Once upon a time, in a land south of United States lived 2 beautiful, single women, who were just settling into life living together: one spoke fluent Spanish - the other was just learning! It so happened on this certain day, these young women needed to travel to a little town 15 minutes away (driving distance that is). However in this certain day, one woman would need to use a bike and the other woman would need to ride a horse; because the other bike had been stolen.
Such was the situation one Tuesday as Virginia and I prepared to head out for a day of visiting and Bible studies in a little town called La Palmerita (little palm) Nicaragua.
However before leaving, I attempted to mount the horse. But Perezoso, the horse had an attitude, thus living up to his name of lazy. Finally, I mounted and attempted to try to test ride him in the yard before attempting to take him on the road. However he had a mind of his own, refusing to cooperate and I didn't know what to do. Randy, our pastor, decided to mount the horse to see what would happen. He took the horse to the water tank and left him drink before trying to re-mount him, but to no avail. We decided to finish getting ready before attempting it again. Once we were ready, Virginia attempted to mount him, but he kept backing around. She whacked Perezoso on his rump and mounted him. However when she attempted to go on the road, he refused to go through the gate. Randy led him to the middle of the road and off we went - one on a horse and the other on a bike. However Perezoso simply had a mind of his own and would not listen.
Finally, Virginia was at the end of her tether and she went to visit the neighbors to ask to borrow one of their horses. The neighbor lady lent us Chiquito, one of her horses, and took Perezoso and made him lug water out of the well. Once again we attempted to make our way to La Palmerita. Everything went along rather smoothly, except that Chiquito trotted horribly.
We arrived in the town and began to visit different people. When Virginia went to mount Chiquito, the homemade bridle came apart. I led him to Johana’s (a native lady) house while Virginia, who had been riding, visited with a young lady. I spent time at Johana’s house attempting to use my limited Spanish-speaking ability. After spending time with her, her sons fixed the bridle and we rode to the church to unload our heavily-loaded backpacks.
While at the church, we decided to partake of the wonderful morsels of food before going to visit some other women in this little town. I, who had biked in the morning, now took to riding the horse, with a switch in hand. We rode down Center Street. However we didn’t find the girl we were looking for, so we headed over to 1st Street to see if she was there, but she was not. But since we were there, we saw month-old twins, who had been born a month premature. They were so small! Upon preparing to leave that house, one man re-did Chiquito’s bridle, as he did not like the way the young boys had done it. When I went to mount, the stirrup broke apart. Virginia mounted and off we went again - this time up Center Street to visit another little baby.
This was when catastrophe struck to a certain young lady on a bike - namely me.
I had been riding through water puddles all morning and had not encountered any problems. However this next puddle wasn’t so kind. This puddle spanned the whole road and into the field. There was a small dry strip through the center, so I started to bike through, but what I had not realized was the small section that was under water. BUT it was too late now. SPLASH!!! into the water I fell. I called out to Virginia. She looked back but looked away as she knew all too well the feeling of despair!
Embarrassed, I drug myself out of the water and to the side of the road while Virginia went in to see the baby. Maria, the lady of the house told Virginia to go bring me in. All mud-bogged and wet, I went in and Maria offered me a chair. When we went to leave, Virginia offered the horse to me and off we went, but not home yet, as we had one more class for the day. Returning to the church, we found young girls were waiting for their class. Of course they all asked me what happen and I explained the story.
We had just started the class when Virginia heard a familiar sound - the sound of the mission truck. But we poor women had been in the sun too long and it had affected our brains, so we didn’t think fast enough to stop the truck. Bone-weary and exhausted, I led Chiquito to the well and mounted him - or rather plopped on his back. Off I went on the horse, trying to go fast enough to catch the truck, but not so fast that I would fall off the saddle. Seeing the truck up ahead and coming up from the bottom of Center Street, I saw Randy and Jason from the mission. After asking them to stop at the church on their way home, back to the church I went.
After class, we cleaned up and soon heard the familiar sound of the truck. Virginia told me go in the truck and she will ride Chiquito home. I got home soon but wouldn’t know till later the issues that Virginia encountered. She apparently was having quite a time.
When she left the church, she worked him into a full gallop out of the little town. When she got to the main road the broken stirrup fell completely off! She dismounted and picked it up and once again mounted the horse and continued to its owner’s place, where she returned the horse and was met by Jason, who gave her a bike to continue the rest of the way home. All in all we had a great day in the little town, but we were bone-weary and sore that night! But it was good memories and laughs for everyone near and far!
This is a true story that took place in November 2009 in Nicaragua, while I was serving as a missionary.