Monday, Matagalpa. We had a pleasant enough bus ride; It is peak coffee season, and the roads up to town were lined with drying coffee beans. As a bonus, the road to Matagalpa is now paved. Matagalpa itself is a cute little mountain town of about half a million. Very hilly, inter-connected by roads and steps, and very densely populated and colorful. Third World but not full of little children trying to sell you Chiclets, and not very many North Americans, either. It was a beautiful sunny day, probably about 90° when we arrived.
As we turned off the exit into town, we all noticed a celebration, una fiesta grande. At first it seemed that the crowd was just in the main square, but as our bus shuttled around in a series of detours, it became apparent that the whole town was celebrating. (It turned out to be the 153rd anniversary of the date Matagalpa graduated from town-hood to city-hood). Finally, after some confusion, the bus dumped us out a few blocks away from the place our hotel might be. We trudged up the hills and through the parade route and then, as happens on these trips, adversity turned to joy. We found our hotel! Cielo del mana (Mana from Heaven) A beautiful place,with balconies and single rooms to ourselves! And warmish running water!
And the parade was a beauty to behold. Great and beautiful horses, and two floats that needed to be seen to be believed.
Then, to top things off, an excellent meal, a great prayer circle, and a wonderful night’s sleep.
To end this post, I have been requested the number of times to make sure and give a shout out to our Kansas City peeps who made all this possible. So thanks everyone for your support and love. In particular, thanks to Cindy and Sandy and Steph and the Sewing Ladies. All of you are in our minds and in our hearts. You have made this trip possible.