Yesterday was quite a long, tedious day of waiting at the convent for a decision about where I will live (still undecided) so I committed to myself that I would get out more today. There is a Catholic church right next to the convent (surprise, surprise) and I figured I would check it out. I asked one of the girls who works here and she said that first mass was at 6 a.m. Clearly not an option. Second mass would be at 8 a.m. and third at ten. My initial thought was to aim for eight (which shouldn’t be an issue since I’m in bed by nine anyway) because that way there would be a limit to the length of the service:) Yes, that is a sign of an experienced church goer.
This morning at six I was welcomed to consciousness by singing from the church, much nicer than the brick factory that woke us in Nicaragua. The singing continued off and on for the next 4 hours and eventually I dragged myself out of bed to church for the ten o’clock service….maybe next week I’ll make the eight. As per usual I was about five (okay ten) minutes late so I wasn’t surprised that the priest was already speaking, everyone was seated and all was well underway. I tried to listen from outside with some others but couldn’t hear so I eventually got up the nerve to join the kids in the back few rows as there would be no point in standing there for two hours in the sun if I couldn’t hear anything. Immediately after I sat down the two ladies behind me started giggling uncontrollably. I knew they were laughing at me, but wasn’t sure if it was just a general laugh at my existence (not uncommon here) or the fact that I was sitting on a bench usually occupied by the kids. My question was answered a few seconds later when everyone stood up and the priest announced that the service was over! Assuming I had misunderstood the times the girl gave me I picked myself up and wandered into town to buy some water. It was only later when I returned to the convent and another service was in full swing did I figure out that I actually had made the eight o’clock service and that the ten o’clock had started very late. Hmmmmmm, maybe this is a little like New Hope after all? Not that I’m ever there on time to know when our service actually starts:)