Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua - February 27, 2013

So, taking Nathan's implied challenge in earnest, we were up early on February 14th to get everything packed, cleaned and ready to go. Not thinking about what was to come we took the time to wash everything down so that it would arrive in Pearl Lagoon looking good. However, we didn't take into consideration that the truck was open and that the roads would be dusty.... it truly was a wasted effort. Oh, well, another lesson learned.... Even with all this "extra" work we gave Nathan a call and noon to tell him that we everything was ready to be put onto the truck.

Mariela and Thalia stopped by before the meeting to see if we needed any help and to say goodbye. We will miss these lovely young ladies!

Debbie and Mariela

Debbie and Thalia

Mariela and Pat

We owe a great big thanks to Sergio and his dad for finding us our transportation to Pearl Lagoon. The original plan was that Sergio senior would drive us out in the truck that he has. However, the truck blew it's engine and they couldn't get it fixed in time. They took hours out of their own time to arrange for our "movers" and we can't thank them enough....  I must admit though that I hadn't planned on going across country in the back of the truck - I was still thinking like a Canadian.

Anyhow, by 5:30 pm the truck had arrived and by 6:30 pm we were all loaded on and on the road. Our mattress was put down at the rear of the truck and that is where Pat, Sergio, Pancho and I hung out for the entire trip. I must admit that at first we were loving it. The roads weren't too bumpy and the night sky was beautiful. However, as the night wore on it got decidedly cold and neither Pat nor I had a sweater. Fortunately, Sergio was able to reach the bag that had our towels in them and we used them like blankets. The other problem was - What would we do if it started to rain???? What a relief when we reached Pearl Lagoon and not a drop of rain had fallen.

Pancho ready to go

Sergio relaxing in the back of the truck
 The trip took longer than we had anticipated because our driver was very cautious and took his time on the stretch from El Rama to Pearl Lagoon. The bus usually takes 5 hours to drive this road but it took us 6 1/2 hours and it was so bumpy that there were times when I was sure we would be bumped out onto the road. You can only imagine our relief when we could smell the Atlantic and we knew that our torture was almost over. I doubt that we will ever willingly travel that stretch of road in the back of a truck again.

When we arrived in Pearl Lagoon and arrived at our new home we were greeted by our dear brothers and sisters who were there to unload our stuff. We were also greeted by our neighbors dog, Lobo, who was quite happy to see that we brought his lunch with us - Pancho! The poor bird was so insecure that he wanted to be with us at all times and Lobo had him in his mouth before we knew it! Pancho is one tough bird though and managed to get away minus a few tail feathers!

After a delicious lunch provided by the sister who rented the house before us (she was moving to El Rama and our movers were taking her stuff for her) the truck was loaded up again for the return trip. We felt so sorry for Sergio because he was faced with another long journey back to León in the back of the truck. We are happy to report that he made it back alive!

The house that we have here in Pearl Lagoon has three bedrooms which means that we will be able to have people stay with us. The one room is currently being rented from us by a young sister from Alaska - Camille Fry. We were thrilled to find out that she is a bird lover because she will be able to look after Pancho when we have to visit Costa Rica for our visa run.

Annette, Cameron and Camille
When we arrived in Pearl Lagoon Camille's family was here on a visit.
Cameron, Rebecca, Julie, Brianna and Camille

So, we are slowly settling into our new home. Pancho has recovered from his terrible ordeal and we think he likes it here. Next post I will be able to bring you up-to-date with all the goings on here in Pearl Lagoon.

Pancho hanging out on the front porch

Pat sharing his oatmeal with Pancho

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua - February 24, 2013

The last few weeks have been very busy and emotional with preparing for our move to Pearl Lagoon.  Introducing new bible conductors to our Bible Students kept us busy as well as making sure we said goodbye to them all.

Our congregation arranged for a goodbye party for us at Rob and Anne Watchers. It was a fun filled night with lots of good food, friendly conversation and of course dancing!

Here are some pictures from the evening.

Thalia with Lily

lots of yummy food

focaccia bread - yum!

we will miss our new kids!

