Now where were we….?

When we left this story, Arlene had just had surgery to repair a double fracture/displacement in her right ankle. The goal at the time was to be able to bring her back to the resort to at least enjoy the view for a few days.

I think I left off saying I’d be staying in the hospital room that night to save another 2 hour ride back to the resort.
The room she was in is quite large. She is the only occupant. There is a pull out couch of sorts, that wound up being very comfortable.
But before bedtime, Osman and I attempted to get to the Masaya volcano. It was one of the things on our list. We had been waiting in the room for a chance to speak with the Dr, but Osman said it was getting late if we wanted to get into the Park. So with Arlene’s blessing we took off….
Missed it by that much…the gate to the Park was closed by the time we got through traffic. Osman tried his best, but the gatekeeper wouldn’t relent.

So what to do…well eat of course! Along the way, Osman had pointed out several of his favourite restaurants.
We chose this one:

Of course when we walked it, the owners greeted Osman with great enthusiasm. This guy has friends everywhere. Not hard to understand either, given his gentle nature and willingness to help whatever the situation.
Osman picked some authentic Nica food for us and gave a complete history of the dishes as well. That’s one of the things we love about this guy. He’s a wealth of historical knowledge.
For me it was a plate of corn tortillas, with chicken, beef and pork to fill them. There were a couple of  surprises on there as well. One was deep fried pigs blood sausage. Basically, pigs blood mixed with corn mash, rice, peppers, stuffed into sausage casing and deep fried. Kinda like our farmer sausage but different. I think that one’s an acquired taste 😉 The other was deep fried pig skin. Think thick bacon chips, crispy on one side and soft on the other.
He had a type of thick soup with biscuits. The history there was when the Spaniards landed in central America, they ate all the food. So the Nicas made a type of mixture from whatever they did have, made a thick soup and there you have it. I forget the actual name of it, but it was the same name as one of the elders that had died a few days earlier. So when the Spaniards asked what they were eating….well you know…
The Spaniards left that one alone.
This decorated wreath is part of the La Purisima celebrations happening around Dec 7. The trinkets hanging from the wreath are the items children will get when they go around from house to house singing. It’s a very big deal here in Managua and certain streets are really lit up with huge displays. Osman says it’ll be extremely crowded. Kind of like Christmas and Halloween rolled into one.
Well, by now I was so stuffed I couldn’t see straight so we headed back to the hospital. Unfortunately, with no volcano pictures, but according to my stomach, there was pressure building nonetheless.
Osman dropped me off and went to stay with his family just down the road in Ticuantepe. 
The surgeon did eventually come to see Arlene.
He had done some thinking after Arlene unleashed a flood of tears upon hearing of the 5 day stay. 
He would keep her in that night and the next morning, but because everything was looking good and the resort had a doctor and nurse lined up, we could leave after lunch the next day.
That was a very happy moment for us. I tend to believe that we had a lot of people praying for us and it made the difference. Thanks again for all the prayers, positive vibes or whatever that were sent our way.

The next morning, with a list of instructions, promises and a bag of drugs, our guide, and now close friend, Osman and I loaded Arlene into the back of the Ford Explorer and headed “home”.
No sooner did we come out of the parking lot when we saw an accident. A big bus, hit a smaller bus and then a small truck. All I can say is a.) the way they drive down here I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often and b.) I’m glad it wasn’t us!

I sat in the back of the Explorer to support Arlene’s ankle. It was still in the midst of the holiday weekend and traffic was slow. Plus we had to find 3 Farmacia’s in order to fill all of Arlene’s meds.

Interesting thing we experienced being held up at a construction site in Nica. They don’t line up in single file, they line up two to three abreast (motorbikes fill in the gaps) and when the flag person  says go, it’s a little like a NASCAR or F1 start. We again were amazed at how few accidents we witnessed!

I was hoping we would reach the resort in time to see the sunset and we did! I wheeled Arlene into the pool area just in time to join everyone else as the sun was going down giving off another display of orange/red/yellow against a blue sky and ocean and just enough clouds to make another unique painting.

Everyone was excited to see Arlene and as per usual we gathered around the tables to tell the tale.

Again, we want to thank everyone for all the prayers and positive encouragement or vibes or whatever, that were sent our way during this time. It was truly a special feeling to be able to experience the scenes together rather than alone.

So the holiday shifted a bit for us. The focus was turned to making the best of a nasty curve ball. The room we had faced the ocean so we just made sure things were positioned to take advantage of that. We stuck to getting outside early morning and at sundown in order to keep any swelling down due to the heat of the day.

The next day, we had a knock on the door with an offer to join a group of people going to a Sunday afternoon baseball game. I looked at Arlene and she said GO! People at the resort would check in on her while I was away.

So three cars of people headed off to find the diamond. Which proved to be a bit of an ordeal because no one was quite sure where it was LOL. We did get a nice tour of some sugar cane fields though 😉
Eventually we found the place. It reminded me of the experience of a small town “Sports Day”. All the locals lined up behind the fence of the team they were pulling for. The field was regular size, but not as manicured as you’d see here. The dugouts were more like a mini grandstand housing players and fans. Temps were in the mid 30s. I grabbed my camera and headed off to get on the inside of the fences. If you look confident enough, no one questions you. Plus I kinda tower above anyone there. So here you have a giant white guy with a large camera coming through and a path soon appeared for me. I was met with smiles and a bevy of “Ola’s”. Add to that, they seemed to love the idea of someone taking their pictures. The players were all the local boys who worked in the area. The level of ball was pretty decent as expected in a Central American country. Coolers of beer, little fires built on the ground wherever you felt like preparing food and even a couple of ice cream carts added to the atmosphere. Pictures of the event can be seen by clicking on this link.

There was a little bit of drama as a controversial double play ended a comeback by the orange team. This sparked an outburst by a couple of inebriated fans who entered the playing area to let the ump know exactly what they thought of the call. The tirade included throwing a large bottle of water at the ump. Police, who regularly attend these events, entered the melee and escorted the hangover in the making, fans off the field.

Side note, one of these same fans kept approaching a guy from our group trying to purchase “time” with his wife. Quite amusing. Her husband is a bass player in a band back in Edmonton. She quipped, “No matter where I go, I attract the drunkest guy in the room…”

There was a second game but we all felt we’d had enough excitement for the day and it’s time to get back to the resort. On the way back we stopped at a little restaurant operated by a guy from Georgia. Cool little place serving Mexican and American fare. They even deliver, which is really funny because due to the roads it would take forever to arrive.

The evening was another night of meeting everyone poolside and sharing stories of the day. I know I’ve said it before, but we just couldn’t get over how this place dragged us out of our comfort zone. We tend to stick to ourselves. Patrick does such a great job of introducing you to people and the benefit is we met some wonderful people that became good friends.

This takes us to the end of Sunday. Once I remember what happened Monday/Tuesday I’ll get that one up.

Again, if you would like to see all the pics posted so far, you can go here.

Please take a moment to check out Help Them Help Themselves.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share.

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