Sunday, June 3, 2018

Mek wi get fahn here

It is now June 3rd, 2018 and we no longer live in Tola. We spent one entire year there, and it was time to move on. It was definitely worthwhile to spend the time in a Spanish congregation and become much more comfortable with the language. After a while though we started to feel like it was time to go back to the Atlantic coast.

There isn't a congregation in Nicaragua that doesn't need more brothers, but Jean has relatives in Pearl Lagoon, and my family are no longer in Nicaragua. If they do come back it won't be to the Pacific. So after weighing our options we decided to move back to Pearl Lagoon.

We had left Pearl Lagoon initially for a variety of reasons, one being that we were newly married and wanted space. Another being the need for online work. Taking Jean back to Canada requires jumping through endless and seemingly impossible hoops. Thus, since I am unwilling to live away from Jean for months at a time we must support ourselves as other "digital nomads" do, by making our living off of the internet.

A few years ago, you could forget about getting a stable internet connection in Pearl Lagoon. Or even stable electricity for that matter. Things have changed a bit. A few new telecom companies have made their way into Nicaragua and brought some stiff competition for the existing internet providers. This has encouraged the well established ones to provide better services in more remote areas. The result being that one can now get a DSL broadband connection in Pearl Lagoon. It isn't cheap, but it works. This gave us the opportunity to go back "home" to the place we first met, and where both of us had spent most of our time in Nicaragua.

There were some snags in our move. We had some things we wanted to take with. We had bought our own furniture in Tola and didn't like the idea of losing on all of that. So we looked into hiring a truck to drive us there with all our furniture, now that the road is much better as well. We also didn't want to make the cats endure a 10 hour bus ride in the heat and in a tiny carrier.

The truck ended up being too expensive, so we considered renting a truck and hiring someone to drive it for us. I can legally drive in Nicaragua with a Canadian licence, but I wasn't comfortable doing this because of how foreigners are seen by police.

Then a couple interested in visiting Pearl Lagoon offered to drive us and our things in their own truck. This was by far the best option, but the plan was "mashed up" when Nicaragua was hit with a wave of political unrest. Although we haven't been affected by the protests that are going on right now directly, there are roadblocks on the major roads from time to time and this would add some major delays to a cross-country roadtrip. After having delayed our trip for an entire month we decided it was simply time to go. We had found everything we needed in Pearl lagoon: A house to rent, an internet connection, and even furniture. So we sold everything and bought a plane ticket.

We hired a taxi, driven by a local brother from Rivas (who by the way was a fantastic driver, well done Jose). Who managed to sneak by every single roadblock by going down back roads and through small towns on the way to Managua. We skirted around Granada and popped out near Tipitapa, bringing us to the Managua Airport without coming across any trouble or entering Managua itself.

Nicaraguan cat carrier
We spent that night in a nearby hotel and the next morning flew to Bluefields. The cats absolutely hated the trip. It was hard to find nice carriers for them, will definitely try to find something better by the next time we travel. Also the tranquilizer was too small of a dose and didn't do anything. They seemed to prefer the backpack we carried them in to Managua more than the airline approved carriers we got from the vet in Managua.

Just in case our trip sounded too easy, our panga from Bluefields broke down twice for a combined period of half an hour. The words "throw the anchor" are not words you want to hear when you're tired and eager to get home.

Everything we own
Whiskey in "his" hotel room

Roadblocks? Where we're going we don't need roads!
A surprise layover in Paradise
Our first meeting back home in Lagoon
The new building used as a Kingdom Hall in Pearl Lagoon
But in the end, we made it and its good to be home! We found a place to rent that was furnished with all the things we had to leave behind, and our cats Whiskey and Brandy are settling in well.

Whiskey helping me get back into blogging.


  1. Hey Matthew, wow what a surprise to see u guys moved back! Thanks for the update on the Kingdom Hall, we were wondering (got to see the beginning of construction while visiting for a week). Did the Eldredge's get to come back? Please tell everyone hello for us, hopefully they remember us. My sister is married to the Nelson's son. Looking forward to more updates, should u have the luxury of time to post. Our prayers are with all of our brothers & sisters in Nica.
    Love, The Hardy Family

    1. the Eldredge's are not back yet, It would be nice if they considered it at some point in the future.


March 23rd 2019

Well we finished our move up higher into the mountains, but then found out the situation was quite different than what we had been told. Wit...