stipend for lunch, but I don’t get a lunch break*

At the end of a 10-12 hour workday, I would take home 300 cordobas or about $12.50 *
*information from a taxi driver who used to drive an urban bus

The Facts:

There are 34 urban bus routes in Managua

The bus routes are not planned out very well. This article states that 22 different routes pass through the “Gancho camino” area of the Mercado Oriental – the biggest market in Central America. Talk about traffic congestion! Also, there are no buses that connect Plaza Inter and Metrocentro – two important malls/meeting places.

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The current government brought in new buses as part of their re-election campaign in 2011.

Many of the old Blue Bird school buses have been transformed into “pelon” bald buses that go into poor neighborhoods, pick up children and drive them to the government amusement park where admission is free.

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The government can also decide to use the city buses whenever they want. They will hire buses to go out into the departments and bring in supporters for political rallies often leaving Managua at a standstill.

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See my previous thoughts on riding buses in Managua here.