Entre Camagua y Elote
Andrew Nilsen, Peace Corps, Nicaragua
The effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. -Isaiah 32:17-18
This period in our Peace Corps service can feel funky. We are in an in-between phase. For example, I wrote in my journal recently about wanting to be present and savor every last moment here, but instead of going to visit Nicaraguan friends, I spent more than three hours emailing different graduate school programs in school psychology.
One thing I’ve definitely been making sure to savor is the delicious, in-season corn. Nicaraguans are corn people. Two of their national monikers are Hijos del Maiz (Children of the Corn) and Pinoleros (Pinol People-pinol is a corn mixture used in drinks). There are countless corn dishes, drinks, desserts, etc., in the national cuisine. In my opinion they are all quite scrumptious!
To celebrate Nicaraguan corn and give voice to how we’re feeling at this point in our service, I offer the following dicho (saying): Entre camagua y elote-between baby corn and full-fledged corn on the cob.
As I said, we are in an in-between time! Chances are, if you’ve taken Spanish classes, you know at least one way to answer the question “xc2xbfCxc3xb3mo estxc3xa1s?” While bien (well/fine) works perfectly well, you’ll gain some serious points for invoking the corn. The closest standard Spanish equivalent to this dicho would be mxc3xa1s o menos (pronounced mxc3xa1′ o meno’ here in Nicaragua), meaning you’ve been better, but overall, things are OK.
Whether it is baby corn or corn on the cob, we’ll keep taking it in whatever form it comes to us. It’s all Nicaraguan, and it’s all delicious.
“Awake, my soul!” (Psalm 57:8 NRSV)
The Prayer of the Heart
Early Christian disciples desired to take seriously the scripture mandate to pray “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The prayer of the heart invites us to pray “continuously” by repeating and returning to a prayer phrase planted for intentional reflection and deepening. Choose a word or phrase (from scripture, hymnody, or personal reflection) that has meaning for you. The Jesus Prayer is one form of the prayer of the heart: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:35-43). Invite this simple phrase to repeat in your heart throughout the day, awakening your soul to God’s presence.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.