Monday, October 28, 2013

Time off

Although I'm definitely not here on vacation... there are times when it almost seems like one. Just off the coast from Pearl Lagoon is a group of small islands known as the Pearl Cays (pronounced Pearl Keys). No one really lives on these Islands, as they are public property no one is allowed to own or build on them. And as the government has not seen fit to promote much tourism in the area the islands are nearly untouched. With the exception of one of them allegedly being the location where one season of Survivor was filmed.

Some local restaurants and guides offer tours of the island, so a group of us from the congregation decided this was something we needed to experience while living in Pearl Lagoon.

Early Monday morning we met at the wharf in Pearl lagoon, and loaded our things into the boat. The price of the tour included a meal as well as drinks. We were slightly delayed by the rain, which didn't take long before it let up.

Before long we were skipping across the waves on our way to the first Island. This one was so small you could stand on the beach, and see the water on the other side, through the trees.

After swimming for a while we were taken to a second island, where the guides cooked some fish they had caught during the morning. This island was bigger, it took maybe 15 minutes to walk from one side to the other. There were some abandoned houses on this island. The story was that someone had purchased the island, not knowing that the person selling it to him did not own the island, nor was it legal to own the island at all. The "owner" had big plans, as they had built a restaurant as well as a nice vacation home with modern conveniences. It was kind of sad to see, but I guess thats what happens when you put your trust in material things. Interestingly if you look on line there are websites still trying to sell the islands.

Alleged filming location of Survivor. Wikipedia disagrees with our tour guide... not sure which one to believe.

The Savannah

Its been a busy month, and I must say I am loving it here in Pearl Lagoon. I wrote another post about my first day in service here but unfortunately due to technical glitches I am unable to access or finish posting it. I will try to remember the details.

It was a Wednesday, and every Wednesday the congregation works territory in a neighboring village called Raitipura. The inhabitants are mostly of Miskito descent, but nearly all of them speak English as well. The Creole English spoken there and here in Pearl Lagoon is not as distinct as others, for example Belize creole. Apparently the locals find conventional English easier to read than Belize creole, and they way they speak, although different, is readily understandable to most native English speakers.

In order to reach Raitipura one must cross what is known as "The Savannah". A flat grassy area with few trees that resembles parts of Africa.

 The difference however is that this Savannah is sopping wet. The reason there are no trees is because it is one gigantic marsh, though that fact is not visible from the path.

There is one concrete path leading across the plane, which at about the halfway point is completely submerged in water all of the time. I don't know how they built the pathway there in the first place, but whatever the case anyone going to Raitipura needs to wade through it. I sloshed through in my normal shoes and threw them on the tin roof in the afternoon to dry them in the afternoon sun. It did the trick but I still had soaked feet the whole morning. Since then I either take my shoes off and go barefoot, or wear rain boots.

The territory was amazingly receptive. I've only been there a couple of times and already have 3 potential bible studies. Frequently when working the territory people approach us and ask us to study with them and their families. One man even offered to build us a kingdom hall on his land.
Awas - Neighboring Raitipura

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ey' Mon

As you can probably tell from the title, I am now living in the caribbean. I regret not posting more in the past few months but I have been very busy with planning and making the move to Nicaragua, also being that we just finished the service year I had some catching up to do.

Just before I left however, there was a big announcement in the congregation in Mérida. The two english congregations, and the west english group are being condensed into one congregation, and any brothers who do not speak english as their first language have been asked to return to their former congregeations.
The direction is that we should be preaching to people in their mother tongue. Formerly most of the calls in the database were mexicans who were learning english. The change makes sense as the territory is worked frequently by the Spanish congregations.

Anyways, time went by quickly and before I knew it I was packing my bags. My flight was at 1:00pm, but the airport in cancun is still4 hours away by bus, so I had to leave early. I left at 4 in the morning so that I would have plenty of time to get to the bus terminal by 6 when it left for Cancun. My plan was to take a taxi, so i had a phone number to call. Unfortunately there was no answer when I called, so I asked a guy working in the 7 eleven accross the street if he knew a number for a taxi. He did not. Then i saw one go by, but he wouldnt stop when i waved at him. Finally i got two more phone numbers from the 24/7 farmacy nearby. I called both numbers 4 times, but no answer. By now it was 5:45 and the bus was leaving at 6:15, so i went and woke up the brother i was staying with to get a ride to the bus depot. (I felt bad because he was quite ill with a sore throat.)

Fast forward 13 hours, a bus and two planes and im in Managua! I missed Nicaragua so much, I don't know why i loved it here so much, but its good to be back. My old friend Dai jun who i travelled with the first time met me at the airport a long with some local friends from Jinotepe. They drove us to Dolores (a small town near Jinotepe) where i spent the week with Dai Jun. There I had the opportunity to go in service in spanish and help with the district convention invitation. It was nice to see old friends from the spanish congregation, and this time be able to communicate easily with them. It was a fun week, we had 3 parties and i got to work away my mexican accent in spanish a little bit.

Monday morning, i had to get up at 4:00am once again. Why is it always 4:00 am when I travel? Why!? Anyways some brothers in Dolores were going to Leon and dropped me off along the way in Managua. There i caught the 7:30 bus to El Rama. Beautiful countryside, green mountains and lots of potholes, for 6-7 hours. There was a brief stop in Juigalpa for bathrooms and street food. I ate a quesillo which are generally safe to eat as they are homemade, and the people selling them use gloves to handle them.

Once in El Rama i got on the new laguna de perlas bus which left at 4:30 in the afternoon. Its an old school bus painted black with roof racks added for luggage. The back half of the bud was loaded up with supplies being shipped into laguna from Rama, since its the only land route into the community. The bus ride was slow and bumpy through the jungle. We arrived at laguna de perlas around 9:45 at night and i was exhausted. A local brother named Byron blake met me at the bus stop and introduced me to the land lord and my new apartment, as well as a nearby restaurant where i can get internet and eat until i get some appliances.

It is very beautiful here, very tropical, palm trees and vibrant flowers everywhere year round. I rested today and walked around town to find some of the shops. It took me all of 3 minutes to find the kingdom hall. Pretty hard to get lost in a small place. Looking forward to service tomorrow and meeting the congregation.

October 2, 2018

We spent a whole three months in Pearl Lagoon, our plan was to stay there much longer. At least a year was our idea. We kept ourselves busy ...