The Cobb Family just attended its second 1st Communion in 3 weeks. The church was packed as you can see from the photos and there were even some dignitaries attending. Former President of Nicaragua, Enrique Bolanos was there celebrating the communion of a grandchild. Our friends, Ben and Lorena have 2 daughters, Laura and Carmen, and it was Carmenís day to shine today receiving her first communion.
Not being Catholic, the traditions are new to us and we have to watch everyone else for when to sit and stand. At the 1st communion we attended a couple weeks ago, I actually pulled out my iPhone and googled what to do, when to sit, when to stand and what to do when people kneel. Staying standing while people kneel is the respectful thing to do in this case, so I read anyway. Seems to work in practice too.
At the funeral of a friendís brother last year, I actually entered a procession by mistake as my row cleared into the center isle and I followed four men carrying a large cloth held up at the four corners by poles. Tip: sitting close to the front is not a good idea, because as I followed my row out, I turned my head and could see that most people in the row behind me didnít file out to join the procession. The next thing you know Iím walking out the door in the front left of the church by the alter and slowly circling around outside to the back door. I had no idea what I was doing. Eventually we re-entered the church, proceeded up the center isle where I found my original row, entered, took my seat and the service continued.
Korean and Nicaraguan Food Ė A Real Variety of Expats in Nicaragua
After the service in the church we enjoyed a great party at Ben and Lorenaís house. Ben is with Save the Children and his term is up in a few weeks so in addition to the communion party, this also served as a good bye party. The frequent transition of friends out of the country is one of the less fun parts of being an expat, and probably why we have tended to find a lot of Nicaraguan friends.
The food at the party was an interesting mix. We enjoyed Nicaraguan Caballo Bayo, a fajita like dish where you mix meats, beans and condiments into a corn tortilla. The party was a joint event with another family who is Korean and so we also enjoyed, sushi, rice noodle lo mein, dumplings, and sweet and sour pork. Great combination actually.
Living in Nicaragua has presented some interesting cultural challenges, but the good thing is that people are generally helpful and appreciative if you donít know or understand something. A huge dose of humility goes a long way. If you plan to own property in Nicaragua, knowing some of the basics may be important. But for most of it, the old saying, “When in Rome”, seems to work pretty well. That and a love of adventure, a humble attitude, and a large sense of humor.