Monday, March 24

Shakin' Your Booty Looks a Little Different Throughout the World

As a means to try to begin branching out to my new community, as well as get some exercise, Diamond, my new co-worker and co-missionary, and I went to a Zumba class in a local recreation center. The rec center we went to is located in a town called Franklin which is about a 30-45 minute drive from Hayesville- my new "home" town. I am slowly learning that almost everywhere or anything takes at least a 30 minute drive, which if I considered everyday travel in Managua, it would take me about 30 minutes to walk to the bus, wait, get on, switch buses and walk to the office. Also, I love that there is never traffic around here. :)

Well.... so back to the Zumba class. Diamond and I arrived to class after wandering through the small halls of the rec center. There were about 4 ladies already seated in a room with a lot of open space. At least 5 more women showed up. All of them were at least 40 and older. I am only informing you of their ages so you can get a good picture in your head- I love to hang out with people of all ages, so no hatin'. The instructor informed us that she got certified last year to teach Zumba classes and she was proud of herself for becoming certified and teaching a dance class at 50 years old. She is a rock star!

Finally the music started and we all found our own space to be able to move around well. Many of the songs were familiar to me from the dance exercise class I participated when I was in Nicaragua. However, there were several moments I had to giggle to myself because I was no longer surrounded by Latinas who could almost all shake it like Shakira. Instead, I was surrounded by middle-aged white women who danced with lots of passion and enjoyed themselves, but let's just say... there was some lack of smooth hip movements.

I've had many moments, such as my new dance class, comparing my new community of North Carolina to Nicaragua. On our campus, we have an outdoor chapel area, but you have to hike a little ways to get to arrive to it's location. As we were hiking up the hill through the trees and crunching leaves with our feet, I has a flashback to the many times in Nicaragua I had to hike just to arrive to someone's house. I remembered how many people have to hike to go to school or hike to go to a hospital or hike to get water for their homes. As we hiked for entertainment, I remembered the hardships of others.

As I learn more about my new community, I want to try not to always think of the differences between Nicaragua and North Carolina but instead issues as well as blessings that are similar. I mean both places start with the letter N so there's a start. No, but seriously I've already noticed there are many food banks located all within a small area of each other and food security is something Nicaragua is constantly concerned about as well.

In this new part of my journey, I will happily "dance" within a new culture and with new people while using my past and present to learn and grow.

Peace, Whitney P.

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