Bluefields and Back; Summer Takes Managua

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.

the bus we rode to Rama, just before getting on the boat
the bus we rode to Rama, just before getting on the 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:

 

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Then came the highlight of our travels: the boat ride!

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the eagerest passengers on the boat to Bluefields
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Then everyone died. Not really. We were just knocked out sleep. I’m the headless looking one.

 

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.

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hospitality after JoJo’s public talk
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Jeff photobombing Summer and her Australian twin, Holly

 

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.

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participating in class

 

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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.

 

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our first day out together
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Summer’s signature smile

 

 

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.

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Case and point: Summer cracking up while she tries to use a washing board

 

 

 

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Summer and Oren

 

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Summer and Norlan cheesing in service

 

after practicing the choreography for Jeff and Elizabeth's dance. Summer is a tough coach
after practicing the choreography for Jeff and Elizabeth’s dance. Summer did a good job hiding her disappointment in our dancing. Haha

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On a raft in a volcano. I don't get how it works, but we were there but we were there
On a raft in a volcano. I don’t get how it works, but we were there

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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

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4 thoughts on “Bluefields and Back; Summer Takes Managua

  1. Words cannot express the gratitude and thankfulness I owe to Jehovah! This opportunity has been such a privilege, opening my eyes to experiences that I thought I’d never come to see. It will FOREVER be in my hearts the kindness, humbleness, and generosity that flowed in Managua Ingles congregation. The people made me feel at home. I enjoyed the different personalities, that made going to the meeting each time a fun adventure. Getting to see you Paris is more relieving than will EVER let on. As soon as I stepped off the plane, we were back together like not a day had pass. The things I experience there, put a smile on my face unknowingly. I will so dearly miss the congregation, as well as the beautiful and receptive people of Managua. Jehovah has given me not only a glimpse of what I want to do with my life now, but the beauty and unity in the near future of paradise. I love you so much, and though it feels like I’ve only seen you once this year, I couldn’t ask for more than you setting an example for both Darius and I. May Jehovah continue to bless you as you give him your youth! P.s Give big big lov to dem bradaz and sistaz fah we. I den missed dem very much!

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  2. Great post Paris and thank you for sharing! For a moment I felt like I was there. I am so happy Jehovah blessed you with the opportunity to serve in Managua, not only is it a great experience for you but also encouragement for me…and many others. We appreciate all of your hard work and miss you very much. It was also good seeing my girls together again. Summer had me dying laughing talking about how hot it was and almost in tears when she was telling me how warm, generous and loving the friends in Managua are. Please give the friends our love and I look forward to reading your next post. xoxo

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  3. At last, My baby girl is back. Well not quite a (baby). I’ve been anticipating reading about the great experiences. It sounds like a lot happened in such a short period of time. We can see Jehovah’s Chariot on the move!!

    The commute to Bluefields had me on the edge of my seat. I can’t imagine YOU (Paris Monae Berry) in a boat, little wooden boat for hours. I can’t pay you to get in a boat let alone go past the point of getting your feet wet on the shore at home. I know Jehovah’s spirit was at work.
    The things that are happening sound so exciting. What a privilege you share along with so many others to serve Jehovah in this capacity. It sounds like such an adventure. But that being said, I know that there are many challenges you all face, but the spiritual blessings have to outweigh the challenges for sure.
    I also know that you are not doing this for the blessings, or for attention, or certainly not the glory from men. But you truly have a deep love for Jehovah, People, and the Preaching Work. I remember you getting excited about possible missionary work and finishing yearbooks before the rest of us could even finish a chapter! Jehovah well knows your motives and intentions far better than anyone else. I will continue to pray that he grant you strength and humility. I appreciate that you shy away from drawing attention to yourself but giving all the glory and honor to Jehovah.

    I am so happy your sister/bff got to share this experience with you. She seems to be so happy on these pics. You can see how Serving Jehovah to the full brings true joy. I haven’t seen her this happy all year…or last year…lol. Teenagers, sigh. But she has come home feeling really encouraged about her future spiritual goals. I am so thankful to Jehovah and all the Supportive friends here at home and in Managua. She is truly refreshed! This is an Amazing Brotherhood…we have love all around the world. So glad to know Jehovah has blessed my girls with widening out and tasting to see that Jehovah is good. Psalm 34:8

    Thanks for the Great Read. I look forward to hearing more about Managual Kriol. Love and miss you more than words can say 💖💖 May Jehovah continue to bless and strengthen you all!!! Luv ya Gyal…my failed attempt at Kriol…haha.

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  4. Wow, your blogs are so encouraging. I really enjoy reading them and your sense of humor. May Jehovah continue to bless your service to him.

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