Saturday, September 10, 2011

Trip to Nicaragua

Last weekend was quite the adventure renewing our visas in Nicaragua.  We took a bus to Liberia, Costa Rica and spent Saturday night there.  Early Sunday morning we got up and took an hour bus ride to the border.  We paid our money, and walked across the border, to find a group of taxi drivers anxious to make a buck off of us.  Isaac, the Costa Rican YWAM staff who was helping us, moved us all onto a bus, as the group of 10 men surrounded us, yelling for us to use their services.  Quite the welcome into a new country, right?

We went to San Juan del Sur, which is a beach town about an hour bus ride into Nicaragua.  There we ate brunch, and hung out on the beach for an hour.  Then it was time to go back.  Technically we should have stayed  been outside of the country for 3 days due to national laws, however we were just there a few hours.

On the way out of Nicaragua is where we encountered some problems.  As we were in the line to exit the country, the immigration officer told Christy, one of the girls with us that she had to have spent 3 days outside of the country.  Granted, this was LEAVING Nicaragua, and not entering Costa Rica- where the law should be applied.  One by one, he pulled all of those in our group aside.  I saw what was happening, and got out of the line, and brought the 2 other Americans with me who were behind me.  They told the ones that got pulled out of the line, that they were breaking international law, and would be deported to the United States.  Christy  then asked to speak with the supervisor, who harshly scolded the immigration officer that wasn't letting our team pass.  "They are tourists!" she told them, "and if we make it difficult for tourists to enter and exit, they won't bring tourism to our country!"

Once I saw the others get exit out of Nicaragua, I got back into the line with the other 2, and we went throughout with no problems.  We took the 6 hour bus ride back to San Jose, and made it safe and sound.  We were able to send our passports to the South African embassy in Mexico and to get everything ready for our October departure to Africa.

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