To the skies!

Finally i am back in Pearl Lagoon. Its a been a long and exhausting journey but I have made it safe and sound.

The trip down here was incredible, and the convention was the most amazing one I have been to yet. There were people from 15 different countries in attendance, many of the delegates traveled for days to be there.

Los Angeles
My trip started as usual from Calgary, a late night flight into Los Angeles, California. Upon arriving and collecting my bags however I went to check which gate my next flight would be leaving from only to see the flight number followed by the word "Cancelled" in red letters... You'd think they would tell people about that sort of thing rather than letting them figure out why the plane hasn't showed up on their own. At least they put me on the next flight which would be a day later and covered the cost of the hotel. This did mean however that it was unlikely that I would make it to the convention. after some negotiation however I was able to get on a flight that would land me in El Salvador the morning of the first day, so that I would at least be able to get most of it.

El Salvador is a beautiful place, as we were coming in I could see the mountains poking through the layer of clouds. After landing I was hit by a wave of hot wet air, reminding me that I was once again in the tropics, though San Salvador is significantly cooler than Pearl Lagoon due to the high altitude. As the taxi drove up the mountain into the city of San Salvador we would pass in and out of the clouds. Upon opening my tablet the screen immediately fogged up from the sudden change in humidity. I managed to make it to the hotel and get unpacked just in time for me to make it for the afternoon sessions.
El Salvador
Starbucks, San Salvador

As usual the program was amazing. But it was also encouraging and fascinating to meet brothers and sisters from all over the world who had come to serve in Central America, and to hear their experiences. Everyone there had come so far, and was so excited just to be there. The singing during the program was so intense that even though there were only 900 in attendance they seemed louder than the 8,000 that would be at the regional conventions back in Calgary.

"Keep Seeking First God's Kingdom!" Regional Convention
Pupusas
After the program a group of us went to sample the local cuisine, specifically the legendary pupusas that El Salvador is known for. A brother who had been driving some of us to the convention insisted that we go to one specific "pupuseria". I hadn't been to any so I took his word for it. What I did not realize was that this one was not even in San Salvador, it was more than half an hour's drive outside the city to a small town high in the mountains. I showed the address to the taxi driver and he asked if someone was meeting me there, since it was a long distance. The fare was more than it cost to get from the airport, and about 20 minutes into the drive I started to think "This had better be an amazing place overlooking the entire city on a mountain top or something"...
Pupusodromo #8 with old and new friends

Well as it turned out thats what it was. Although it was dark so I wasn't able to take pictures... sorry. While we waited for the food however some street performers came by and gave us a show.

Ticabus Terminal, San Salvador
The journey back to Nicaragua was also quite long, but at least the bus was comfortable. I managed to get on one of the chartered buses a long with the Bluefields congregation since they were going the same way and knew me from before. It took us about 12 hours and we watched the new video released at the convention a long the way. Upon reaching the border we were taken outside of the bus into a medical office where supposedly we would be checked for Ebola. One of the nurses came in and complained to a man at the front desk that they were understaffed and couldn't get through all the people coming in. Shortly after this conversation our passports were returned and we got back on the bus. Guess we just didn't have the "ebola look".
Our bus from San Salvador to Managua

Watching the new Video on the road
My view of the Honduras Countryside
After a night in Managua I was back on yet another bus, this time on the way to El Rama. When I got to the "bus" for Pearl Lagoon which was waiting in Rama, it was already packed to the door with people standing up. Supposedly it had been like that for hours, still beyond me why they don't just leave if they are full. Even more to my surprise I was let on. I would have stood up for the 5 hour muddy roller-coaster ride that followed, but unfortunately it was too crowded to be allowed said comfort, so instead I leaned over the seat beside me with my feet on the floor since there wasn't enough room in the aisle for me to stand upright. people kept getting on until about the half way point and then they started to get off. Finally I had a seat and sort of dozed off or passed out for the rest of the trip. I think this song pretty well sums up the trip.

We didn't get stuck ourselves but had to stop a few times and help other vehicles get out of the mud. There were also a few times that we had to lighten the bus to get through an area, so all of the passengers got off and walked until we were past the rough spot. Understanding Spanish at this point was not to my advantage as I was able to hear the conversation between the driver and his assistant telling the assistant to keep the door closed and stay inside in case the bus flipped over and crushed him. Glad I didn't try to ride on the roof.

In all I made good time in getting back to pearl lagoon where I belong, it only took about 2 days travel with few stops.
Back in Pearl Lagoon

Comments

  1. I admire all of you who make that trip. I think I'll stay in Masaya - I'm such a wimp!!

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