Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua - June 26, 2013

There are times when we really wonder if we are just living on a big farm. Not a day goes by when we encounter some "farm animals" let on the loose throughout the town. There are pigs in peoples yards, chickens running everywhere, the cows decide to visit Pearl Lagoon from Raitipura (the Miskito village nearby) and the horses decide to chomp the grass in front of our house! We are forever stepping over piles of poop! If we ever take a trip back home I'm not quite sure what we will report on the Customs form when it asks if we have visited a farm during our time away......

Looking out from our front porch

The rainy season is taking some time to adjust to. Somehow last year in León it didn't seem too difficult to cope with; maybe I'm just forgetting (it happens when you get older). We definitely need to invest in some serious boots. Even though we do have "plastic" shoes the water is really high in some areas and the mud - well, there is no describing the mud except to say it's everywhere and lots of it - therefore the need for boots. One thing I can say - our letter writing skills will improve since there are times that it is impossible to go out.

On one of our Bible Studies a couple of weeks ago we learned that even though the locals speak English it is important to have the right accent. I was discussing lesson #3 in The Good News from God brochure - question #1. Miss Hercelita is getting up there in age - I'm not sure how old she is but she's getting up there and as she says "her eyes don't work too good" - so I read all of the paragraphs. As I'm reading out load she follows along by repeating most of what I'm saying. So, when I read that 40 men helped to write the bible the conversation when like this:

Miss Hercelita: "What you say? Fawr men wrote the bible?".
Me: "No mam. Fooorty men wrote the bible."
Miss Hercelita: "Fawrteen men?"
Me: "No man. Fooorty men."
She still didn't get it so Pat chimed in: "Fawrty men wrote the bible".
Miss Hercelita: "Oh, fawrty - that's what I thought".

I'm glad to say that when we visited her this week she still remembered the statistics from that paragraph - there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with her memory!

Bible studies house during a downpour

On Sunday we all made it to the Kingdom Hall and enjoyed the program. When it was time to go home the sky just opened up and so the Blakes had some extended time with the congregation. The kids were restless after sitting during the program, so once the chairs were put away they entertained themselves by dancing, doing cartwheels and generally having a good time. Unfortunately, the action pictures didn't turn out very well, but you can see that they had a good time from  the still pictures I managed to take.




hamming it up

Katrine, Pat, Chase and Katiel

With all the rain we have had to set up a couple of areas to dry out clothes. The porch works quite well most days - unless there is a lot of wind and then the rain just blows in and soaks the clothes. We have had to resort to putting lines up in the extra bedroom but of course it takes days for them to dry in there because there is no breeze. I can see why some people have clothes dryers here because if you aren't careful your clothes get moldy before they have a chance to dry. Still, I am very grateful that I don't have to wash my clothes by hand in the pila like most of the women here. You can see them washing in the rain and getting totally drenched - not fun at all!

Clothes on the porch

Bird Talk:
 Pancho continues to be a real hoot - ok, a chirp since he isn't an owl. We have tried to get him to eat fruit other than banana but he usually will just ignore it. Well, we gave him a banana that wasn't quite ripe enough to his liking and he wouldn't eat it. Instead of buying him a riper on I found a ripe mango in the yard and peeled a little back to see what he would do with it. To our surprise he dug right in! It seems like he prefers to have his mango whole rather than chopped into pieces.

Pancho eating his mango

When Chizu was visiting she asked us if we ever gave Pancho any fruit juices. We never had but decided to see if he would drink orange juice. We have found out that he loves orange juice (it can't be watered down or he will dump it out) and he will get all antsy until we give him his cap full. It's surprising how demanding a little bird can be.
Pancho drinking his orange juice

Monday, June 17, 2013

English SAD - June 16, 2013

happy with our free beer
This has been a weekend of firsts.....

After what seemed like endless days of rain, rain and more rain we were happy to get on the bus Friday at 5 am (and yes, it was raining!) to head to
Managua for our second SAD here in Nicaragua. The SAD was held on Sunday, June 16, 2013 but we had to be in town a day early to help clean the assembly hall. After a lot of indecision, we left Pancho home alone with lots of seeds, bananas and water and every time we heard some birds I wondered how he was making out.

We arrived in Managua about 5:30 pm and were grateful to be picked up by our host for the weekend - our blogger buddies Charley and Rachel in Nicaragua. They were already playing host to some friends of theirs from Britain, Madalyne Eddie and her brother Blake Eddie. They had just spent 2 months in the Dominican Republic as needgreaters and are spending a month here with Charley and Rachel to finish their 3 month needgreater vacation. After a delicious dinner of beef and chicken tacos we were exhausted and hit the bed at 9 pm so that we could be up early to head to the Assembly Hall for cleaning the next morning.

