Monday, April 15, 2013

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua - April 15, 2013

After a long, hot week of preaching we were looking for some relaxation and so a group of us decided to take a trip out to Awas for a late afternoon swim. Awas is a small community about a 1/2 hour walk from Pearl Lagoon - it's much faster now that we have bikes. The road out to Awas is actually nice to ride on. Rather than being made of rocks thrown into mud this road is cement and is a joy to ride on. We were thrilled that Fenelia decided to join us. Jean and Honorio were able to pull her along for a good portion of the trip but as we got closer to Awas (and after a few close calls) Honorio pushed her wheelchair to the far end of the community.

Jean pulling Fenelia in her wheelchair
The water was as warm as bathwater but with the sun on the wane there was no concerns about getting burnt. The shore is really shallow here and you can walk out for about 1/4 of a mile before the water gets deep enough to really swim - this makes it perfect for kids young and old to go "bathing". A note to the wise: don't visit Awas during Semana Santa - this sleepy community is overrun with day-trippers from near and far.

Pat and Debbie - Awas, Nicaragua

Enjoying some snacks

sunset in Awas

Even though our meetings are held in the Blake's family home the whole congregation takes turns in cleaning and preparing the "auditorium" for the meetings. Our names have finally made it onto the roster (along with Camille) and we took our first turn on April 7th. Just like back home we are responsible for sweeping and washing the floors, cleaning the bathroom and dusting. Here in Pearl Lagoon we also have to set up the seating. After the meeting we need to put away the chairs as well as sweep and wash the floor as necessary.

Camille washing the floor

the Kingdom Hall cleaned and ready for the meeting

As you walk towards our house you will notice some pretty flowering bushes on the left hand side of the garden. What we hadn't noticed was that there was a squash growing on the flowering vine that was intertwined in the bushes. Considering how large this squash is I can't believe that none of us noticed it until just recently. We have been told that you can eat them and so we are looking forward to it ripening and being ready to eat. The trees in the back yard are also getting their harvest ready. Pretty soon we will have plenty of mangoes and limes to fill our bellies!

squash in our front yard
Last week when we were in Haulover we noticed a bird on a wood fence enjoying the sunshine. It looks a little like a toucan but have found out that it is actually called a collard aracari. This little guy is a "rescue bird" just like Pancho. He was found back in the bush with a broken foot. The family have nursed him back to health, clipped his feathers so that he can't fly away and now he is part of the family. He spends his time between the house out in the bush and their house here in Haulover. They leave the faucet open (on low) so that he can have a little bath or drink when he wants. He actually was a friendly little guy - I think Pancho needs to learn from him on how to treat his family and visitors!

Honorio holding the Collard Aracari in Haulover
The pets here in Nicaragua very seldom get "pet food" like they would if they lived in Canada or the US. Here in Pearl Lagoon they usually have to scavenge or hunt for anything they can find to fill their bellies. We came home one afternoon to find our neighbor's dogs "stalking" a small lizard. It was putting up a good fight but it obviously was no match for these two determined dogs. Obviously, only one dog would be able to enjoy a meal of this small creature so the little black one went hungry and had to keep looking for something to eat.
dogs hunting for their dinner

Here is a picture of Jean in Raitipura. We get to enjoy sitting under those trees while teaching the bible to Miss Hazel a 65 year old woman.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua - April 13, 2013

Our good friend Kennie Gathuru arrived yesterday for a visit.  It is such a pleasure to see a familiar face from our old congregation in Halifax and to make things even better he brought chocolate!

Kennie came out in service this morning and already has a return visit for tomorrow! This is the first time that we have really worked Pearl Lagoon with magazines (we have been concentrating on the invitation work and tracts up until now) and Pat and I were amazed that we placed 18 between us in a little over an hour. The topic on domestic violence really strikes a chord here in Pearl Lagoon.

Kennie and Honorio - Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Kennie, Honorio and Pat - Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Debbie, Kennie and Pat - Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua - April 10, 2013

Pancho has developed a sweet tooth (I mean beak)! Every once in a while we will sit on the porch with a cup of tea and a sweet treat and in no time at all Pancho is out there with us looking for his portion of the pico or cake. We tell him that it isn't good for him, but he won't listen!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua - April 6, 2013

There aren't very many transportation options here in Pearl Lagoon. There are a few moto taxis as well as a van that operates as a collectivo but they never seem to be around when you need them. So, since our territory is so widespread we decided that we would get some bikes in Bluefields when we went to pay our rent.  We decided to buy new bikes rather than used ones and there was a good selection throughout town. Well, it's a week later and we've already tested them out and they are definitely a bonus for service. However, you know how some cars are lemons? Well, the saying is true for bikes too. We have only had the bikes for 1 week and Pat has already had to replace/fix his inner tube, chain and washers for his pedals. My bike has been problem free!

riding our bikes in Haulover
chocolate cake

Although Pearl Lagoon does have a bakery for bread and goodies, there isn't a shop that you can order a special cake. It's not that you can't get them - you just need to know who in town makes them. A sister in our congregation happens to be one of them and she makes amazingly delicious cakes - or so we were told. So on April 1st I asked if we could have a chocolate cake made for the next day - the catch was that they had to come over and help us eat it. On April 2nd we enjoyed a delicious velvet chocolate cake with a small group of friends to celebrate our 30th Wedding anniversary.

Pat and Debbie - 30th Wedding Anniversary

 April will be an exciting month for us - we have visitors coming. First up is Kennie Gathuru. We know Kennie from our Spanish congregation in Halifax, Nova Scotia. For the last few months he has been traveling in Peru and up through Central America. We are looking forward to showing him around town.

At the end of the month we are expecting a special visitor from Japan - Chizu Wasa. The timing of her visit is perfect since we will be in Managua on our way to Costa Rica for our visa renewal. Chizu will come with us to spend 3 nights in Costa Rica and then we will bring her back to Pearl Lagoon.

A recent visitor