Sunday, October 3, 2010

Me Hace Sonreír Cuando...

Since coming to Nicaragua I have gotten into the habit of journaling every night before I go to bed. Spending a few minutes reflecting on my day has been both therapeutic and rewarding for me. It provides me with a chance to note highs and lows; moments of grace and moments of solitude; place in my life in need of growth and places where I have grown. I was flipping back through my journal the other day and stumbled upon some reflections that I did in August. After doing my normal daily reflections, I wrote out at least four things that brought a smile to my face that day. As I re-read my daily ‘smiles,’ I remembered the feeling of joy that accompanied each high and thought I would share a week of highs in the life of Andrea in hopes that it may bring a smile to your face as well.

Sunday August 8

1. Getting caught in a rainstorm with three residents from Pajarito Azul and laughing as we got soaked to the core

2. Sitting in the back of a bus and flying out of my seat every time we went over a speed bump

3. Music selection in Nicaragua… Getting a taste of Lady Gaga and The Eagles in the same five minutes

4. Buying food from the market and filling our fridge with fresh fruits and veggies

5. Waking up without an alarm and thinking that sleeping until 8:00 is sleeping in

6. Climbing on Patrick’s shoulders to get grapefruits off of the tree in our yard

7. Walking to Mass from my house

Monday August 9

1. Seeing someone I know on the bus after feeling a slow start to my Monday

2. Receiving hugs and ‘Te quiero’s’ (I love you’s) as soon as I walk into work

3. Learning how to perfect the art of making refried beans from a Nicaraguan friend

4. Accidentally falling into the compost pit because I made the mistake of emptying the compost in the dark without a flashlight

Tuesday August 10

1. Enjoying a day off work to celebrate Santo Domingo

2. Putting on my favorite music and recalling all of the reasons why I love a certain song

3. Passing an afternoon with good friends and good conversation

4. Being given a bag of chocolates and in the same breath being told that I can eat them all (chocolate is not easy to come by in Nica)

Wednesday August 11

1. Making maracas at work

2. The patient smile from a co-worker when I stumble over a new word in Spanish

3. The feeling of relaxation I get from cooking

4. Being able to share how I’m doing in community and listening as others do the same

Thursday August 12

1. Cracking jokes, laughing, and being silly with residents at work

2. Enjoying breakfast with a community mate (which doesn’t happen every morning since we all have to be at work at different times)

3. Hopping my favorite bus to work in the morning (there is one bus in particular that I love taking to and from work because it’s extra bouncy and this day was my lucky day because it came by right as I was walking to the bus stop)

4. The refreshing smell and sensation of an afternoon downpour

5. Finishing a book and starting a new one

Friday August 13

1. Visiting a friend’s house and being deeply touched by her family’s humility and happiness as they offered me a chair and soda

2. Reading Where the Wild Things Are in Spanish

3. Buying a tortilla and cheese for two cordobas (the equivalent of about 10 cents) from a neighbor

4. Baking a delicious dessert and calling it a good Friday night in Nica

Saturday August 14

1. Going for a run in the rain (if you can’t tell yet, I really love the rain here)

2. Trying to do a pull up and laughing at how far I am from success

3. Seeing my room and the house transform after a good cleaning

4. Listening to Irish music and pretending I’m good at Irish dancing

So there it is- the things that not only made me smile but make me fall in love with Nicaragua. Hope you enjoyed!


  1. Life simple pleasures are the best. There is so much noise and stuff in our lives that we often overlook the simple things we take for granted like a refreshing rain shower or a ride on the "bumpy bus". Thanks for sharing some of your simple pleasures.

    Here's one of my simple pleasures for you; playing my guitar and singing SOOOOO loud that mom and Julia holler at me to "TURN IT DOWN!!!"

    Love you,

  2. Thanks for sharing Andrea! You remind me to stop and smell the "rain" sometime in the busyness of our lives.

    Think about you often and pray for you more!

    Love ya.

    PS. Mrs Seiler and I are really enjoying our dance classes with your mom and dad. Now that is something that will make you smile! ;-)

  3. Your post made me smile many times!

    Hope October is a month of miracles.

    Un abrazo desde acá!


  4. Just reading your blog and your Mom keeping me up to date makes me smile.
    Everyday when I walk down my sidewalk I stop and smell my Mom's roses along the way and when I bend down and smell them I actually say outloud "always stop and smell the roses" But I never thought of stopping to smell the rain. What truth there is to that, such a beautiful,peaceful part of nature which is calming and always needed.
    Thank you for opening my eyes!

    Love and Prayers always
    Aunt Paula

    ps. steve,aunt theresa and i are putting a package together for you. be on the lookout!