Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Day Off

Actually, I took a two days off but they felt like one. Here is some of the fun I had around town. I got to visit Jinotepe which is about thirty minutes from where I live. Not bad and we travelled by bus, it was interesting to say the least. On the way there, we got into it with the driver about how much to pay and on the way back the bus broke down. I'll tell you this, the food that the friends prepared for us was so good that it hardly mattered and I got my first pedicure too which was luxurious. Just another day in the life.

The other photos are in Laguna de Apollo. It is a beautiful lake that we can swim in just twenty minutes from my door. Some of the English group and I went and spent the day swimming and laying around like bums. It was a nice treat.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

2010 LSN Convention

These two in the drama are my friends from Granada. They were great as the couple who went back to Jerusalem just in time for 70 CE.

Here is a group of us from the convention and Masaya we have every reason to smile.

This young man is the one baptized last weekend. He was warmly welcomed and deaf as well.

All in all another great assembly. Not sure but it could be our last one in this location if they decide to sell the property. You know what that could be coming to town. I still have a hard hat to wear too!


Caballos en la Calle

This is a little something that I meant to share earlier. It's that time of the year in Granada when it gets harder and harder to get to sleep because of the religious festivals happening every weekend and even during some weekdays.

This little "caballo" even started around 10pm and finished around midnight. Horses and at least half of the 100,000 residents marched in front of my window to music and horse trots. This is the view from my balcony apartment. I decided instead of trying to get some sleep that I'd actually get a look at the show.

BTW tonight is another event. They've got lights and decorations up and bands playing in the street. Not cohesively or anything but very loud horns and drums in conflict with each other. I don't think I'll be getting to bed anytime soon so I'm going to stay up late and watch movies.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm Back!!!

First I want to say thanks to everyone who made me feel so welcome back in the States. I miss you all terribly and I hope that you'll all get a chance to come and visit on my turf. It's nice not to be working like a maniac. I couldn't have done it with out the support from so many friends. It's a different kind of busy here. Trying to get re-acclimated to my life here. I had a roommate and now she's gone home to take care of some unfinished business. I wish her well and hope that she'll be able to return again soon.

Not much has really changed here in the short time I was away. They are working on the main drag in and out of town so the roads will be smoother for a while. Looking forward to that. We have our sign language district in a couple weeks. The first week of December 4 and 5 we'll all be together again. I'll send pix as I get them.

Nos Vemos!


Monday, September 27, 2010

The Icing on the Cake

Just finished the English convention of Jehovah's Witnesses down here. Don't worry, I won't be giving away any details just in case anyone reading hasn't had theirs yet. I think it's enough to say it was one of the best I've ever attended.

Something special we got today (Monday) was a meeting for all those serving here in Nicaragua in full-time service from various countries. We talked about the closing of the local branch and what that will mean for the 'need-greaters' here as well as the positive outcomes to be expected.

It was a bittersweet meeting since it'll probably be the last in this particular venue and many of the Bethelites that we've grown accustomed to will be leaving the country or reassigned to other areas of service as soon as November 1st. Many of us foreigners here have come to this country because of the warm welcome or encouragement we received from the branch. They'll be greatly missed.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Visit to the Coast!

So I finally managed to get to the beach and not a minute too soon. San Juan Del Sur is all that I was promised it would be. A not so sleepy surfer town about 30 minutes from the Costa Rican boarder.

The waves from this particular cove go from beginner to intermediate with the tide and restaurants and hotels pepper the coast line all along the beach. We rented a chair and umbrella and made a day of it. I was even able to tag along for a boat ride to view the coast from the water. Our guide took us for an hour excursion and showed us the various caves that jut out from Nicaragua. We got a good look at Costa Rica oceanside.

Our little boat also happened to catch up with some whales that just happen to be feeding in the area this time of year. There were two small babies who surfaced and a larger whale (probably mommy) that never did. If what we glimpsed below the water's surface was any indication she was massive. The three moved very quickly making it hard to keep up with them with our little putt putt engine.

They don't have the rules about getting close to whales that we do in the states so to say we could almost touch them at times is an understatement. The two seconds of film of me and my friends squealing at the whales will be shown here as soon as I get a copy of the video and pix we took together. It doesn't do the experience justice but take my word for it when I say it's something to see. (Oh, and no whales were injured in the making of our film :-)

The cutie in the picture above is our friend Bella from California who's down with her parents supporting the ministry work in English. They all speak Spanish fluently including her and as you can see she discovered some wildlife right on the beach. Thanks to them I finally got to go to la playa, thanks again you guys!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Survivor Nicaragua?!

Yeah, I'm watching the first episode of Survivor Nicaragua. I admit it. I'm wondering if anyone I know is going to try to win the trip to Nicaragua :) As I watch these people on their televised beach some where off corn island, I'm thinking to myself: I need to hop on a plane right quick and check it out. There's gorgeous beach and water over there like we don't get here in the city. Until then...when I get back to the Florida I'm going straight to the beach.


Monday, September 6, 2010

August has left the building!

