Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Granada Party

January 29th

After the meeting today we had a going away party for Marcelo, Cindy and Pancho.

It was a lot of fun and in true Nica style the lights went out on us. So while we were waiting on the generator we walked around the calzada and took some from friends from out of town to get some local fritonga.
When we got back we danced the night away. I literally could not sit down because the music was so energetic. Even though I didn't know all the words, I had fun dancing with the girls. We were making up crazy dance moves and they also taught me some of the local dances. One of my friends Noelia from Chinnadaga is a dance teacher so she really helped me a lot. That girl has so much energy.

It was nice to enjoy such good association.
I didn't want the night to end.

oh by the way chingaste is the settlement found on the bottom of a cacao drink. So when you drink it you have to shake it up. People here you it to mean all kinds of this things. In this case it means to get up and mingle and get on the dance floor!


January 27th-29th

The friends in Chinnidaga are so AWESOME!!!

Ok so this weekend was quite an adventure and no one had faith in us to pull it off but I prayed about it and I had faith we could do it.

So seven of us sisters (representing Granada, Managua, CA , NY, and Canada) met at the KH in Granada @ 10am to embark on our journey. Br. Dexter gave us some words of wisdom and his contact number and we went on our way. We walked to the bus terminal, took a chicken bus to La Uca, took a taxi to the Isreal terminal, and another bus to Chinnadaga, which took about 3 hours. Everyone was telling us oh it's going to take 5 hours...naw. As long as you take the right bus you are ok. It's was just very hot and you don't get to take any stops. Once we got there we seperated into two groups to go the different familie's houses where we would be staying and got dinner and went to the meeting. After the meeting we went across the street and had popusa's for 15 cords (SOOO GOOOD) and went home to sleep.

The next day we went out in service with Chinnadaga english and I met this lady who was very interested in learning the bible and we did the Truth Tract together. Her english was really good and she was like I like learning about the bible. She seemed a little disappointed I was going back to the states (that makes two of us) but I told her my friend would come back.

After service my friends Grethel and Rucio from Chinnidaga and I took a 45 min bus ride to meet my friend Daniel in Leon. Before we met up with him we walked around downtown and hung out and then we met up with him at this Mexican resturaunt for lunch. After lunch, Daniel decided he wanted to go back to Chinidaga with us and hit up the beach in Corintho with the other friends so I got to meet his Nicaraguan Family. They were so sweet and his Nica mama gave me some fruit (I can't remeber the name of it but it looks  like a pink walnut and you eat the inside. It kinda of tastes a like a coconut walnut maybe lol).

Once we got to the beach we met a family from Japan. They were affected by the Tsunami in Japan so they ended up in Nicaragua. The Tsunami was actually a couple days after the couple got married. But they were really sweet and they literally live a 1/2 a block from the beach so they let us use their house to change and everything. I had so much fun at the beach; especially since it was my first time. I tried to stay close to the shore because the waves were really strong and dangerous...i'm not going to lie one knocked me out pretty hard. I just had to hold my breath and let it happen lol. I also got a lot of sea shells to bring home!

One of the sisters that was with us had to go home Sunday and was going to miss a party that she wanted to go to so bad, but couldn't go because it was so far away so the brothers threw here one right there on the spot! They rented out this place where they do dance lessons and we had so much fun!

We made it home just in time for the meeting back home in Granda @ 10am and she was able catch her flight. Chinnadaga was definitely worth the 3 hour trip!

Servicio Espanol

Today was such a nice service day.

We went out in service with spanish in Oeste because Tuesdays and Thursdays are off days for Granada English.. It was about 10 of us out, and we met at a witness couple's home. It was so nice to sit under the pavillion in the shade in our rocking chairs. We started out doing territory in a near by neighborhood and with great success. At first I was working with a sister and her husband who are originally from NY (Kristina and John), then I worked with this sister and her daughter Jesilyn who is so cute. She is such a busy body, and loves to knock on the door and take pictures with my camera lol.

At the very end I met this little girl at the door and at first I wasn't going to talk to her because she said there were no adults in the home, because usually in the states we try not to do that because its not safe. But she looked at me and was like but we don't have a bible here! For some reason I got this feeling that I should talk to her so I walked in the courtyard and up to the window and handed her a tract in spanish. From there she proceeded to tell me that she doesn't speak spanish for real because she is from Miami. She appeared to be around 12 years old and said her parents sent her to live in Nicaragua with her aunt and uncle because her situation in the states wasn't the best. She was so eager to learn about the truth and we made arrangements to study the bible story book in the am before school starts Feburary 13th and then we will study in the afternoon.

I feel like I just adopted a lil daughter. How am I going to be able to leave?!