Rob playing guitar

Hazel, Pilar, Gina and Francinette

Jessica and Michelle

Debbie, Lily and Ashlee

Lydia and Anne


Desmond and Shannon

Lee, Josie, Jessica and Levi

Dancing the night away

The night before we left León we hosted a party for Sergio. In March he is heading out on "La Ruta" and will be assisting a local congregation in Somotillo, Nicaragua. It was also a nice way for us to spend our last night together with our friends here in León - we will miss them all dearly.

Lydia saying goodbye to Pancho

Pancho let Josie pet him

dancing under the stars

Tawny, Sergio, Ryan, Thalia, Tyler, Levi and Taylor

The next day we took on a challenge from Nathan (who thought we were crazy since we hadn't started packing yet) to have all of our things packed by noon. O.K., maybe Nathan didn't actually challenge us, but it was implied....... stay tuned to see how we did

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A new chapter begins.....

We made it! After traveling 16 1/2 hours in the back of a flat bed truck we have arrived in our new home here in Pearl Lagoon.

Pat & Debbie - Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Snapshots of our week.

Pictures from the week:

Just before we left for the service meeting we noticed that there was an iguana on the windowsill in our bedroom. We decided to "encourage" it to leave and banged on the window. Instead of heading back where it came from it made a flying leap into the bedroom. We spent a "fun" 5 minutes chasing it around the bedroom where it tried to hide behind suitcases, book cases and in shoes. Once we got him into the living room it was fairly easy to sweep him outside.
Iguana in the house

Iguana in the yard
We thought we had got rid of him for good! However, later that day when we returned from the store, guess who was back???? He had only made it into the living room and so we swept him out again. This time he disappeared into the drain and we haven't seen him since!
The iguana came back!
 Pancho doesn't really like Pat but will "allow" Pat to feed him cookies. Later that day Pancho helped me edit the picture in the computer.

Pancho helping to edit his pictures on the computer
 Little Natalie has started school and just like all young students she finds it hard to stay away during the Thursday night meeting.

Natalie and Erica taking a break in central park during service.
Erica with Natalie in Central Park

Last weekend we enjoyed the company of Rachel and Charley Matthews who are serving in El Crucero in Spanish. They brought with them Rachel's mom and dad - Joe and Annette Flores - to enjoy some time in Leon and Las Penitas. Since they have a truck we were able to stay out in Las Penitas longer than usual and got some beautiful sunset shots. Rachel and Charley also have a blog which you can read here: Charley & Rachel in Nicaragua.

Saturday night we started with a pizza at our favorite spot - Antoninos.

Debbie, Annette, Joe, Charley, Rachel and Pat

Pat working on his next level of the dice game we played
Charley, Rachel, Joe and Annette on the beach in Las Penitas

sunset in Las Penitas - February 3, 2013

We had a little technical difficulty this week with the sound system. When they tried to play the opening song the mp3 player wouldn't work. Afraid that we might have to sing a cappella Brad was provided with someones phone that has the music on it - what a relief!
Brad Ramirez providing the music for the meeting
 You never know who or what will show up for a meeting! Here is a dove that decided to join us. Of course, many of us were distracted thinking that it might poop on us or the speakers - but as far as we know nobody got bombed....

Last week we renewed our Visitor's Visa here in Nicaragua so we are set for another 3 months. In May we will have to visit Costa Rica again and since we will be on the Atlantic side we are contemplating crossing in Los Chiles.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Keeping Promises

Conversations always seem to revolve, at some time or another, around food - Where do you like to eat? What do you like to eat? What is your favorite dish to prepare?  So it came as no surprise to me that many of the young ones here in León love Italian food - doesn't everyone? Of course, their favorite dish is Lasagna. Often the conversation would go something like this: 

What is your favorite food? 
Oh, I like Italian food. 
Oh, me too! What do you like the most?
I like Lasagna too!
Have you ever made it?
Oh, yes. I used to make it all the time in Canada.
You did? Oh, can you show me???
Sure. I can show you, but we have to wait for the weather to cool down so that I can turn the oven on.......

