Notice Gary's tiny Ironing Board....it drives him crazy, especially when the kitties try to help!
This morning at the meeting, we had no sound as the Spanish Brother who brings the "system" with him was ill and arrived late. Gary was Chairman and after he introduced the song, realised he had to start us singing too. With a lopsided grin he started singing, in completely the wrong note, but the group quickly joined him and we muddled through. There is so very very much here that makes you appreciate the need to stand on your own two feet and not rely on external factors to make things "okay", "proper" or "acceptable". The Speaker was a Brother from Washington State, around 25, who has been serving here for the last 3.5 years and has since been assigned as a special pioneer to the newly formed Managua English Congregation. He drove all the way here, despite not being very well, to give the group of about 15 of us an excellent talk. The quality of our talks has been surprisingly high due to to a large extent, to us being in English. All our Public speakers are either bethelites, missionaries, special pioneers or need greaters.
After the meeting, as we walked to catch the bus, I trudged along feeling sorry for myself, being on a budget and not being able to go for lunch out. Then a little lad, about Nikki's age approached us, dressed in rags and obviously very hungry, begging for a cord (5 cents). Gary dug out a couple, we no longer felt denied. Earlier in the week some work had been being done around our house. Another little lad about Nikki's age was out in the heat all day, working along side his Dad, doing hard physical labour. I feel bad if Nikki runs out of peanut butter! These people can't leave, they have no immediate hope for a better life. They are trapped. It puts things in perspective.
Talking about perspective, we had an "event" this week with Nikki's hair. I took her in to the city to a high end salon in Managua for a long over due trim. The local hair dressers have little or no training. This salon charges about $9 for a cut, which for here is alot. For us in Canada, very little. I explained in my poor Spanish what we wanted and then settled down at the other end of the salon for a pedicure (a real treat, only $10, one of the best I've had!) as my feet are in very rough shape from walking and dirt. The stylist either didn't understand me or felt Nikki's hair was so dry it needed some serious cutting, but she started really cutting it, and layering it. Nikki was unable to say anything, she felt helpless. She came over to me in tears when it was finished. It looked lovely, in my opinion, but it was seriously shorter. At least 4 inches. She spent the rest of the day crying on and off and even stuck a piece of paper on her head that said "I have a dumb hair cut"! Poor kid, I had no idea how much her long, bohemian hair meant to her. She now looks much older and quite sophisticated, but not for long....she's growing it out!
We go to look at a vehicle tomorrow. We are still having issues with water in this house. We only seem to have it a third of the time. We are still waiting to see if it improves as the owner of the house says this is not normal. The weather is now awesome as the rainy season has begun. Most of the time hot & sunny during the day and beautiful and breezy in the evenings and nights. Perhaps it is simply that we have adjusted. Likely a combination of both.
We are loving the service.
I think that's it for now. More to come.........