El Coco

The attainment of an aux-cord that plays music from our iPods in the truck has dramatically increased bouts of laughter and spontaneous car dances on long adventures down bumpy roads and river beds through Nicaragua’s rural campos.

On Thursday we had a day off while waiting for wood so we arranged a soccer game with the kids of El Coco- a tiny (and very poor) neighbourhood about 45 minutes from San Juan Del Sur. Upon making arrangements, our friend Marvin (about 10 years old) said in a stern but excited voice “Alright. I’ve got school until 12. Show up at 1 and we’ll play on the beach. I’ve got four friends up the road and the little girls can’t play with us.” We haggled a compromise to let the ninas play too and promised we wouldn’t be late for the game.

A few highlights from the lively afternoon:

Jenn and I announce after the game that we are going for a swim. The kids appear to be satisfied waiting on the sand so we hurry toward the water for a quick dip. Two minutes later we glance back at the kids to see a pack of ½ naked 2-9 year olds racing full speed toward the water with reckless abandon. I’m no lifeguard but this situation terrified me! Flailing into the crashing waves, we quickly devised a game that required everyone to hold hands so Jenn and I could rest easy that no little ones got away. I’m not kidding here- just picture 15 small children running at the water full speed with articles of clothing strewn in every direction by the wind. Hilarious.

The beach wasn’t far but the kids wanted to drive so we ended up with 10 kids squished into the cab of the truck and as many would fit into the bed. The music was blasting (thanks to the aux-cord!), wind in our hair, and the kids howling with laughter.

Sitting around the table with the parents who were surprised and contented that we’d made the excursion to fulfill our promise to come back with a soccer ball. As if we would have missed it for the world.

And there was no better way to spend a day off. Driving back, we were exhausted and excited about conversations with new friends, laughter with the children and the pursuit of play. Once again reminded that what we are doing is not “charity work” but a lifestyle choice.

Sunday afternoon at 2, Marvin said with a smile. No mas, no menos. (Don’t be late.)


paz y un abrazo,