Last night was our first evening meeting. In Canada, no big deal, here....a whole new adventure. We are way outside our comfort zone here and the imagined reality is undoubtedly very different from the actuality.
It gets dark here, solid darkness, around 6 pm. Leaving the house, with all our belongings in it (especially with it being an open design) was honestly a huge challenge. Our 6.30 meeting is a good 15 minute walk away, through what looks to a newly arrived Canadian, like a very rough neighborhood. We walked very fast! We looked even greener sine Gary kept looking at his map to ensure we were on the right road. Dogs run everywhere and most families sit outside their homes or congregate on the street as inside is so hot. Everyone looks at a well dressed foreign threesome walking down the street dodging the puddles of suspicious looking fluid. Occasionally I call out "Buenos Tardes" but then Gary scowls at me so I try to not make too much eye contact. To our relief we eventually heard a call "gringos" behind us, it’s Tim the missionary brother on his bike returning home from service. We then know we were at least going in the right direction.
The meeting was great. Gary took the Book Study and the English group (of about 14) had the school and then joined the Spanish congregation for the service meeting. What a hoot. Spanish sounds so different to English...it seems much more mono tone and as there are so few hard sounds, they all seem to run into each other. I can read a growing amount and understand it, but all I got out of the service meeting was a couple Jehovah’s and then a Jesus Cristo. We made a couple of wild guesses too based on the Missionary Brothers gestures!
After the meeting was a whole new adventure awaiting us. We had planned to grab a taxi, but even that was a little worrisome to us (talk about paranoid). Thankfully a local sister offered us a ride in her truck.......sounds good right?? It was a pick up truck and we were in the rear! What an awesome experience, hurtling down bumpy roads passing by groups of staring Nicaraguans with the evening breeze rushing past us as we held on for dear life. We wheeled into the street with our fancy villa, while a group of teenage boys playing ball looked on, jumped out of the back and said goodbye & a big thank you to our new friends! Only in Nicaragua! In Canada we’d of killed Nikki if she did anything like that!
Today we went out for our second day of service. Talk about walking....& walking.....& walking. We worked with Tim & Glorie the Missionary couple and if we thought yesterday’s neighbourhood was bad, while we hadn’t seen anything yet! The heat today was up into the triple digits so we made it from 8 to about 11 and had to call it a day. Nikki & I had feet that looked like they hadn’t seen a lick of water in years! It is the end of the dry season so the unpaved streets are extremely dry and dusty.
Adding to the adventure, loose animals roam at will everywhere. Today we saw no less than 20 dogs, a number of cats, three goats and a horse that was in the middle of a major intersection munching on some grain that had obviously fallen from a passing vehicle. The cars all simply went around him!
And I haven’t yet gotten to the insects! Did I mention that we are now up to four LARGE cockroaches that we have found dead in our casa. One was on top of my suitcase (as I pulled it out from under the bed!). Thankfully (it’s amazing what we are becoming grateful for) the large ones are outdoor ones and have fewer relatives. Whew...well that was close.....!
The Missionary home dog (bulldog mix) has just had a litter of 12 puppies that they are busy tempting Nikki with. Not a hard thing to do! We will have to wait and see where we find to live.
And for all the friends in Nova Scotia...there is a second hand store here almost exactly like frenchy's...only in cordoba's instead of dollars...and much noisier!
Today is also my first day out to town on my own (I’m at the internet café). I feel quite grown up being allowed to town alone ;)