Thursday, January 29, 2009

Broken down on the road from Managua

So Monday Padre Rodriguez asked Matt to come with him to Managua where he had been called to do a funeral. I was called on to come along as a translator. We took the scenic route to the city, learning about the history of the Sandinistas and taking a look at the lake where weighed down with stones, the body of Augusto Sandino was tossed by his Somozan murderers.

The funeral Mass was simple and Padre's sermon challenging (or at least the translation I whispered in real time in Matt's ear sounded challenging.) My favorite part was when he told a story of a man who past a church every day on the way to work. He would always think, "I should go to church, but not today, I don't have time." When he died, he found himself in the presence of the Lord who said to him, "During your life, I often thought to write you in the Book of Life, but I never had the time." No sentimental fluff from Padre!

After the funeral we went to the Cathedral which was the final Catholic cathedral made in the 20th century. It's architecture is part North African and part indigenous Nicaraguan in inspiration. Padre was ordained there 9 years ago. Because of his connections we were able to get a behind the scenes tour, including going on the roof to see an altar made for Pope John Paul II to hold Mass from, before the builders remembered that he had a bad hip and couldn't walk up stairs...

We then went to the old town square which was mostly destroyed by the '72 earthquake but now has the congress, presidential house, and an old restored church.

Then the fun began.

On the way back I was feeling pretty tired from talking four times more than I normally do. Not only did I have to translate everything I said, but everything Matt and Padre said. (A lot of fun to translate, but brain frying.) Suddenly Padre pulled over and said the battery was dead. After 20 minutes of banging away under the hood we gave up and called Bill to come get us. Luckily I had bought some rum and some coke on the way out for the evening. After mixing a communal drink in Matt's empty Coke bottle we decided to do evening prayer. So with a bottle of rum and coke between my legs, I did my best to lead EP in two languages at the same time.

The next hour saw Matt and I lying in the back of the pickup, sipping our drink, looking at the stars somewhere on the side of the road in Nicaragua and talking vocational discernment. Another two hours, and a 10:30pm stop at McDonald's later, we got back to San Juan de Oriente just after midnight. It was an excellent day.

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