Wednesday, September 12, 2012

León, Nicaragua - September 12, 2012

The last time I wrote we were in San Salvador for the Safeguard Your Heart District Convention. We had heard that the San Cristóbal volcano had erupted on Saturday and we were a little anxious as to how things would turn out - would we be able to return home or would the volcano erupt again and prevent us from reaching León. Thankfully, we had an uneventful trip home.

The trip to San Salvador was quite an adventure though..... we left early on Thursday morning - on the road by approx. 5:15 am with a quick stop for coffee. We were at the Nicaraguan border in no time and we anticipated arriving in San Salvador sometime in the afternoon. Unfortunately, there was a problem with one of the passports and the issue continued to follow us from border to border with the end result that we arrived in San Salvador just after MIDNIGHT..... yep midnight. We were surprised to see a group of (very tired) brothers with a welcome sign waiting for us. There were many hugs but due to the late hour greetings were kept to a minimum. Some of the brothers and sisters still had a distance to go before they could settle in for the night

We were able to book a hotel that was within walking distance to the Convention grounds and so we were settled into our room in no time. We stayed at Hotel Terra Bella and we recommend this hotel to anyone who is in San Salvador. It is located in the Zona Rosa (very safe) and is close to many restaurants. A hot breakfast is included in the rate and it was delicious and the coffee was very much appreciated on Friday morning.

The convention was a real international event - there were speakers from 8 different countries. The final attendance on Sunday was just under 850 and there were 3 baptized. Since both Pat and I have First Aid Training we were recruited to help out with First Aid - so it was nice to have a different assignment for this convention. The facilities were really modern and the only real complaint that anyone had was that the air conditioning was so cold..... we froze and I really appreciated the hot shower in the hotel - I think I drained the tank trying to warm up. It was wonderful to meet so many brothers and sisters from all over the world who have moved to either Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador or Guatamala to help either full-time or temporarily. We are already looking forward to next years convention. One of the highlights for us was to see the joy on the faces of the young brothers and sisters from our congregation who attended the convention - none of them had ever been out of Nicaragua before.

Here are a few pictures from the convention:
Meeting our new CO and his wife - Todd and Lori

Leon English Congregation, Nicaragua

Debbie and Mariela

Pat and Lenin give a demonstration

Lydia, Michelle, Ashlee, Scarlett, Elga, Debbie

Fanny, Hazel, Mariela, Talia, Elfa

waiting at the El Salvador border

There were a few funny things we saw along the way:

pigs wandering freely at the border crossing between Honduras and Nicaragua

McDonalds delivers in San Salvador!

There was even time to play