Sunday, March 31, 2013

Memorial 2013 - Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

keeping an eye on the time
March 26, 2013 was a hot, dry day in Pearl Lagoon. Rain had swept through the town during the night leaving the morning clear of rain and the streets relatively dust free. Although we had spent a lot of time in preparation on Monday there was still a lot of work to do on Tuesday to get the hall ready for the Memorial.  All of the sound equipment had to be brought over from the Kingdom Hall and set up in the Casa de Culturas as well as extra chairs for seating.

Before we knew it the time had come for the Memorial. Pat and I arrived early - 5:00 pm - with the Memorial scheduled to start at 6:00 pm. Not surprisingly, when 6:00 pm came there were still quite a number of people arriving and so the Memorial started at 6:10. Pat was chairman as well as a server and said a prayer for the wine. Since a number of the attendees only spoke Spanish Brother Blake gave the talk in English as well as Spanish. It was the first time I had heard him speak Spanish and I was surprised at how easy it was to follow what he was saying. His accent is much easier to follow than Spanish speakers on the Pacific side.  This was the first time I have attended a Memorial where they have had to use sisters to pass the emblems because there aren't enough brothers in the congregation. The attendance at the Memorial was 52 (there are 12 publishers in the congregation).

view from the platform

the table is almost ready

opening the bottle of wine with a knife

Honorio pouring the wine

Namisha, Debbie, Jean, Camille, Annette, Debbie C., Nathan and Yadira

An unwanted guest!

Debbie, Pat and Camille

Debbie C., Camille, Yadira and Jean

Pat as chairman

after the Memorial the chairs had to go back to the Kingdom Hall

A group of visitors with Fenelia and Annette

the Blake family

removing the lighting

note the safety violations????

Pat, Debbie and Honorio relaxing after the Memorial

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Preparing for the Memorial on March 26, 2013 - Pearl Lagoon

Pat dragging away the garbage
This year the Pearl Lagoon congregation has rented the "Casa de Culturas" for their celebration of the Memorial. The building is only about 8 months old but it required a little tender loving care to get into shape for Tuesday night.

In preparation for the cleanup on Monday the grass was cut the day before so that the clippings would have time to dry out and make it easier to remove it. Early on Monday morning a crew arrived to start a thorough raking of the lawn to remove all the cut grass and the garbage that had been dropped on the property. All of the debris was removed and burned offsite which meant carrying it about 1/2 block away to Brother and Sister Blakes house.

The inside of the building and the chairs all needed a thorough cleaning too! It's amazing how dirty a place can get in only a few months.

Yadira moving her pile with the wheel barrow

Annette and Camille filling their bag with garbage

Honorio with his partner - sweeping out the auditorium

Debbie cleaning the chairs

Jean and June washing the floors

raking the lawn for a second time to get everything up

Dirty chairs like this:

Now look like this:

Clean chairs ready for the Memorial

Jean drying the floor

Kathy handing out invitations to passersby

view of the cleaned up side yard

As we were finishing up the morning us women started to wonder where all the men had disappeared to...... when suddenly one of them returned with a nice cool treat.

Honorio arriving with the raspados

You can bet they didn't last long!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Preaching in the Jungle - Rocky Point, Nicaragua

tOur territory for preaching here in Pearl Lagoon is very diverse. We have areas where we actually preach door to door and the houses are close together, we have territories that can only be reached by boat and then we have an area that is considered "jungle" in the true sense of the word. In order to reach as many people as possible for the Memorial campaign it was decided that we would spend a day in Rocky Point - for a number of us this was the first time that we had visited this area.

In order for us to get an early start we were up at 4:30 a.m. to catch the 5:30 bus that heads to El Rama. Since the territory is widespread those publishers that had bicycles brought them and they were put on top of the bus for the trip. The ride on the bus took about an hour because it had to stop quite often to pick up passengers - most of whom were carrying items that needed to be stowed on the top of the bus. When we arrived in Rocky Point we were met by our "guide" for the day - Edward - who is a bible student that lives in Rocky Point during the week and only comes into Pearl Lagoon for meetings. Edward is a true man of the jungle because he never goes anywhere without his machete - even in service!

The first stop of the morning was Edward's family home in order for us to eat our breakfast and to get ready for the trek into the jungle. His home is about a 10 minute walk from the road and you see many coconut, cinnamon, banana and other fruit trees.

Walking from the road to Edward's family home

The house is very basic and we were surprised to see that there were solar panels installed for lighting.

a view of the kitchen
Even though the hour was early everyone was already up and the children were already hard at work grating the coconut getting it ready to extract the coconut oil - a product that they sell to make money.

grating coconuts

our group having breakfast

Edward's family is very hospitable - we were given some "fresh off the tree" bananas as well as some delicious cinnamon tea or instant coffee. It was a nice start to the morning.

fresh bananas from the farm
Once breakfast was over we headed out to our first call. Along the way we passed under a troop of Howler monkeys.

Howler monkey

Howler monkey

Howler monkey

Our time in service actually became more like a "nature walk". We saw so many interesting sights.

hanging nest of a yellow tailed bird

inside of the nest

the nest is very strong and tightly woven

Honorio with some bark off the Cinnamon tree

picking some fresh limes

walking through the farm

fresh breadfruit

checking out the baby cow

poor dog couldn't have a moment to herself
A lot of the people who live back on these farms in the jungle speak Spanish. They were all very friendly and we were often given a refreshing drink of coconut water to help keep us hydrated. It wasn't long before the heat and humidity took it's toll and those of us who didn't have bicycles hopped on the 10:30 bus to return to Pearl Lagoon. If we missed this bus we would have to wait until about 3 pm for the next one - or walk back into town which none of us were prepared to do.....

The bicycle riders - Byron, Honorio and Camille - remained in the territory visiting a few more homes after we left.

Everyone enjoyed the morning spent in the "jungle" and we look forward to returning.

Camille took some great fotos too:

cocoa - for making chocolate


Camille showing off the large hill of coconut shells

spider web


walking along the jungle path


the hanging nests

Jean and Camille

Debbie after being struck by the falling "star fruit"

the nest makes a perfect purse

Edward getting some fruit

cutting some sugarcane

Camille with piglet