Friday, July 15, 2011

Halfway Through

Biking in Granada

Chicken bus
The Savage Expedition of Unknown Length is now “of Known Length.” We’ll be heading back to the States once the school year is over here in early December. The plan at this point is for Jenn to begin looking for teaching jobs and for me to begin work on my Master’s degree at OSU in Science Education (I can’t believe I’m going to be a beaver…). So, we’re now beyond the halfway mark of our trip. Wow. It feels like this time is going so quickly. I know that many people will be very happy to have us back home knowing that we’re “safe” again (special shout out to our grandparents), but will we have been here long enough to affect change? Sigh. That is always a hard question. Please be praying for us that people that we interact with see Christ in us and through the work that we do.

Since our last blog it has been a bit tumultuous. My beloved Papa, Dave Iman, died of a heart attack. When Jenn and I heard the news we quickly made the decision for me to fly back to Oregon to be with my Grammy and family. Time stood still while the family was together, and it has been hard for our family. His celebration of life service will be held on July 30th; at the same time in which Jenn and I were already planning on being in the States. So, time quickly marches on to when we will be leaving once more. Jenn spent that time with the Baits in Costa Rica wishing for me to be back in her arms.

Laguna de Apoyo
600 feet deep!
Cacao's like chocolate milk.
After I returned from the States we had a short few days before Jenn’s tourist visa would expire. This time, we had planned a trip to Nicaragua. So, we embarked on an adventure which coincided with our school’s three week vacation time; a perfect time for some exploring. It took about 11 hours on a couple of buses to get from our home to Granada, Nicaragua, a small colonial town on the edge of the great Lake Nicaragua. We had as long or as short as we wanted for this trip, but once we saw this little city we decided to stay for some time. We loved the cheap street foods ($1.80-2.50 for most meals) and the beautiful architecture around the town. Our adventures there included zip-lining, drinking beverages out of bags, kayaking in a beautiful crater lake, touring the colonial churches, biking around the city, and visiting the nearby city of Masaya (very much less developed than in Costa Rica which we‘re used to). We then took a ferry to Ometepe, an island in Lake Nicaragua made of two huge volcanoes. The buses around the island are known as Chicken Buses. Why are they called that you may wonder? No other reason except that there are frequently people on them that are traveling with chickens. We made our way to a small hostel on a farm in the hills and left from there on a trek up Volcan Maderas. We hiked a very rough, tough four thousand feet up, then down into the crater for a quick dip in the lagoon and then returned slipping down the mountain in a total of 6.5 hours. At some point I received bites on my ankle from some poisonous insect and spent the next couple days walking with careful step. We also made our way to San Juan del Sur, a small beach town on the Pacific side. It was beautiful, but very California beach-esk so we left there the next day and spent some time with our wonderful friends the Baits at their home in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Main cathedral

I’m making progress with my Spanish speaking, but while we were on Ometepe, I meant to tell a lady that I had already paid and instead told her that I had already hit her coworker. “Oh, don’t worry, I already punched her!!” I didn’t realize what I’d said until Jenn bust up laughing once we were out of earshot.

Jenn had a number of firsts;:first time ever jumping off a rope swing, first time zip-lining, and her first time sleeping under a mosquito net!

Zip lining at Volcan Mombacho

Arriving back at our home in Cahuita after almost two weeks was interesting. An uninhabited house in the Jungle doesn’t stay uninhabited. We were welcomed home by tons of resident spiders, frogs, and a HUGE grasshopper! Jenn was less than thrilled and many a loud scream could have been heard had anyone been around. So, I engaged in creature battles for a decent while. But, we are now back and roasting at our home in Cahuita recovering from some sour stomachs (we paid the price for the excellent street food) and finding plenty of ways to stay busy around here until school starts back up.

Thank you for checking up on what we’ve been up to.

Volcan Concepcion on Isla Ometepe
Chris and Jenn Savage
Thankfully this was outside NOT inside our house.