This morning we attended our first meeting in what is likely to become our new hall. This truly is a whole new world. Capturing in mere words the differences between the world we’ve come from and the one we now find ourselves thrust in, seems too much of a challenge to my overheated brain. Some good advice we recently received told us to not even try.
The newly formed English Group here in Granada meets in an older hall, surrounded by a cement wall. The chairs are plastic and are put out when the brothers arrive (I’m not sure why they’re not simply left out). Today, we discovered at a most inopportune time (crumb!!), that there is no toilet paper (or soap) in the washrooms. I’m not sure if that is normal or not. No air conditioning, just ceiling fans and I noticed that they only turned the ones on directly over the group. Keeping up with the electric bill is likely a challenge for the brothers. The English group currently has only one elder who is away visiting his family in the States, so a Missionary brother from the missionary home next door is taking care of things for the time being. There are two brothers (who I think are both MS’s) one from England and one from the US but they are both leaving within the next couple of weeks. David from England hopes to return in a couple of months. The rest of the group appears to be native Spanish speaking who are making the sacrifice to come to an English congregation. From what we understand the ministry here in Granada is most productive in the English and there is a GREAT need. At the meeting today there were about 20 in attendance. Gary did a fabulous job on his talk, adjusting both his words, his illustrations & his gestures to take into consideration the fact that for many, English is a new language. Hearing the heartfelt comments in broken English from the local Brothers was very encouraging.
What was extremely encouraging to us was that today at the meeting, another young couple (from New Mexico) came for the first time who have also been sent by the branch. They speak Spanish and have offered to help us get settled. What great timing! There is also a Bible study who is coming with her two young children (boys, 4 & 2) and a zealous 17 year old local sister so Nikki will have some friends in the hall.
On another note, Gary is trying to kill us!! No really, When we arrived here there was some ice in the freezer that we decided not to use since we couldn’t guarantee where it had come from. Since then he has been making lots of ice from purified water and keeping it in a bowl. I served freshly squeezed lime juice with lunch today with lots of ice in it to cool us down from the meeting. After lunch he came to me horrified, he hadn’t thrown the old ice out. Just put it in a bowl in the freezer!! And I used it! What he was saving it for is any ones guess but I’ve told him it’s his fault if we all die……..not that I hold a grudge of anything!
Gary had also just announced that he probably could of got away with the three or shirts people told him he would need….rather than the thirty we lugged here from Canada! It’s all a learning curve!
We notice here that there is little pretense. Simply survival. There is something brutal about that, but satisfying at the same time. You get down to the basics. People become very important to you. Lugging around two laptops seems silly. We regret not just buying a mini note book instead.
For any who are tempted to visit, we found an amazing hotel/restaurant in town that is to die for. We treated ourselves to lunch yesterday and I don’t exaggerate, it was one of the best meals I have ever eaten. It’s in a grand old (and I mean grand) colonial building with a central courtyard with a fountain. The ceilings had to of been 20 feet high!! The chef wore a proper chef hat and the food was amazing! Our waiter took Nikki over to meet their resident parrot who Nikki was able to hold. We promise to take anyone there who comes! Tempted?? Not yet?? I’ll include some photos!
Tomorrow we are hoping to take a boat tour of the “Isleta’s” which includes a stop on Monkey island. Can’t wait. It is very hot so we limit how long we are out about. Gary & I don’t mind it to much, some how it is much more bearable than the humid heat we had in Ontario, but we are conscious of how wilted Nikki looks quite quickly. If this is the worst it gets (this is the very hottest month) then it is certainly not as awful as I had imagined. There is always a breeze. It much like August in Nova Scotia (you know, those two weeks where we actually had summer heat).
Oh and something large is living between the bamboo ceiling and the tiles on the roof over our heads in our bedroom, we’ll let you know when it lands on us and we find out what it is……!!
Thanks for the words of encouragement to those who have e-mailed. They are very much appreciated!!