After service we enjoyed association from the friends from the hall and other friends from Chinnadaga. I have so many contacts now.

The worldwide brotherhood is such a beautiful thing.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hotel Granada

January 30th

Today we had friends still in town from the party yesterday so we gave them a tour around Granada, especially since for most of them it was their first time here. So we went to the local pulperia and got some breakfast essentials (huevos, pan etc) and made breakfast. Then we walked around parque central and the calzada on our way to Hotel Granda to go swimming. But before we made it there we had to make some pits stops in random ppl's entry way because every 10 mins it would start pouring down raining then stop and feel like 95* lol. But everyone still wanted to swim so we kept trekkin. Along the strip we ran into some more witnesses from the party, stopped by the french bakery where Rucio and I shared a mango pastery and a ham and cheese crossiant for 20 cords each (not quite a $1-yumm).

Once we arrived to the hotel our roomate Shelina serenaded us on the piano (with an orginal written by a brother in Minesota). It was really beautiful. Then the pool. Rucio and I chilled out poolside and were dancing to some of the jams on Shelina's ipod.

After the pool I went to the Newbons house to say goodbye to Marcelo. Who is on an arrangement placed by the society here called the Pioneer Route, where pioneers are sent to various parts of the country where congregations have little or no help. The guys had their last hoorah (aka sharing a gallon of cacao-and yes they shaked the chingaste).

Marcelo, Cindy, and Pancho from our hall were all accepted to go on the assignment and will be deeply missed. I think they will be gone for a month.

After I said my goodbyes I got lunch (nica tacos, papas, and a margarita cupcake-so random but good).

After lunch I went out in service from 230-630. It was so nice we did territory and them Kim and I finished off with my bible study. It went so well. Her mother answered the door and we heard her  in the background saying I'm here! Come on in, i'll get my books! So before we started the book we said a prayer and shared some scriptures about her current situation with her husband. And I kid you not every question she had was LITTERALY and bolded subheading in the Bible Teach Book...so amazing. She explained to us how her prayers have evolved. Most recently her prayers are for answers on why God is permiting so much suffering and how she can not feel so empty....without a hope of finding bible answers, and she felt God doesn't hear her. Yet, we explained to her HE IS listening! This study is your reply from him!

We ended up staying for a little over an hour and she kindly walked us to a spot where we could catch a taxi and waited for us to get in because where she lives there are no lights so it can kinda be unsafe, she even asked for my email so we can keep in contact when I go back to the states!

Ayyy I dont want to leave!
After the study i cooked dinner and went to a spanish family's house to see a movie.
Today was a busy day but good
                         -Tan cansada

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Laguna de Apoyo

January 24th

Today we took a day off to rest and went on a tourist shuttle with some of the friends fromt the hall to the Laguna de Apoyo.

It is so nice and relaxing there.

It's actually this huge lake I guess you could say sitting ontop of an active volcano.
I kept having these random thoughts of this movie called Dante's Peak where there were some people swimmig in something similar and the volcano erupted, but no, it was really fun lol. The water was perfect. We Kayaked. At first it was rough. Viviana and I crashed into a tree and some rocks (it was so funny) but after that it was smooth sailing. We just needed to get in sync.  I did my bible reading in a hammok near the water and Alana and I decided to walked around to the other hotel resorts up there and bought some really good nicaraguan food. Alana had shredded pork, plantanes and salad. I had fried chicken, platntanes (maduros) and salad. It was sooo good. The chicken was so different. Alana thought is was fish. I was just confused, because it was a flavor that I have never tasted before....a real chicken. In the states, our meat has so many perservatives and fillers in it we don't even know what real meat taste like.

This chicken was AMAZING. It was so moist and crispy on the outside, and the plantanes were so fresh....yumm.

Today was a much needed day.

When we got home, we showered and went straight to the meeting and the meeting was reallly nice. I gave a talk and a demostration so I was busy tonight. Tomarrow the girls (Jamilia and Alana) are going to the floating KH to do service with an missionary couple and I'm going out with the group to do my studies. Can't wait to hear there expierences! Goodnight.

Productive Service Day

January 23rd

Today was a great day in service. All three of us started studies, but i will just talk about mine and the girls can talk about their's because i wasnt in their group.

So we were doing territory (census) but  our sheet says a Maricio lives in this green and white house but Maricio did not live there but a Maria did so i took over since it was a lady. She invited us in immediately and started to explain to me in english/spanish that she feels so confused and fed up with religion. She feels as if God is punishing her. She in a lot of pain because her significant other left and cheated on her. Originally I was going to place to the truth tract but I decided to just share encouraging scriptures with her because she had a lot weighing her down. At the end of our discussion we talked about the importance of prayer and she agreed to do the Bible Teach Book on wednesday of this same week. She was like please come back because last time someone in spanish said they would come and never did. I got her number and everything so i'm really excited to talk to her this wednesday.

