Plans are well underway for the Special English Convention coming up in October. Steve & Gary have been asked to care for the attendant dept so that should keep them out of trouble as well as some parts that they are involved with. We are really looking forward to the boost. The speakers are Missionaries, Special Pioneers, Bethelites and Need Greater so the quality of the parts is said to be very high....we are so excited!
This Monday was Independence Day in Nicaragua. It is a national holiday so many Nica's had it off work and joined in the festivities here in Granada which included what appeared to be a drumming competition. I don't know how they could stand the main square, dressed in suits in the sweltering sun and humidity, beating their drums like mad! The crowds were immense! We watched from the comfort of our home on the local television station where we were safe from pick pockets! We could hear it the from our courtyard. Nicaragua's certainly love life!
Speaking of which. We invited a group of the friends over for dinner on Saturday night. We had racked our brains as to what we could do that would over come the language barrier and allow all to have a laugh. We came up with bible charades and we were a little worried how they would react to the idea.....! They put us to shame! They threw themselves into it and it was a loud, hilarious game with fierce but friendly competition between the two teams! At the end one Spanish brother, Armando, asked me to put a CD in so he could play a song...it ended up being "we are the champions" at which point his team joined arms and rubbed in their victory by belting it out in their broken English. It was side splitting fun and I said to Gary afterwards that I hadn't laughed like that in months!
At dinner, they were telling us that they eat rice everyday! Even if they are eating Spaghetti (like I had made) they would serve it with a side of rice. They said they don't feel like it is a complete meal without it, that it is cultural and comes from needing to fill bellies with very little funds. There is so much that I have always taken for granted and so much I am learning. They usually eat beans every day too. Not because they like them, but because it is an inexpensive protein. I can't imagine.....partly because I am married to Gary and feeding him beans everyday....well I just can't imagine :)
I was showing Jessie, a sister close to my age with two young girls, around the house. She saw my washing machine and drooled! Before I explain why, let me say that when we had first met Jessie & Armando, we thought they were well to do Nicaraguan's. They are a very attractive young family, always immaculately turned out (he wears cuff links) and some what sophisticated. He works at the local University as an engineer I think. Anyway, as it turns out she told me (from what I understood from her limited English & my limited Spanish) that she has never had a washing machine. It is something they really want though and have been saving for a long time for. She gets up at 4 am every morning so that she can do all their laundry by hand on her concrete "Pila", most of which she also makes herself. She then gets all her house work done by 6am so that she can get her older daughter ready for school and then she goes in service with her 3 year old. She has 8 studies and is planning on becoming a regular pioneer. They have no car, only a motor bike which all 4 ride on together! When they left our house that night, they all climbed on board, like professionals, looking as beautiful as a family out of a Best Housekeeping article and I thought "Happiness is indeed an attitude, a choice, not anything our circumstances themselves should dictate".
We are in the middle of a heat wave here and due to El Nino we are told, we are just not getting the needed rains, just the unbearable humidity. It's like living in a sauna. You almost forget what it's like to be dry. On the upside, I'm sure it's really good for your pores! I'll keep singing my new little mantra "happy, happy happy...."