Regional Convention - San Salvador 2015

We often say that "this was the best convention yet", but the events around this years assembly really did make it the most memorable yet. It was a long and exhausting journey for our congregation, but we also received overwhelming hospitality from our international brotherhood.

Our region includes English and Creole congregations from Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Our Journey from Pearl Lagoon started on Tuesday at 5 AM. We caught a bus to Rama, which takes about 5 hours on bumpy jungle road. After which we had planned to take the express bus from Rama to Managua but it wasn't available. Unfortunately this meant we had to run to the next bust after our 5 hour trip (no time for a bathroom break) and hop on for another 4 hour trip to Juigalpa. After Juigalpa it was another 3 hours or so to Managua. By the end of the day we all felt (and probably looked) like zombies. But now we were half way there!

Do-pi, the Creole word meaning "Zombie"
After that exhausting trip, we had to find ourselves a place to stay in Managua until the next morning when we would be taking the Ticabus to El Salvador. Imagine our delight when it turned out that someone from the local congregations had arranged hotel rooms for all of us right at the Ticabus terminal! we didn't have to pay a cordoba, and didn't have to worry about how we would make it to the terminal at 5 AM. The hotel even had a coffee shop inside that opened at 4 AM, just before we had to get on the bus. We never met the brothers that had arranged this for us, but we were so very thankful to have a clean and safe place to sleep at the end of the journey.

Ticabus hotel

The next morning was part two. There was a dramatic increase in the quality of the bust however. Even traveling in "economico" the bus had air conditioning, arm rests, cup holders, comfortable seats, and even a bathroom. We had to wear jackets thought because the AC only has one setting which is evidently used preserve meat. That is of course until about halfway through Honduras when the AC broke down, but they were able to fix it.

Repairs on the fly

So after another 15 hours on the road, we finally made it to San Salvador! And again the hospitality of the brothers caught up with us. As the bus pulled in to the terminal there was a large crowd of people standing outside holding signs saying "Welcome!" and "We love you!". We all had arrangements to stay with local families in San Salvador. Evidently local congregations had assigned groups of volunteers to look after our every need. So as soon as we got off the bus, we were each handed a bottle of water and a sandwich, Then we were helped with our baggage to a brothers car. Some who were housing larger groups of us had rented buses to drive us around. We were taken to a lovely house with several guest suites where an older sister from the congregation had prepared a hot meal for us.
Welcoming comittee

Beautiful San Salvador

Delicious Pupusas


More Starbucks

Inside Starbucks

And of course, my annual cheeseburger.

We had a day to rest before the program began, so Jean and I went shopping for wedding stuff. I also got to take Jean to Starbucks for the first time. San Salvador has a lot of amenities that one cannot find in Nicaragua, and comfort foods like McDonalds, So of course I had to get a cheeseburger and fries because it might be another year before I can eat that again.

The program of course was amazing, but I won't go into detail as some with access to this blog may not have had their assembly yet and I don't want to spoil it for them. I will say though that it was very up-building and the use of videos really made the program go quickly and made it easy to follow. The brothers are really reaching out to those of us with squirrel-like attention spans.

I already miss Starbucks. If anyone is coming down and wants to bring a treat please bring those Starbucks refreshers that come in a little package.


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