On our way home, walking out of the territory, this old nicaraguan man came up to me speaking in spanish talking about the political situation in Nicaraga at this time. Of course i was neutral about the situation and shared an encouraging thought of an future Godly government and fortunately Jamilia had a All Suffering Soon to End Tract on her in spanish so it worked out nicely. He seemed to be a lot more at eased by the end of the conversation.

Just a little side note. The picture above of the kids is a group of kids we saw in territory. They told us that the house we thought we were knocking on was actually a Morman Church and nobody was there. They were so intrigued by us speaking english and kept following us around and helped us find english speaking ones. I just had to take a picture of them.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Meeting
January 22, 2012

Today I got up a little earlier than usual because I had some milk last night that was room temperature (like I bought it off the shelf)…I should have known better. But the locals said it was fine. All I know is that my stomach is not Nicaraguan. I had the weirdest cramp..it was like an evil monster was crawling around in my stomach! I prayed all night that I wouldn’t have to go to a Nicaraguan hospital and around 7 o’clock this am I felt miracously better (whew! That was a close one). At least it wasn’t all in vain because I made some blazin mash potatoes with that milk. Anyways, I got up earlier and cleaned the house so everything would be ready for the speaker. When we got to the hall we had 3 bible studies that came to visit, and two of them commented numerous times from their heart, in their own words which was really encouraging! When the speaker got to the house, I realized that his family and I have a lot in common. Br. Simpson our speaker is in the Arabic group back home and knows the Williams brothers and Br. Mims so we exchanged contacts because I would really like to join their group one day or at least visit. He and his wife seemed to really enjoy it. After hospitality we went out in service for the 2:30pm group. Jamilia I had the privilege of working out in service with Br. Dexter. Br. Dexter and his wife have been in the truth for a very long time and will have been married for 50 years next month. What’s so encouraging about this couple is that they have been everywhere supporting the international building committee so I got to hear a lot of his stories today. For example, in the 1970’s he started a group in North Carolina I believed to build KH’s. He and his few of his friends wrote the society to see if it was ok, and they granted them the permission. He said that back then the RBC wasn’t in existence. But since the IBC he and his wife have had the privilege of traveling to Puerto Rico, Panama, El Salvador, Columbia, Jamaica, and several places in the states. One story he told us about is in Jamaica, he would fly down every weekend to do the quick builds.  During this time a news reporter was interviewing different ones on the airplane, who came down to do relief work for a hurricane that recently occurred down there. She began to notice that out of all the ones she interviewed Br. Dexter was the only one that would come back on a regular basis. So she decided to interview him….every week. So every week he had a 30min broadcast on the 11pm news for 11 weeks. I thought this was really cool, because every week he would explain a different bible doctrine. Can you imagine how many people he could have potentially brought in the truth or at least have a planted a seed?!

Oh he also showed us the new and old missionary homes in service today.

Well that’s all for now.

Masaya x2

Masaya x2

January 21st

Today we went to the Masaya Market again but with Jojo. It was Jamilia, Jojo, Sr. Hardin and me. Jam and I wanted to go again just to make sure we didn’t miss anything because we had no idea what we were doing the first time. So we took the bus out there and went straight to the artsy section, where the leather purses and artwork are. There are a lot of repeats so a lot of people are calling out to get your attention first. Then we got a guy who offered to take us around to all his “family’s spots.” One of these spots was a place where they sell all genuine leather shoes and the girl that was helping us out happened to be studying so that was cool. She was really sweet. After Jojo and Sr. Hardin got some shoes and Sr. Hardin got this beautiful/huge/genuine leather backpack we got some food at one of the food spots inside the market. Keep in mind this is the first time today that I saw one of them mangling dogs this whole market trip. Sr. Hardin was truly blessed man. She did see the pigs and chickens hanging from the ceiling though lol. Anyways, we wandered our way through the food area and found this spot where this sister works at. We ate good. Jojo had shredded beef, pintogallo, and salad and Jam and I had grilled chicken, pintogallo, and salad. Just a side note Jojo had like 3 cacaos today. We think he’s addicted but I have to give it to him, it is really good chocolate milk. After our little adventure to the market we went to the grocery store to get our ingredients to make lunch for the speaker tomarrow. On the menu are spaghetti, Italian salad, garlic bread, and cookies. Hope they like it! Once I finish cooking I’m doing my watchtower. Buenas Noches!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Managua Party

We went to our first party this week.  It was hosted by Josie, a faithful pioneer from Blue Fields.  It was a going away event for a brother from New York who had been serving for 4 months and suddenly got called to Bethel duty.  The small English congregation in Managua was sad to see him go.  His parting speech almost brought tears to some eyes.  The food was splendid!  Homemade Fritanga is truly a treat!  A Canadian brother unfortunately had a bout with unfiltered tap water, but he survived.  The music was a mix of bachata, meringue, salsa, soca and other Caribbean music.  But the real story is how we managed to get there….

