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.