Friday, September 18, 2009


This morning, Lee, Susan, and I walked down to the shore to watch the sunrise. There were a fair number of fishermen on the beach, pulling in their nets. I didn't see anything in the nets, but one young boy walked away with an impressively sized crab.

For a long time, I was running on the reassurance that I was journeying towards a home at which I had not yet arrived. Any sadness or discomfort I had came with the knowledge that this, too, shall pass. Now that my movement across countries has come grinding to a halt, all of my displacement and longing has drawn into a stagnant pool around me. Tellingly, these feelings are most overwhelming when my body is still. Literal movement has been the best way to dispel lingering feelings of loneliness. It's also a fine way to overheat at mid-day.

As my Milwaukee pastor (also Joyce Rupp) remind me, my home is not in this world; we are always moving onward, whether we have a fixed geographic location or not. I seek to recover my sense of journey, even as I reach out to put roots in the community here in Puerto Cabezas. The latter endeavor remains the more daunting of the two, because I have no idea how one goes about making friends and cementing relationships here.

Despite cycling feelings of displacement and loneliness, I do feel like I'm slowly starting to develop a sense of place. I love walking through the market buying groceries. I'm grateful for the company of Eric and Miguel, our Latin American housemates, who share their music and offer guidance. The power went out last night, and I went out to look at the stars without my shoes because I couldn't find them in the dark. Miguel came out with a flashlight and said, "You have to wear shoes!" He illuminated a spider that was sitting near where I had been. "See that spider. It's poisonous. That's why you wear chinelas (flip flops)."

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