Well, the weather never did cool down enough for me to turn on the oven.  That's right - I have had an oven since last March and I have never turned it on  - not even to try it out! So.... since we will be moving in less than 2 weeks it was time for me to honor my promise to show the young girls in our congregation how to make lasagna. The plan was that Thalia and I would go to La Union to pick up everything that we needed for the big event and then everyone would show up around 2 pm to help prepare it.
Debbie & Thalia at La Union buying ingredients for the lasagna
Everyone had an assignment:

Mariela and Elfa preparing cheese and onions
Fanny chopping garlic, Debbie preparing the sauce

Elfa, Francinette, Hazel, Fanny and Mariela putting the layers together

ooops, we seem to be short some pasta!
Clowning around waiting for the pasta

the finished product

After a false start - I couldn't get the oven to work and had to wait for Pat to figure out the problem. We haven't had a gas stove in a long time and I forgot that there was a pilot light. The electric lighter doesn't work on the oven but thankfully, we had some matches! So..... after an hour our lovely lasagna was ready and everyone enjoyed the fruits of their labor!

Francinette, Hazel and Fanny enjoying their lasagna

Saturday, February 2, 2013

León, Nicaragua - February 2, 2013

just a glimpse of the ocean
The past week there have been a number of goodbyes as our visitors continue to leave. Although we didn't have a formal party to see them off a good number of us congregated at Playa Roca for one last beach day. The waves were really rough and it reminded me of the first time we went to Las Penitas - one of those days when you wear half of the beach home. As Pat and I were walking along the beach we weren't paying attention to the waves and suddenly our feet were knocked out from under us and we were rolling in the surf. We had a good laugh as we looked around to see who saw (just about everyone!) but it was a good reminder of how careful you need to be there!

We loved working with you folks in the ministry and hope to see you back in Nicaragua again. Here is a picture of everyone who left on Tuesday....
Brie, David, Sofie, Wendy, Mercedes and Rachel

Here's just about everyone that hung out at the beach on Monday. Notice the new guy hiding in the front row? That's Taylor who is visiting us for a couple of months.
The gang at the beach - January 28, 2013

Soccer game

Pat has the true Nica style!
The Witnessing Table is still having very positive results. People are getting used to us being there on a regular basis and are stopping in for the latest magazines. Also, there seem to be more tour groups passing through which means more "foreigners" passing by while on their vacation. Some are willing to stop and chat for a little while.

We have also had some good chats with the street vendors. One of the fellows that makes jewelry was very interested in the Young People Ask Books because he works with a group that helps street kids. We were able to bring him a set in Spanish which he was very happy to receive.

Notice the picture of Pat carrying the chairs on his head? He is becoming more and more like the locals; although I doubt we'll see him walking down the street balancing a container of tortillas on his head.

fresh papaya from our tree
Our papaya tree has finally bore fruit and we were able to enjoy our first harvest. There are still many more on the tree and they should ripen in the next few weeks. It has really been exciting to watch this tree grow and to finally enjoy some of it's fruit. The fruit was surprisingly sweet and free from any soap taste.... Soap??? Yes, remember that we had to keep sprinkling the yard with soap in order to discourage the fire ants. We were a little worried that the tree might absorb some of the soap and that the fruit would taste bad (soapy) - but fortunately that didn't happen and the fruit was delicious.

Marcus and Maria Becker
We have a new couple that have joined our congregation - Marcus and Maria Becker. They are rather special to us for a couple of reasons.

1. They will be taking over all our calls and studies in La Paz Centro - thanks guys!

2. They will be moving into our house here in León as of February 15th.

Why??? Because we are moving to Pearl Lagoon! When we went to Pearl Lagoon at the beginning of January it was to scout out the possibility of moving there. Even though it is very remote and very different than anywhere we have ever lived before we feel that Jehovah answered our prayers and made a way for us to be able to move there. We will miss everyone from our congregation here in León and hope that in time they will be able to visit us.

Our house in Pearl Lagoon