I made another journey to Nicaragua this week, visiting many of the people and sites with whom we have partnered of late. The irony of these trips is that they are so exhausting and energizing at the same time time: the people bring me up to a level of energy that is nearly addictive, and the stimulation of it all saps every ounce from me.
This time, prior to Nicaragua I flew into San Pedro Sula for a visit to a very ESOP-like cooperative there, and then drove to Tegucigalpa for another meeting before heading down to Nicaragua. But the small hotel in which I stayed in Tegucigalpa offered this bit of warmth to the travels. It was on a laminated card on the bedside table of my room and I thought it was unique and touching enough to share:
TO OUR GUEST
Since this hotel is an institution
To serve people,
We hope that God will grant you peace and rest
While you are under our roof.
May this suite and hotel be your “second home.”
May those you love be near you
In your thoughts and dreams.
Even though we may not get to know you,
We hope that you will be comfortable and happy
As if you were in your own house.
May the business that brought you our way prosper.
May every call you make
And every message you receive add to your joy.
When you leave, may your journey be safe
And the Lord take care of your arrival and departure.
May these days be pleasant for you,
Profitable for society,
Helpful to those you meet,
And a joy to those who know and love you best
With special affect,
Such is the sentiment and the hospitality of these Central American people whom I get to visit with regularity. It is a totally different world, as many have observed to me. And in some respects, different in very positive, tangible ways. It would be good, in fact, if each of us could go, even if only one time.
So, another visit to Nicaragua is complete in the blink of an eye. Although I have never felt out of place in Nicaragua , I am becoming more comfortable here all the time. (Except for my doggone lack of language!) Likely it is due to the tremendous tutelage of Field Director Mark Lester and his many contacts and friends with whom I have been privileged to meet. Likely it is due to the growing sense of familiarity which all human creatures crave in their desire for “security.” Likely it is due to a clearer recognition of the discomfort that I experience about myself, my fellow citizens and my government in relation to this place. Likely it is due to a growing sense of understanding of the purpose for WPF and my role in effecting that. But most likely it is the blossomed awareness of both the beauty and the plight of the people here and the opportunity that we have to make even a small difference in their lives and legacies. I close with a quote from the poem, “Isle
“I leave having learned who it is that I am,
And richer for that, I’ll return when I can.”
I’m already ready for the next time….