Like the good sports they are, Madalyne and Blake offered to come and help scrub toilets and wash floors and we arrived at the hall by 8 am - the time we were told cleaning was to begin. We should have known better - we were the first to arrive and the arrangement for cleaning wasn't actually until 9 am. There are some advantages to arriving early because we weren't assigned toilet duty - well, not initially. We really enjoyed seeing all our friends from León who arrived to clean as well as those we know from Managua. While I was taking a "short" break - sitting in the auditorium - the chairs started to rattle and I thought that Pat must have come up behind us and was shaking the chairs. NO - it was a 6.5 earthquake! It seemed to go on for minutes, though I'm sure it was only about 30 seconds. There was no damage and everyone seemed to take it in stride. We heard later that friends in León reported they felt it even stronger than we did. It was a long morning but we finally were finished by 1 pm and headed out for some lunch and to pick up supplies for lunches on Sunday. That evening we decided to check out a restaurant we had seen on the way to Charley and Rachel's - Flayers Hamburgers. The burgers were good - but the fun part was a group of 3 young ladies that delivered 6 free Victoria Classic beers to our table! When we were settling up the bill we were offered more beer to take home - so you can imagine the happy face Pat had when he heard the news.

Ashlee and Lily
Sunday was a fun day - the program was really enjoyable and it was wonderful to see even more of our friends from León. Little Lily isn't so little anymore but unfortunately she doesn't remember us. That's ok because she will get used to us again in August because we will be staying with her for a few days after the Pioneer School.

We enjoyed the interview that Bill Rose had with Todd and Lori Schlepper - we will miss them now that they have been assigned to the District Work and they won't likely be heading back to Pearl Lagoon any time soon.

After the SAD we had another first - we braved the wilds of the Managua bus system and took 2 buses from the Assembly Hall all the way across town to the Costa Caribe Bus Terminal.  You can bet we didn't try this on our own. We made the journey with the Blake family and although we got squished on the first bus we didn't have any trouble, not even when we had to negotiate the Huembles market to find our second bus.

Interview with Todd and Lori


it was Tyrece's first SAD-doesn't he look happy?
the large truck from El Rama to Kukra Hill
 The bus from Managua left right on time - 9 pm and we arrived in El Rama shortly before 3 am. Rather than take the pangas (we can't justify the cost when the bus is so cheap) we took the 4 am "truck" that was heading to Kukra Hill. The truck was actually quite comfortable and roomy and reminded us of the camionettas we used to ride in León. The plan was that we would arrive in Kukra Hill in time to get the 10 am bus to Pearl Lagoon. Of course - not everything goes according to your plans. When we reached Kukra Hill we found out that there wasn't going to be a 10 am bus because it was broken down. The upside was a truck was leaving right away and there was room in it for all of us. Just as we were heading along what is called the savanna (not too far from home) the truck got a flat tire. Thankfully he had a spare because I wasn't thrilled at the prospect of walking the rest of the way.

waiting for the tire to be fixed

Well, we are happy to report that we did finally make it home at 10:30 - very tired and relieved that Pancho survived his 3 days on his own. He must have cleaned up very well because there were no signs of a party!


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua - June 8, 2013

some kind of beetle
The rainy season is in full swing here in Pearl Lagoon. We've only had 1 day where it rained all day but almost every day now we are having a "rain event" where we get a downpour. The nice thing about rainy season is that everything is so green and vibrant - ok, yes, it is always green and vibrant here because it rains year round. However, it is even more so! With the rain the grass is growing really fast and it seems like all the bugs are growing too! We are finding all kinds of different critters wandering in the house and on the streets. The humidity is increasing and you find yourself sweating buckets. No sooner are you dried off from the shower and you feel like you need to take another one because you are all wet with sweat. The heat also saps your energy and a little siesta in the afternoon is really necessary.

no idea what this is - but it is colourful

Pancho seems to have recovered from his little "accident" and is back to his old self. He has a permanent "bald" spot on his head where we can see his scalp but there are new feathers growing around the edges which is encouraging. He has developed his own routine for bedtime and hates when he gets delayed. Shortly after 5 pm you will see him prancing around on the top of his cage like he is agitated. If the light is off in the living room then he will fly down to the ground, walk over to where his nighty-night cage is, climb up by using the blue towel that is covering the cage and then find his way inside. If we are around at bedtime then he likes to have us put him in the cage and tuck him in for the night. When we come home from the meetings on Thursday nights he is already in bed and he hates it when we make too much noise and disturb him - he has to come out and complain! We had been told that if Pancho slept in a covered cage he would sleep in longer in the morning - they forgot to tell him that! He is up singing with all the other birds by 5:30 a.m. most mornings.... so much for retirement and sleeping past that 6 a.m. alarm!

Pancho's nighty-night cage

Last week, during one of the afternoon service arrangements, Honorio had a difficult time splitting up the group. There were 5 of us (which would mean someone had to work alone) but we all had studies at the same time and in different areas of town - I believe there were 11 studies being conducted that afternoon. It meant that he could only make up one pair and the other 3 had to work alone. We all have so many studies that it is getting more and more difficult to work house to house. Honorio will be returning to Mexico for 3 months after the SAD next weekend which means that Pat will be picking up his studies too! We are crazy busy these days - and we like it that way!

Yvette (bible study) and daughter

The group last Saturday waiting for the rain to stop

The 1/2 hour downpour last Saturday morning

We have a new student on the Theocratic School. Yoley had her first part last Thursday but unfortunately I didn't have my camera to record the event.