Time is kind of funny, I think. We as humans (a.k.a. wannabe control freaks of a universe beyond our understanding and control) like to pretend that time is linear. You know, like past, present, future. Yesterday, today, tomorrow. Before, now, later. We break down our linear friend into simple pieces that can be controlled and manipulated to our liking: years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds. And this is a great comfort to us because this way time makes sense.
But what about those times where time doesn’t follow our rules?
Like when the minutes seem to drag on, as if its feet are trapped in sticky molasses preventing it from moving forward? You know, like when you’re in math class and you’re waiting for the bell to ring, or when you’re waiting for a bus and you keep checking your watch every three seconds in exasperated “patience”. The seconds seem to tick by ever so slowly, laughing at your impatience. Or, what about those times where our lives flash before our very eyes and we seemingly jump from one moment to another? Like when we’re driving long distances on familiar roads or when we swear we’ve only fallen asleep for “three seconds” on the couch in a quick cat-nap. In those moments we begin to think that time travel is indeed possible. Or what about those moments where time seems to be moving fast and slow at the same time? Like when you’re in an accident or when you’re getting married or when you are giving a speech in front of an audience. Every detail becomes so clear and unclear when times flies by slowly like that.[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]
Seriously, time doesn’t seem very linear or controllable in those moments.
One of the peaks at Volcan MasayaWell, this past week has been a great lesson in how weird time can be. The week literally flew by, with activity after activity after activity. Wednesday evening the SPIN students (from Dordt and Geneva) flew in to Managua, where we were there to greet them. However, our plans were thrown into flux as the Nehemiah Center experienced some serious flooding from storms the night before. Some of our resources were muddied and ruined by the flooding, but thankfully not all of them. We also needed to move the students and the days of orientation to a different guest house in Managua—talk about last minute planning! But everything went well despite the many challenges we faced. We spent several hours orienting the students to their new lives here in Nicaragua, everything from schedules to culture shock to living with host families. We tried to break up the monotony with fun ice-breakers and games, like a relay race doing some very typical Nicaraguan activities like drinking pop out of a bag and making tortillas by hand. I would say the highlight of our orientation time in Managua was the small tour we had of the capital city: we saw the Masaya volcano, Somoza’s ruined mansion and the Sandino statue placed atop it, the lake front and boardwalk at Puerto Salvador Allende, and the old Cathedral and plaza.
On Sunday after church we traveled to León and introduced the students to their host families with a great welcoming party, a fun time for the families to come together and welcome their new son or daughter to their homes. Yesterday, the students were divided into exploration teams and spent the day in a Scavenger Hunt of León, racing the other teams to find key landmarks and information. It was a fun (and hot) way of quickly getting to know the city they’ll be spending the next 3 months in. By the end of the week, we were all exhilarated by the new sites, people and information but also exhausted by it. I feel like I’ve lived an entire month in just one week!
In fact, I might just go take a siesta.