I'm starting to get out of practice here. I am living here now and finding my eye for the interesting isn't as good as it once was. I often don't have my camera at the ready anymore, my bag is filled with literature for the deaf, Spanish, and English now. It's harder to make room for my little camera. So here is what I could find that's new:

I currently have a new roommate and she is from Luxemberg and speaks everything except English, perfect for our Spanish practice since she's learning too. Her first language is Portuguese. She also speaks French and Italian. She's been great so far and we've found that despite the language difference we communicate very well and have a lot in common. So although, I miss Jess terribly I am thrilled to have a new sister to share my home with.

A little while back we took a brief tour of the the translation department of Bethel in Raizon. It is now a beautiful home to those translating our magazines and books into LSN (Nicaraguan Sign Language) Miskito and Mayangna languages.

One of our Bethel brothers there who supports the congregation of Masaya cooked for us and it was a lovely 'family' dinner.

This is the current look of the English group meeting in the territory. There are a few of the same faces but as you'll note from earlier pix of the group it is always about the same size but never the same group. It adds some spice to those who live here. Currently we have one little baby and she's the source of lots of fun. We'll miss you when you're gone Isabella.

This picture is of our one deaf and blind person at the Special Day Assembly. He and his wife were wonderful to talk with and all smiles when the camera is off :-)

Very typical that people don't smile for the camera the way we do in the states. Take note of that if you're trying to get a good picture, is customary for people to not smile during formal and informal pictures.

Here is my good friend Matt as the Bethel Speaker giving a couple talks at the Special Day and having them translated. The brother to his right is also at Bethel in translation and supports my congregation in Masaya. Matt didn't have any signs for us this time but we were happy to have him. The week before he gave talks to the Miskito friends in the North. Although they don't know where they will be assigned after the local Bethel closes it has been great having he and Mandy around.

If you don't know they were a big part of why I chose to come and serve in Nicaragua. They were the first to tell me of the need in sign language and were a steady source of encourage ment when I needed it. Thanks you two!

One of my bible studies came to the Special Day assembly so I am thrilled about that because he got himself there and home with little to no help from me. He met up with friends and enjoyed himself, he told me the next day at his study. I'm glad to report he's already making plans to come to the next convention in sign language and bringing his mom, who's learning sign language.
This adorable creature just curled up on my shoes one day during a break from preaching. We stopped at a friend's for lunch. She runs a restaurant kitchen out of her home so we were seated in the house and this little guy just couldn't help himself. I'm allergic, as most of you know, so I couldn't pet him but it was nice to be snuggled anyway ;-) I didn't do anything special with my camera to make it glow that was all the little kitty.

For those of your wondering I'll be making my way home again at the end of the month of September but I'll have pix from the English convention and hopefully much more before then so keep checking the posts.


Monday, August 23, 2010

The Bluefields Bust

So after all that hoopla I didn't make it to Bluefields after all. It is on the other side of Nicaragua and full of Caribbean folks but as it was I was on a time crunch and they ran out of plane tickets back before I could get one for my day of travel which was Monday. I had a guest coming on Monday and couldn't take the bus back so I was stuck. I will eventually get to go but for now, I'll have to be content with the experience of others.

But since I have the space and the need, I invited a friend over to stay while she attended the local Pioneer school. She's from Granada on the Northeast side of town. Morena is a lot of fun and speaks only Spanish. Great for me!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Just another day in the life....

First off, sorry to anyone who's been anxiously waiting for news from the Nica front. I've been sick so the blog is the first thing to suffer :)

After getting over it we've had some very interesting weather here. After an extremely dry season we're into the "wet" season a.k.a. winter. This is just a little of what the people here have to contend with on a rainy day. It's obviously not enough to deter some people.

Nice to know I'm so close to the water.

I went out to the Lake with Pilar again to preach. It's always an adventure and this time we had some clouds to keep us from dying from the heat. It was the kind of day you pray for when you know you're going to put in a good 4 to 5 hours in Central America. And the lake looked just beautiful this morning.

This little treat comes right off the tree. I have a little bit of a sensitive stomach right now so I didn't get a good taste of this goodie but when I'm feeling 100 percent this is on my list. It has a name I just can't remember it right now. I'll get back to you and post it right here.

This little guy is an empty shell from something called a chochorro(sp?). He was used in an illustration by the district overseer at the last assembly.

This is us getting a ride back from walking the lake. It's a trek but thanks to a kind hearted bible study we didn't have to walk all the way back.

Yeah, this is me and the baby cows. Preaching in Nicaragua, just another day in the life.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Visitor

So glad I had a friend to come visit. It is hard to describe what it is like to move someplace and have all these experiences and familiar areas and people that no one else knows. Thanks the Allison that is no longer the case. She has walked the streets with me and let me show her 'my Granada.' These are just a few of the highlights: lots of great food, new friends and amazing volcanic sights.

