Sunday, March 25, 2012

León, Nicaragua - Sunday, March 25, 2012

We are really starting to feel at home here - almost part of the neighbourhood.  We still get a few stares, but very few comments anymore. Even with our limited Spanish, we could still understand when people were talking about us - obviously wondering what we are doing walking around in the area - far away from any tourist spots.

One thing that has helped us to fit in with our neighbours is our love of street food. Many of the women in the area make some really good food. Yesterday on our way home from service one of the ladies called us into their yard to see what they were cooking - Cheese soup - Sopa de Queso!

This soup is very filling and for 40 cords very affordable. The ingredients included some plantain, yucca, cabbage, green pepper and cheese of course, in a nice rich broth.  They also added 4 "tortillas" that were filled with cheese. It was absolutely delicious.  

Other nights we have found women selling traditional Nicaraguan food - Gallo Pinto, empanadas, tostones, tacos and grilled meats. It would be possible to never cook any suppers at all because there is always someone cooking up a storm. 

Another thing we are enjoying about Nicaragua is all of the fresh fruit. Right now mangoes are in season and you can get a couple of different varieties. Papayas are also huge - although we have found that it isn't one of our favourites. We have some in the fridge that we will add to some mango and melon and make a smoothie for breakfast.

Service has continued to be a real delight. It continues to amaze me how helpful the local people are. Just like other countries we find that when we call at a home the person we are looking for isn't there. What often happens here is that the person who answers the door will call "Sergio" on the phone so that we can talk to him and so we can deliver our message to them anyhow. This is a new form of "telephone" witnessing.

Earth wide we are getting the same message about expanding our ministry and moving to areas that need help.  In Canada this often means moving to Mexico or the Dominican Republic... but where do people from Mexico go to serve where the need is great??? Why they go to Nicaragua.... On Tuesday night we had a father and daughter visiting from Mexico. They had just spent two months working remote territory on Ometepe Island.  They mentioned what a wonderful time they had.  The daughter is staying on in Nicaragua for another month so hopefully we will hear some of their experiences and be able to pass them along to you.

We are waging war with ants. We have them pretty well conquered in the kitchen, but we still have them in the grass in the front yard. Yes, ants are good for the soil, but these are "fire ants". Well, Pat says they aren't "fire ants" but they sure like to bite me..... We are trying to take a "natural" approach. This involves a number of strategies. First - apparently, they don't like soap. So, we are throwing the dish water on the grass and along the boarders where the ant holes are. Another strategy is using coffee grounds (thanks to my brother Stephen for this idea).  The ants don't seem to be as much as a problem but time will tell. We are trying to prepare a part of the yard to make a garden. So, as we walk on the area more we will find out if the two strategies are working.