Much has happened in the months…many months… since I have last written a blog entry. The ministry, a Kriol class, and a visit from Summer all flew past without even a moment for me to write about those events.
With Managua Ingles’ switch to Kriol came a brand new view of the city that is our territory- we are now looking for an entirely new demographic, and with that comes the need to learn a new language. JoJo ( now our new co-ordinator since the departure of Jeff and Elizabeth to SKE) gave us an invitation to Bluefields, a colorful town situated at the very edge of Nicaragua, just before the Atlantic Coast. He had a public talk there and thought it might be a good experience for Ariana and I to really get to know the culture and the language the congregation would soon be adopting. We excitedly accepted and packed to embark on the cross country trip that took about six hours by bus and an additional two hours by boat. A little wooden boat.
Luggage, crates, and boxes mounted the top of the bus, and we had absolutely no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but couldn’t have been more excited. It was the night of our midweek meeting, so we changed out of our meeting clothes into comfortable (and warm) clothes to travel in as we anxiously waited to board the bus.
Once we did, we ate pupusas that we’d packed and faded in and out of sleep in the most awkward position I can claim to have ever been in. We rode for hours in what looked like land completely unlike Managua, green and sparsely inhabited. We made one stop to a restroom I regret having to had use. (Tissue you had to pay for, no running water, a bucket of water everybody splashed their hands in after using the restroom…I used a Lysol wipe to clean my hands that night seeing as how putting my hands in that bucket would be far, far worse than not washing at all) We stopped in a little market for beverages and snacks and were on the bus again shortly after, feeling even more excited about being closer to Bluefields. Eventually we made it to a small town called Rama. where got our luggage off of the bus and waited for the sun to rise so we could start the second part of our journey. Sleep had evaded us but we were hardly affected. Here we are looking way too excited:
Then came the highlight of our travels: the boat ride!
The first step off the boat and it felt not just like a different city, but a different country. Brightly painted houses, reggae music, and ebony skinned people chattering in thick Caribbean accents scattered the streets. At that moment, I knew I’d love Bluefields.
The people serving in the Kriol congregation in Bluefields were a huge mix of locals and needgreaters who had taken to the language and the culture completely. We came for the talk and a few days of the ministry, but our time in Bluefields would be extended unexpectedly: The CO had decided to put together a Kriol class in Bluefields! It was apparently urgent. He said that the locals needed to be preached to not in English, which they understood and spoke, but in Kriol, the language of their hearts. Within two days people from various areas on Nicaragua’s coast, as well as several members of our own congregation in Managua, made their way to Bluefields by buses, boats, and planes for a condensed Kriol crash course where we would learn the basics of speaking and reading in this Caribbean language.
The class served as proof that whatever Jehovah asks of us, he gives us the ability needed to accomplish it. It gave the brothers and sisters a sense of confidence, not in ourselvess, but in Jehovah. We all new that he could learn Kriol with his help. In just a month since the change to Kriol, plenti peepl taak Kriol eena di kongrigayshan! Jehovah is blessing the effort of the brothers and sister’s completely. Classes are now being conducted once a week in Managua.
You know who else took to Kriol quite well? Summer! She came to Managua and tested the waters as a need greater, and showed us how to whip for a choreographed dance at Jeff and Elizabeth’s going away party. It was the first time I had seen my sister in months, but when she came, it felt like we were never apart.
Summer had such a willing attitude to adapt to a different environment than her’s in Southern California. She took the crowded buses, daily rice and beans, and abundance of stray dogs with humor. She cracked jokes about everything. And I needed it, three months in.
It was so nice to experience serving alongside my little sister in Nicaragua, and she did such a good job at delving to the ministry, and the many languages that we use while doing it! It is definitely a glance into what the near future could bring.
We flew back to California together, which brings me to my next post…stay tuned