Saturday, June 13, 2009

Latin Nights with Cheap Drinks...& Adventures!

I had a study this week with a woman who lives outside of town, down by the waterfront. This is not considered a safe area for foreigners although it is very pretty and during the day is generally fine. I took a taxi and the driver was great. He wouldn’t let me out to the cab until he knew for sure it was the right address (I wasn’t sure as it is a study I was doing for a missionary sister who had gone home for the international convention). We sat on the front verandah in wooden rocking chairs with horses wandering around through the property and a gentle breeze keeping the bugs at bay. I felt like I was in the deep south of the States instead of Nicaragua. (see the picture of the road it was on).

Coming home was a little more of an adventure. I had to walk out to the main street and try to find a cab in a somewhat remote area. One came by almost immediately (going the wrong way ) and the three male occupants all gestured wildly and called out (thank goodness I can’t understand Spanish). Wisely, I decided to give it a pass. I walked on for about ½ a kilometer and then finally saw a cab coming, I flagged it down only to realize too late, that it was the same cab as before, now going my way with one less occupant, and they were already leering. Nice! I swallowed my fears as cabs really are safe in Granada and jumped in anyway. Thankfully, within seconds a family of four flagged down the cab and jumped in also. I say thankfully, but under any other circumstances I would have been horrified, there were now 7 of us in a small compact car, 5 in the back seat. This is a whole new lesson in person space for me!! We were sharing sweat through our clothes!! But at least I made it back to town, wrinkled and sweaty but unmolested! What an adventure.

Last night we met another couple in town for a meal. We ate in a little street side restaurant an the main tourist street in all of Nicaragua called Calle Calzada. It was really cool. It was dark with the cobblestone street lined in lights and mature trees. Latin music blares out of the multitude of restaurants, competing for your hearing and dollars. All the tables are outside, lining the thoroughfare, which is packed with tourists and locals alike, people from all over the world, literally. Across the street from us, four Latin dancers were performing their traditional colourful dance. The street was alive and vibrant, particularly as it was a Friday night. Our restaurant was serving drinks at two for one price. We had 2 Mojitos (which I love) for C$24 ($1.24 US) Two!! And a massive (and I mean massive) burrito for C$80 ($4 US). It was a beautiful evening with good friends.

Annoying but sad at the same time, we spent half the night fighting off beggars, both kids and dogs as well as an endless train of merchants with their wares who wouldn’t take no for an answer. I actually find it fascinating, a part of the culture that I have never experienced, but Nikki hated it. I fed a little dog beside me a couple of times (until Gary caught me) and realized too late my mistake when another joined and they looked like they would fight. Nikki & I were unable to finish our food and offered it to a couple of the children who had asked for some. They took the plates to another table and shared it with their friends. They were so hungry! It hits home hard some times, just how good we have it compared to so many! The sister with us was telling us that at the convention she was eating her feast that she had prepared for lunch when she noticed some sisters behind her sharing some shriveled fruit. She offered some food to them, out of her plenty, and they gratefully accepted but then asked her if she minded if they shared it with some of the brothers on assignment who had nothing! I panic when I run out of tea! We are learning so much!

We move in two days and are very excited. Believe it or not, it took us ALL of last week to get our internet and cable hook up booked. I can’t even begin to tell you why it took that long, but it is again an example of how nothing here happens quickly or easily. We also experienced the two tier system first hand, which offends me to no end but is again a lesson. There was a great promotion on but when we went to book and pay for it, were told that it was only for locals, not for foreigners!! We ended up putting it in a sisters name to get it for the reduced rate.

We have started making plans for our special assembly day in English…which is being held on the other side of the country in Bluefields in August. It is going to include for us, a couple of hours in a small single engine plane. Gary calls it a “Puddle Hopper”. A little scary but thrilling. We are hoping while we are there to take another small plane ride onto Corn Island for a couple of nights with some friends from the group here. Apparently it is a Caribbean Jewel with turquoise waters and great snorkeling and diving. Very ‘uncommercial”. We can't wait. Even just to view the country from the air will be a real treat.

We are really seeing results in the territory and the walking seems so much easier now! The human body adapts so well….if you don’t give up. Now if only my mind would follow suit, this Spanish thing is proving to be such a challenge!

That’s all the news for today. Well, as much as I can bore you with. Love to all!


Anonymous said...

Hi Guys
I love reading your adventure.
I almost log on everyday and am starting to see a whole new perspective on this life.
Thankyou for being so dedicated in sharing your experiences.
Much love to you all. Caron xx

bookyeti said...

You're never boring Joanna! It's so nice reading about your time there. I'm sure you're a real asset to the cong. and territory! Sounds like the fields are very ripe for harvest there!

iavillarreal said...

Hello there Brooks family!

My name is Isaac and I ran across your blog while reading the Ecuadorian Experience blog.

I have to tell you I have really enjoyed reading your experiences and the adjustments that you are making.

Although you do not know me or my family we would like to tell you that you are an encouragement to us in that you have left your stable life in Canada and are now putting it all on the line for Jehovah. He is sure to continue blessing you.

We too will be moving soon to serve where the need is greater. We are going to Mexico to serve in the English by the end of the year, if all works out. So of course reading blogs like yours is a shot in the arm right now. It is nice to see you with a young daughter because we have two little girls ourselves.

Anyways enough about us... Thanks for posting and please continue to share with all of us. Our email address is

Oh, by the way we live in Las Cruces, New Mexico and are curious who the New Mexico couple there with you are. Which part of New Mexico?

Ok Bye for now.