The Indy Mini is a half marathon race that takes place in Indianapolis every year and that Isaiah and I have run once – in May 2011. It’s known not only because the race route includes the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway but also for the amount of entertainment it provides along the way. You are encouraged to push on by teams of cheerleaders dressed in themed costumes, cheering with gusto for the chance to win the spirit award. The eclectic mix of live bands, dancers, and entertainers stationed along the 13.1 mile route distracts you from thinking of your tired legs. Completing the race was more than a sense of accomplishment – it was fun!
In an effort to get ourselves back in shape here in Paraguay, Isaiah and I have taken up jogging. It’s a triple whammy in my book because it’s good for our health, it helps structure our suddenly wide-open days, and it lets us explore and become familiar with the town we’re now calling home. Oh – and there’s a fourth benefit as well: people see us. We greet people with a friendly “adios” as we pass by on the dusty red roads (unless I’m too busy panting for breath in which case the speaking is left to Isaiah alone). And they get an up close look at the new volunteers in town.
In fact, we’re such a spectacle that I’m reminded of the Indy Mini. Instead of fans and cheerleaders, we’re encouraged on by the faces that stop whatever they’re doing to stare curiously as these strange newcomers pass by. In place of the singers and bands we are accompanied by sounds from booming stereo systems that float out open windows of houses we pass. Sometimes we’re even joined by the random dog or chicken for a few steps to make sure we’re keeping up our pace. It may not quite be the Indy Mini, but it is starting to feel a little more like home.