During an afternoon interview on the porch of my host family’s house I find myself in a moment of silence while the participant I am interviewing takes a moment to collect her thoughts. Sweat drips down the back of my neck. Not even the shade today can protect me from the heat of the afternoon sun. A clock ticks in my head as I think about the dwindling time I have to complete this interview and get to the office for my next appointment as well as on a larger scale the amount of have to finish my project here. I began to panic a little. The participant, Yulissa, brings me and my thoughts back to the interview, beginning to answer the question I posed moments ago. Her answer with its perfect honesty and clarity make me smile. She has been a difficult person to schedule time with, this beginning the third interview appointment we have made and the first that actually worked out. Third time is a charm but the wait and scheduling issues almost drove me to move on but this hour with her on the front porch made it clear to me that the wait and frustration were worth it.
With a week of more than 10 hour work days behind me I have found a moment of calm, of reflection that I have not felt in more than three weeks. My project as well as my life and time here has gone at warp speed. With less than one week left in Limon Dos and Nicaragua I find myself needing to make sure every moment counts. But that yearning goes directly against both what I need and the most beautiful part of the culture here. Espera, the one word that both summarizes and embodies the mentality of Limon Dos and of Nicaragua. Espera translated is to wait or to hope. One must wait and hope for moments of reflection, clarity, tranquility, and beauty. This is something that goes against my nature and against the norms set by much of American society but is something that has become one of the biggest blessings in my time here in Nicaragua. Waiting for the sunset to become just that more beautiful, to sit on the porch with my host family to hear just one more store of Abuelita’s, and to wait in silence as my next interview subject thinks, smiles, and presents a pearl of wisdom and perfect insight.