While we are having a very busy month already with our planned move to Tola, we decided to squeeze in a visit to Pearl Lagoon. Jean's mom had gone through a period of sickness and also had a surgery on her hand, so we felt we needed to go and spend some time and help out around the house.
We started out by catching the circuit assembly in spanish in Ticuantepe. This is the circuit assembly for the Tola congregation so it gave us a chance to meet some of the brothers in our new circuit. Even more exciting, my nephew got baptized. I am still so amazed that my family are here in Nicaragua to stay, and that my own nephew was answering the questions from the platform with "Si" instead of "yes". Right after the assembly my Brother in law gave us a ride into Managua. He insisted on driving us all the way to the bus terminal even though none of us were sure how to get there. We had always gone by taxi in the past. We consulted google maps to plan our route through the city, which gave us a very quick and direct way to get there. Unfortunately Google Maps does not have ALL the information... It didn't send us the wrong way, into any dead ends, or down any one way streets... but it did give us a lovely tour of the ghettos of Managua. We drove fast and kept the doors and windows locked, and we made it to the terminal. My brother in law and family took a different, somewhat longer route along the main highways to get back out of the city.
We were able to get our tickets that same day from the Wendelyn Vargas terminal at the Ivan Montenegro market. The bus would depart at 9:00 pm and travel to Rama overnight. We like this method for several reasons, one being that the night bus is always "express" meaning that it doesn't pick up extra people along the way. The trip took us about 5 hours, our chicken bus rolling through the night like a disco ball. We were in rama by 3:00 AM. Our bus ticket also garunteed us a seat on the 6:00AM panga to bluefields. The town of Rama never sleeps, so we were able to get some good breakfast for about 30 cords each while we waited for daybreak.
Another panga and lots of heavy rain and we were in Pearl Lagoon. The town has changed a little bit since we were last here, but not that much. It is still a quiet, friendly and slow paced town where it is easy to feel relaxed. Everywhere we go people are waving at us and shouting greetings from inside their house. "Ey! Wen yu reach back!?" And things like that. It looks like the rainy season is starting, although it's still fairly dry for lagoon. The entire area is still Incredibly lush and green compared to the pacific right now, due to the atlantic getting regular rains all year.
The congregation is also just as we remembered. Warm, friendly and crammed into a tiny house for the meeting. Although word is that they will be renting a larger house out towards Haulover to accomodate the rapidly growing congregation. Just like before it was so hard to get out the door of the kingdom hall because nobody wants to leave after the meeting.
It all feels so nostalgic being back "home" in Pearl Lagoon, the place we met and were married. We celebrated our 1 year and 6 month anniversary by having dinner at Casa Ulrich, the same restaurant where we went on our first date and where we had our wedding reception, which is still the very best in town, maybe even the best in Nicaragua.
In another post I plan to make a tourist map for Pearl Lagoon much like the ones I made for Corn Island. It will Include an up to date list of hotels and restaurants and also some travel tips, like how to get here and how to evade the town drunks.