1 week down and counting....and boy, has it been a week! In this week, I've been able to go in service almost every day, arranged my water supply, and gotten a little more information about congregations around me.
I'm currently renting a room from a Nicaraguan family who live in an area of Granada called La Villa. The family consists of Julio and Alicia, Edwin and Carmen, and Ervin. Julio spends about 3 months at a time in the US caring for his mother, so I haven't actually met him yet. The girls in the house are my new friends and VERY helpful and the guys provide a lot of comic breaks....they are NUTS but in a refreshing way :)
I'm serving in Granada Este right now. It's an established congregation that has experienced a lot of growth lately. Unfortunately, though, their need is for brothers, not pioneer sisters :( It's a shame b/c they're a really sweet cong and have been very welcoming to me. They have been excited b/c it's been more than 4 years since they've had a foreigner serve with them, and I'm the only one in the cong right now. They have 103 pubs, 20 pioneers, 7 servants, and 2 elders....yep, 2 elders. All you brothers reading this: if you have EVER entertained the idea of moving to serve where the need is greater you should know that 2 elders is the max in any congregation in Nica (doesn't matter the size of the cong). Some have NO elders and are being led by whatever baptized brother they might have. Please consider this the next time you put your desires into prayer.
I've found that there's a lot of rural areas around Granada that have a lot of need....just a few publishers who are very new and need a good example and someone with experience. Hopefully, I fit that description! I can live in Granada and commute there as they all are within 10 miles of the city. I've been told of Las Islitas, El Hormigon, Diamante, and Cana de Castilla. The problem with these is that I need transportation to get to the meetings for service and weekly meetings. I'm trying to make arrangements with a family here in Nica to pay for the insurance and gas in exchange for use of their vehicle....I'll keep you updated how that goes.
So overall, it's been a very productive week. I'm still adjusting to life here but it seems manageable. I feel better with the heat (it never goes below 80 and so far the max has been 91; mind you, this is their winter), I'm learning to take showers out of buckets when our water runs out in the morning, and I'm managing the rains (just a few slips in service and scrubbing of shoes when I get home). Ollie's good here too and already the congregation loves her (how could they not?).
By the way, the photo above is a standard dinner here which I have come to love. Starting top right is gallo pinto (rice with beans and veg), eggs scrambled with chorizo, mozzarella cheese, and fried mature plantain. Yum!