My dad could not have come to visit us on a more perfect day. He came the day after the crazy incident in Rivas and I was just excited to get a big hug from him. I was like a little kid waiting all day by the window, looking outside every couple of minutes to see if he was there yet. Finally, we got an email from him and Monique (my beautiful stepmom) saying they had just arrived at their hotel. I jumped from my chair, threw our laptop in the room and we headed out. JB was excited too, neither of us had seen family since we left, so it was like a special holiday. Their hotel was down that same scary road we had naively walked down when we first arrived in San Juan del Sur. Fortunately, it was only half a mile down the road in the safer section (way before the dump), so we grabbed a beer and headed out.
As we started walking down the dirt road, we saw a small SUV pull right up to us. “DAD!!” I yelled, overly excited. “Hey guys!” my dad responded, waving his hand out of the window with a big smile. I was overwhelmed with emotions. My dad immediately put the car in park, hopped out and I jumped into his arms. I grasped the back of my dad’s shirt and tightly clinched my fists, extremely relieved that I had finally found him. I never wanted to let go. It was the biggest bear hug I’d ever given or received. Tears of joy filled my eyes and all I could say was, “Dad, I’m just so happy to see you. I love you. I’m so happy right now.”
We were both eager to show them around town, so we took them to the bright blue church and headed towards our favorite local bakery. We walked in and ordered our usual, two Gemelos (delicious cheese pastry bread) for C$10 ($0.42) each warmed up, to go. As my dad, Monique and I were talking in front of the door, a very smelly man stumbled in. I instantly felt uncomfortable and my instincts were telling me to get out of the bakery.
I didn’t like the way this guy looked. He was a tall dark man, whose face looked tormented. He didn’t walk straight and his movements were very jerky. I took a large step back towards the outside of the door and grabbed Monique’s arm. I saw Jonathon move to the right, away from the man as he approached the counter. Dad stayed where he was and just as I was going to tell him to come outside, the man held his fist up in the air above my dad’s back and punched him in the back.
Jonathon immediately yelled, “Hey!! Get the hell out of here!” My stomach dropped, just like it did the day before on the bus. The punch wasn’t a very hard one and when Dad felt it he turned around and looked at him straight in his eyes. My dad is a very tall strong man at 6′ 5” and could have easily turned around to knock him out. But when Dad looked at him, saw that he was a confused man with some sort of mental disability, he turned back to Monique and I and calmly said, “Let’s go.” I love my dad because he’s always been one to think about things before reacting, even in difficult situations like this.
We all watched him leave and then stumble around the streets in his dirty pink Crocs. He wasn’t drunk, he was legitimately crazy. He walked over to a group of tourists in the street with his fist in the air. Jonathon and my Dad yelled, “Hey watch out!!” He lightly hit one of the ladies and then the man of the group pushed him away. Finally, he went into the park and talked to himself on a bench. This guy needed serious help. We realized that we had actually seen this guy before when we first moved here. He was known around town as “glass-breaker” because he goes from building to building threatening to break their window or damage their car if they don’t give him a Cord ($0.04).
I felt horrible that my dad got hit on his first day here, but the rest of the day with Dad and Monique was great. We walked around the San Juan del Sur beach, they got to meet our Nica family, see where we lived the past three months, where we eat and what we do on a daily basis. They got to experience a bit of our life out of the box! The next fun thing we got to show them was later that night–to experience the nightlife of San Juan del Sur.