Nicaragua Diary, Day 7
I like walking in the rain here. It rains hard. I’ve walked in everything from the lightest mist to a lean-in-at-45-degrees-to-keep-from-getting-blown-over gale.
Getting caught in the rain used to carry a negative connotation in my mind. I’ve lived places where sleet and freezing rain can kill you. But in the first months we were here, our friend Samuel made an acute observation: walking in the rain is exactly like walking not in the rain, but cooler. Either way, you quickly become soaking wet. But when the rain soaks you, it feels nicer and smells better. Granted, your shoes might sploosh and squish more. There’s a bit more likelihood of rubbing a blister if you’re walking a longer distance, but other than that, plus the looks you get from Nicaraguans and gringos thinking you’re crazy, walking in the rain beats walking in the sun and heat.
I’ve never seen a game of ultimate cancelled here, nor failed for lack of participation, due to rain. Let me say that again: in the six-plus years we’ve lived in Managua, where it rains six months a year and forty-five inches in those six months, not once have we called off a game. Ultimate is highly impacted by rain, considering we play with a light, aerodynamic piece of plastic, and running up and down a field also changes quite a bit when the field is mush.* But I’ve seen twenty people sitting under cover, watching the downpour, all look at one another and then stroll out into it for a game. That may prove nothing other than that I’m far from alone in my insanity, but I found it encouraging.
Today I was walking home after an appointment, a fair distance. When I started I could barely detect the rain. But it slowly increased, whether because I was walking into the storm or because it started coming down harder. In the last two kilometers, it seemed to get stronger with every step. By the time I reached the last, steep uphill before our street, I could barely see and had to keep wiping water from my eyes.
But I was happy. I’d had a really encouraging time with someone I mentor who is growing and making great life choices. That gets me high like nothing else. Transformation is my drug of choice. I was praying and using my hands as windshield wipers and, by the time I got to our front step, I was actually–wait for it–chilly. A little bit. Our son saw me and, while I unlaced my sopping shoes, ran and got me a towel because I needed to warm up.
That’s a treat here. Something worth writing home about. Kim made soup tonight and it was perfect.
Tonight it is seventy-seven degrees and though it’s eighty-nine percent humidity, the heat index feels like…seventy-seven degrees. The late afternoon rain did its job.
I hope I get caught in the rain tomorrow.
Post-Script: No, I don’t carry an umbrella, unless I’m protecting my dress clothes. Yes, flooding is a different story. This is just rain.
*Personally, I far prefer playing on the soft, squooshy, even standing-water field over the baked-like-concrete field we get in the dry season. My well-traveled legs vastly prefer the wet field.