Irma we met at one of our favorite restaurants: The Garden Cafe. It used to be a traditional colonial home and converted into a comfy open air restaurant.
Allison and I at the best pizza in Granada (dare I say Nicaragua :) Monna Lisa. Yes, Monna not Mona as Mona is a female monkey and not a good translation into Spanish for the lady in the famous pictures.
'Geo Metro' like rental then turning back from the road to Masaya exiting a parade during political holiday - requiring a second day rental *sigh*;
After a quick tour of Ticuantepe Bethel in Nicaragua and willing the small car straight up the road to this volcano then four flights of stairs to the top, making this shot - PRICELESS.

Just enjoying a glass of Pitahaya juice at Parque Central.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hurricanes make Havoc in Mexico

Yeah, I'm about a week late and here's the reason why. There was a little hurricane that hit Mexico. No, I'm not in Mexico but one of the major cellphone and internet companies of Nicaragua has a plant there that was hit. Thus the reason for the delay. While they were making repairs have the country didn't have cellphone or internet service. I have my internet with that company and my cellphone with the other. So thankfully I could make lots of calls but blogging was out.

So here's what you missed from last week. I went for a visit to Matagalpa. It is in the mountains a couple of hours North of where I live and in the middle of the country. Very green thanks to the rain we've been getting and cool. Actually for me, quite cold. I didn't have my jacket with me and I was regretting it immediately :)

While the boys were in the kitchen doing all the cooking we watched our chick flick in the living room. I couldn't resist these little dogs that spent most of their time outside but so cute.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I bet this guy has no clue what this says let alone where in the world Minneapolis, MN is. This is just some of the fun stuff that makes me laugh in a day here.


Monday, June 21, 2010


The beginning of this leg of my journey met with some unexpected and unwelcome news. As most of you know, with Spirit Airlines pilots on strike that left me stranded in Florida with little prospect of returning to Nicaragua as scheduled. Thanks to a lot of prayer and some family help I was able to procure another ticket with another airline the following day. (I know it sounds uneventful but I was in a panic).

Touch down was bouncy to say the least. I didn't realize how high you can actually go after hitting the tarmac. After arriving in Managua and hour and a half later than scheduled (another long story). I was welcomed by warm smiles and big hugs. It only took about thirty minutes to get my 3 bags and four people in the two door Fiat (yeah, that's how we roll in Nicaragua).

This weekend was full of activity. With the pioneer meeting on Friday and two day assembly on Saturday and Sunday I was up at about 5:30am everyday and in bed by 10pm at night but it was fantastic. Peak attendance was 444 on Sunday. One of my bible studies came and it was his first time as well as mine and we both made lots of new friends.
Overall, it was well worth the struggles to get here just to meet almost everyone serving in sign language throughout all of Nicaragua.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I know doesn't seem like it to me either, but the time has come to go back to work. I find myself dragging my feet, I've made so many friends here and have finally started to settle in and now I'm leaving already. I'll only be gone from my Nica home for about a month but right now it feels like a long time.

This is what you sign up for however, when you travel and live abroad without being independently wealthy or retired :) Eventually, you must find a way to pay for those 'frescos.'

They are doing some construction on my street so the noise
level during the day is a loud mechanical now and the traffic on the street is down to a minimum during the 'off' hours.
The smell of the stuff they're putting down is like tar and something else. It gets on everything so you really have to be careful where you walk or you could be scrubbing the stuff off the floor on the inside of your house.
So with heavy heart, I'm signing off from Nicaragua and the next post will be from Florida. I have lots to do this month and it is all in pursuit of smiles like the one shown here of a little deaf girl who lives in Masaya on a road where few cars can make the steep climb. We went on foot and earned some exercise that you don't even get when you pay at the gym. Can't wait to go back.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just an excuse for a Party!

So I'm heading back to the states and the English group got together on my behalf. It was a fun excuse to do what we would have done anyway, which is swim, eat and dance and in that order :)
Here is a picture of some of the friends swimming in the rain. We were all wet from the rain so eventually everyone got in the pool it was great.

I am at the party enjoying another hammock moment. I find that there is just not enough time in the day spent swinging on a relaxing hammock as I watch the rain come down in sheets. The BBQ wasn't ruined though we still enjoyed a modest feast and plenty of CocaCola :)

Yes, this is my little souvenir, I picked up on the weekend. It actually has my name on it so no one can use it but me (lol). I felt like my home needed a little music so I've been practicing my new instrument. It is made of wood from Nicaraguan trees and put together by hand just a mile or two from my front door here in Granada.

There is a guy that makes guitars with his family and very reasonably priced. The business is called Guitarras Jarbor (thats the name of the wood used) and the name of the guy is Danny Jarquin. He plays in a band downtown most nights outside of a nice restaurant. As you can see it took about a month to complete this beauty but it was well worth the wait.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New in Town (Masaya)

Today was my first day really walking around Masaya. I've been to the famous 'Mercado' but I couldn't tell you how to find it or anything. I still don't feel like I have a handle on it yet but now that we are a part of the Masaya congregation I should have plenty of time to learn my way around.

These are a couple of the pix I took from the area. I found the first interesting because it is a motto. The other is a place right off the main road through town. I've probably passed it half a dozen times already and here it is up close.