Sunday, August 12, 2007

Leaving the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes

On Friday morning, Rob and I left Mérida—our home for the past year. Leda, Dina, Reyna, and Joel insisted on carrying our bags for us, and they stayed with us as we stood by the tienda waiting for the bus to Moyogalpa.

I’d just about given up hope that Eduardo was going to show up before we left, but then at 8:15 he came tearing down the road shouting, “Meli! Roberto!” It was like one of those scenes in the movies when two people are running towards each other with arms open wide; I caught him in a big hug. Eduardo joined the small party of people waiting with us, although it was pretty hard for him to keep sitting still (Eduardo is in perpetual motion). At one point he disappeared into the tienda and then came running back to me, instructing me to close my eyes and hold out my hands. Into my hand he placed a small container—of what I did not know—and he said it was a gift for me. That this child had wanted to spend his precious córdovas on something for me… it made my feebly mumbled thank you’s seem so pale in comparison. He explained that this item he had selected for me was ‘hair cream.” It smelled really nice and seemed to be across between gel and mousse. Bless his little heart. He promised me that he would write me an email (he now has an email address) so that it would be waiting for me when I got home. I told him to stay good, and he nodded. Grinning from ear to ear, he waved and said “Bye-bye,” then ran back down the road.

Then the bus came and we got all our stuff loaded; it was time to hug Joel and the girls one more time. We were all crying… well, all of us except for maybe Joel and Rob. With just one last tear-blurred look around the place, I got on the bus and waved out the window at Reyna, Leda, Dina and Joel until I couldn’t see them anymore.

I felt like I was in a daze for the whole 2-1/2 hour bus ride, and before I knew it we were on the ferry, watching Ometepe fade away into the distance. I knew Rob was much more ready to leave this place than I was. I just kept thinking about how Reyna’s voice sounded when she crying as she said good-bye and how Eduardo was… well… Eduardo, and how it made me immeasurably sad to even think about going one day without seeing him, let alone the possibility that it may end up being a lifetime.
In this haze, we somehow got ourselves and our luggage to Granada, and after checking into a hospedaje, we walked down to the dock to take our last look out at Lake Nicaragua. I was able to check my email from the hotel later in the afternoon, and I found that I did indeed have a message from Eduardo. In his little words, he asked me to not forget about him and wondered if maybe I could come and visit for his birthday next year (June 8th).
On Saturday afternoon we made our way to Managua, and then this morning—Sunday—we got up at 4am to catch our flight back home. It was about the smoothest trip I’ve ever had in the air. Before I knew it, we had left the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes and were back in the Chicago airport, eating Cinna-bon and hugging Rob’s parents.

It still hasn’t all sunk in yet. There is so much more to say, but I’m running on very little sleep and need to sign off for the moment. Thanks for reading.


At 8:20 AM, August 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WELCOME HOME!!!!!!!!!!!! The Orchard House is waiting for you to begin another adventure -- how great is it to get a new house for your birthday!!!!!!! Thanks again for all the wonderful writings you've sent ... you and Rob have left a huge mark on the island community ... the people in Merida will always hold the precious memories of your stay in their hearts. See you soon. Hugs, Auntie

At 11:36 AM, August 13, 2007, Blogger foxymomma said...

WELCOME HOME, RAGFIELDS< WELCOME HOME!!!!!!!!!!!! CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU BOTH!!!!!!!! Let the next adventure begin!!!!!!! Til we see you, luv and hugs,

At 6:26 AM, August 14, 2007, Blogger amypfan said...

Welcome home! Hope Iris is treating you well and that the moving goes smoothly. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

At 10:50 AM, August 14, 2007, Blogger Logan's Mama said...

Hola, happy birthday, and welcome home! For some reason, I haven't been able to get through to post for awhile. No wonder you were crying during your goodbyes, I was crying just reading about them. The past year has been much more than just data-gathering for you, it has been life-changing and it make take awhile to process before you can appreciate just how much. Maybe you can do periodic follow-up data collections to keep your connections with Nicaragua and those dear to your heart. However, maybe just a few weeks during the dry season would be enough!! :-)
See you soon!

At 8:13 AM, August 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Y E A H !

- W E L C O M E -
- - H O M E - -



At 5:35 AM, August 17, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WELCOME HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope you are getting settled in your new home by now. I am assuming that foxy Momma is there helping you???? I have been gone for a week, so don't know for sure? Just want to say, one more time, what an adventure you have taken us all on. Thanks again.


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