First we boarded a bus from Granada to Managua, easy enough.  Except some of the brothers were running late and decided to meet us at a stop along the way- the bus literally flew right past them…they weren’t standing at an official stop.  We get off in Managua.  As we’re looking for the correct bus-stop, we see the other 3 brothers on a different bus.  What are the chances!  We meet up with them.  We don’t know which bus to take to Josie’s, is it the 168, 158 or 160?  For an unknown reason we board the 110 going in the wrong direction.  We randomly get off the bus and then seek out a taxi.  The taxi agrees to take all 8 of us in one taxi. Nuts!  We get lost and the taxi driver is swearing in Spanish.  We finally reach our destination and our cab fare triples!  Nevertheless, we made it! lol

First English Assembly

This is history in the country of Nicaragua.  This was the first ever English convention.  We were so blessed and privileged to be able to attend.  There were 260 on Saturday and 285 in attendance on Sunday.  We gained 2 new sisters from the territory at the baptism.  We met friends from all over: Trinindega, Leon, Blue Fields, Pearl Lagoon, Costa Rica, Canada, U.S. and Mexico.  It truly was a convergence of Jehovah’s people.  The talks were encouraging and for those who haven’t yet attended their 2-day I won’t spoil it.  On Break, we met new friends and mingled with the C.O.’s wife.  She was amazing.  From Atlanta, GA she was rocking her natural hair.  We literally talked about hair for the entire break on Sunday!  The D.O. and his wife were cool too.  On stage during their “get-to-know-you” interviews they went back and forth kidding about how many pairs of shoes the wife managed to bring along.  Just getting to the convention was an experience.  The friends rented a school bus that we all boarded at the Kingdom Hall every morning at 7:30am.  We considered the daily text on the way and then enjoyed the rest of the ride conversing with one another.  It was an awesome way to start off our trip and we enjoyed every moment of it!
PS:That's the sign we worked on!  We only painted the white background, but another wrote the letters by hand.

Field Service

Service is why we are here so we were really excited to be out.  There were 14 out today.  We split into 3 groups.  We went with Marcello to a rural lake area.  This is the poorest section of Granada.  I realized that the water constantly flowing down the sides of the street is open sewage.  (Definitely don’t want to step in that for fear of getting parasites through your feet.)  The houses nearest the lake get washed away every year.  So they are made of minimal materials.  We went door to door searching for English speaking persons.  “Conosce alguien que habla Ingles por aqui?”  is what you ask.  Bree preached to a young boy learning English.  We covered the first paragraph in the Truth Tract and he responded in English.   After 2 hours we were beat.  Service here breaks for 2 and ½ hours for lunch.  The afternoon group meets back at 2:30pm.

The capital is densely populated which makes for horrible traffic and even worse bussing situations.  To get to the Kingdom Hall we needed one bus.  But both times it past it was so packed we couldn’t dream of getting on without being violated.  The bus pulled off with people hanging out the door trying to climb on a nd everyone inside were packed like sardines.  Instead we took 2 buses that were less crowded but we still were standing.  At the hall we waited for the English friends to show up.  We were passed by spiffy dressed sisters in high heels that were also preaching in English.  They were doing business territory only.  You have to dress the part and you only do business.  In our plain skirts and open-toed sandals we waited for the rest of us regulars to show up.  We took a bus into the territory, we rode for about 25 minutes.  The brother handed my partner and I a map and RV slips with names of people and all the notes about the previous visits.  We called on 8-10 houses and spoke with 4 people at length.  I left a bible teach book with a woman from Pearl Lagoon who spoke English with a Caribbean accent.  She was from the East side of Nicaragua.  There, there is a community of English speaking people who are dark-skinned (my people lol, well at least according to the people on the street who keep asking if I am from Blue Fields.)

Back to Granada
In Granada English we are constantly doing census work.  This entails searching for English speakers and notifying the brothers.  Friday, we were in a territory that had tons of alleys that snacked through the town and revealed tons of houses that are unseen from the main street.  2 brothers found an English-speaking girl.  Marcello called me over and we switched partners.  I started a bible study with her in the Bible Teach Book.  The only thing is, she doesn’t live there!  So I have to find her next week near the lake where she lives.  She gave me her phone number and directions though, I am excited for next week.