Ryan and the Branch
Sorry that we missed our last blog post. We've had a bit going on lately. Ryan left and so we escorted him down to the airport to send him off. We certainly enjoyed his company. His send off was really nice. We had to meet with the branch which is about 30 minutes from the airport so we decided to come down with him. Fortunately, we had met with a traveling overseer couple that invited all three of us to stay with them in their apartment the night before he left. I need to express here again that being here is an awesome experience. You're surrounded by tons of theocratic work and incredible people that are doing it way better than you ever could. It reminds you of bethel with very little of the structure. :) For those of you that are structure averse I highly recommend it! So much to learn here!
Here's a picture of their apartment. It's a nice little place, there are two apartments in the building to the left there. Each one of them is a one bedroom, modest size, a great deal smaller than the apartment there in Scottsville, but very nice. The C.O. Joked that they had found the only quite place in all of Nicaragua. They forced us to sleep on their bed and they and Ryan shared the floor in the front room on air mattresses. We stayed up until about midnight telling jokes and then the C.O. Got up at around 5 to prepare for his next day of pioneer school! What hospitality! There names are Dave and Esther Moore from the U.K. We were not able to get a picture of them because we decided to take the pictures in the morning and Esther wouldn't let us. They're a blast to be around and evidently they're good friends with the Tully and Jenny Wrights parents in Lebanon, VA. So there is a chance that you've met them before. Who knows?
The following day after visiting with the Moore's and saying good by to Ryan we headed off to the branch. I was a little bit nervous about getting around Managua because 1.) I hadn't yet occurred to me to get a map. I figured taxis, buses, little red three wheelers, etc. know how to get everywhere so I don't need a map. (In retrospect, I've seen the need to adjust this viewpoint.) 2.) Everybody says that there are many areas in Managua that are quite dangerous, especially for 6'7” white guys wearing a tie. I briefly considered removing my tie and smearing dirt on my face as an attempt at camouflage, but then realized I could do little about my height without inflicting great pain on myself and so continued on as I was. So I was a bit worried, in addition to that, many people warned us of the dangers of getting ripped off by taxi drivers. We don't yet have the handle on Spanish to haggle effectively (I.e. using insults about the cab drivers mother, etc) to deal with that situation. So off we went.
We found a little 3 wheeler thing that we took to the branch the next morning. It cost us about $1. Vanessa went crazy taking pictures of the thing, we've got like 20, but for sake of not killing those looking at this with dial up, I'll post just one.
We arrived at the branch without incident and we didn't get ripped off. We walked through the gate at the branch and arrived here. The branch here is breathtakingly beautiful in comparison with the rest of the country. Here many people work for around a dollar or two a day, so I'm sure that for many of the Bethelites from Nica, bethel is better than most possibilities for a career. Even with a modest stipend, I didn't ask how much it is here, I can imagine it would be amazing to be here. Oddly enough, they don't have a line of local brothers beating down the door to get in, I can't quite figure that one out. We unexpectedly met up with the Spanish friends from a week ago again while at the branch. Tomas and Eunice, one of the couples from Spain, after waiting for a year and a half had just found out this week that their house had just sold, even in this abysmal market. Much of the time they were here they were lamenting the fact that they couldn't move here to serve because they had made the decision of buying a house. That problem out of the way, we hope to see them down here! Our interview went well but because of some logistical issues with our letters we were unable to really receive much direction from the branch. Oh well. We'll hope to get that one worked out soon. :o)
Unfortunately there is more to tell and I'm cautious about keeping these things too long. Maybe I'll post again this weekend. Hope everyone is doing well! As a side note, (and as an attempt to appease our offended congregation mates :o) ) Andrew and Jenny are going away to Esteli (poke around on the map you'll find it to the NNW of Managua) for pioneer school. We will miss them terribly. Though we'll be miserable without them, we hope they enjoy it!
on October 2, 2008
from the travel blog:
Shane and Vanessa's Nicaraguan Adventure
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HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!! :-)
LOVE YOU GUYS AND HOPE YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY. CERTAINLY AN ANNIVERSARY YOU WON'T FORGET!!!
TORI & LEVI TERRELL
written by Victoria Terrell on October 3, 2008
We are very glad you guys are still have such an encouraging time. I was just wondering which city have you enjoyed the most so far? Are you guys going to continue to go from city to city and how are you choosing where to go? I forgot when are you guys coming back so we can see the whole slide show of pictures? Do they do any blacksmithing down there?
-Shawn and Family
written by Shawn Cumella on October 4, 2008
And as for you Shawn. We've been practicing casting lots to determine which city to go to. The mormons have been following the spirit for years and it seems to work for them, so why not us? As far as a slide show is concerned we'll try and get something together for you at some point. How bout a puppet show? That would really make a connection for the kids. What do you think? Maybe a stained sock to represent you Shawn! :)
written by Shane on October 4, 2008
A stained sock? I will just hope that is just the intestinal parasites talking. I was kind of hoping you could have some kind of interactive blog site where the viewers choose what and where you go. Kind of like those old RPG video games. SHANE APPROACHES HOUSE. WE TYPE "KNOCK ON DOOR". "You cannot knock on door". Then I turn off the computer. Nevermind. Speaking of Mormons, do they have Mormons down there? We have had a few intersting calls on Mormons lately.
written by Shawn Cumella on October 4, 2008
Hi Guys -
I remember the little red 3 wheel things too, also the donkeys/horses going along right down main street along with all the other "modes of transportation"
Glad you are having such a great time - you're right
is amazing -
Love you guys
written by Amanda Noyes on October 4, 2008
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