This is the third post in a series written by Frieda, my mother. These are her memories of her first rambunctious child and their adventures on the mission field. Click this link to start at the beginning.
When Sara was about eighteen months old, Hal finished attending the Spanish language school, and we moved to a small town in Nicaragua. We rented a big old adobe house, which was built in a big square around a large dirt yard. People there didn’t believe in having grass in the yard because you wouldn’t be able to see the snakes. (Hal killed a coral snake once.) Actually, our house was half of the square, and the house next door was the other half, with a barbed wire fence separating the two yards. Though the climate was always hot, we could not open the doors to the street because Sara would disappear before you could turn around. Someone had to watch her constantly because she would climb anything and jump off. She seemed to have no fear, and the yard was full of dangers. We were always afraid someone would neglect to secure the door of the outhouse. There was a shallow concrete ditch that ran from the kitchen around the yard, carrying dirty water from the kitchen to the street. Sara would find that great to play in if we didn’t watch her.
One Sunday morning we were expecting my parents, who lived in the capital city, to come in time for church. I was hurrying to get ready and was evidently distracted longer than I thought. My parents drove up, and to our great surprise, Sara was in the truck with them! They said they picked her up several blocks down the street. When they asked her where she was going, she answered confidently, “Al zoológico” (to the zoo). What was called the zoo consisted of several flimsy cages in the town square containing animals trapped locally. The ones I remember were a coyote and a bobcat. Though all our doors were locked, Sara had crawled under the fence in the back yard, gone in the neighbors’ back door, and out their front door to the street without being noticed.