Monday, April 30, 2012

León, Nicaragua - April 30, 2012

Well, we've hit the two month mark living here in León, Nicaragua. Last night at supper we discussed what the past two months have been like - the challenges and the highlights. There have been many in both departments.

The ministry continues to be one of the greatest highlights. This past weekend I was invited to go on a return visit with a young woman. It was explained to me that this woman had trouble with her vision and that she wanted a copy of the "What Does the Bible Really Teach" book so that she could scan it. When we arrived it soon became apparent to me that this woman was actually blind - I'm guessing from birth. She has a special type of scanner that scans written text and then translates the written word into speech so that Eveling can understand what it says. So, as we were introducing the book I was asked to explain the information on pages 4 & 5 where there are a number of illustrations along with bible texts that explains some of the changes that God will bring about on the earth. The third illustration is of a man who is obviously blind walking with a cane and then the same man removing his eyeglasses. The scripture text is from Isaiah 35:5 which reads "The eyes of the blind ones will be opened". You can only imagine the reaction she had when she realized that this would directly impact her - that she will actually see what we see. It was a real thrill for me to share this information with her.

Pat continues to receive many privileges in the congregation. This past Sunday he was asked to conduct the Watchtower Study and he continues to update the large number of territories that we have. In May we will be heading to Chinandega so that Pat can give the public talk.

We are both thrilled to be conducting regular bible studies and have a number of return visits.

One of the challenges that we have faced has been the adjustment to the climate. No doubt about it - it is hot here! We try to go out in service on Wed - Sat mornings because the arrangements start at 8:15 (8:30 on Sat.) and we are finished by 10:30/11:00. On Wed and Thurs nights we also go to the 5:00 pm arrangement because by this time the temperature has cooled somewhat. We are hoping to build up our bible studies for the afternoons so that we aren't out on the streets during the full heat of the day.

We love our Nica house but it has also proved to be one of our challenges too. With it having the open widows this allows not only the rain to come in but also the bugs - particularly mosquitoes. Pat doesn't think the mosquitoes are all that big of a problem - this is because they don't like him and eat me! He will have 1 bite to my 30! So, we are continually working on this problem and it is getting better and hopefully we will have a handle on it before the rainy season and the mosquitoes breed...  Our shower curtain in the window has improved the situation with the rain coming in so we are happy with that arrangement.

We both feel that we are getting healthier. We are both losing weight because of all the walking we are doing  as well as the healthier diet. The fresh fruit and veggies are delicious and very inexpensive so there is no reason why we shouldn't eat better.

Mondongo Soup
We love the fact that all of the local women like to share their cooking with their neighbours. It allows us to try new foods without putting in the work and since we bring it home if we don't like it we don't offend anyone by not eating it. We have tried some more of the local "delicacies" i.e. Mondongo Soup. Well, this was not one of our favorites and I won't be making it any time soon. This is a soup that includes tripe as one of the ingredients.  For anyone who would like to make it at home - here is a link to a recipe: Mondongo Soup
Enjoy it, but please don't invite us to share it with you....

We continue to work on our little garden and actually have some plants coming up - we still don't know what they are but they are growing. We do know one of the items is a broad leaf cilantro which will be great for cooking - the other plants are a mystery to us so if anyone can identify these plants then let us know. They are either - peppers, cucumber, watermelon or tomatoes.

The resident cat - which has been named "Otis" by one of our friends has become a little more friendly with us. Pat says that he has found her sleeping on our bench when he has got up to take out the garbage at 5 am. Lets hope that she doesn't decide that our house is an ideal place to have her kittens. Yep, Otis is a girl - so I would appreciate any suggestions that you have for a name because Otis doesn't work for me.... She actually came into the dining room and let us pet her so I think she is definitely looking to move in..... isn't she cute?