Yesterday was an adventure. Due to my limited Spanish abilities, I only knew that we were going to the beach, but before we could play, there would be a religious ceremony of some kind.
We woke up at 6:00am and 13 of us piled into a van around 7. It was the familia y yo–the usual suspects plus some new ones that met yesterday. About 10 minutes into the drive, we pulled off the main road onto a dirt road, which we took for abour 2 hours all the way to the beach. I really don’t know how to describe this road. Rochelle and Cathy at ASIRT would have cringed. There were rocks and potholes and trenches and sometimes our van would tilt so far to one side I had to hold on to my open window so I wouldn’t slip towards the person next to me. The terrain on either side of the road was rugged as well. They should have thrown the Survivor: Nicaragua contestants into this area rather than on a beautiful beach. There were also a ton of make-shift shacks on the side of the road–people are really poor in this area.
The rest of La Paz took an old US school bus down this road. I have no idea how they did it, but eventually, we all made it to the beach safely.
Of course, the only building at this remote beach is a church, which is where the ceremony took place. To my surprise, my brother Walter participated in it–it was his baptism. Ohhhhhh. Once he got up on stage I realized that Dona Petrona had told me all of this the day before, but I thought she said that he got baptised when he was little. Language is hard. The ceremony included many songs and each person getting Baptized stood up in front of everyone and said the reasons why they are thankful for God. Some people got pretty emotional about it. After, the group waded into Lake Nicaragua (the biggest lake in Central America) to complete the Baptism. I watched this part from the beach because I was still wearing my skirt, but everyone that waded in was fully clothed.
After the ceremony, I proceded to give my entire family a swimming lesson in the lake, because none of them had ever learned how to swim.
This is the same volcano I can see from my porch, but I took this one from the road:
I tried to draw the baptism because I didn’t take a picture. Use your imagination: