Monday, September 16, 2013


I'm dedicating this post to David, Shayla, and Shaylita.  

David is the brother above with Shelina.  He is an El Salvadorian brother serving in English.  He very generously picked us up upon our arrival to El Salvador and offered us a tour of the city.  From the moment we met him, he and his family showed us extraordinary love.  He showed us where the grocery store was to get our lunch, where the assembly was being held, the mall, and the famous Wal-Mart we heard about.  He carried our suitcases up to the room and made sure we got checked in ok.  The next night, we got to meet his beautiful wife Shayla and daughter Shaylita when they took us out for pupusas.

Saturday night, this family went out to eat with the family they had generously offered housing for during the convention.  When they arrived back at their home, they discovered thieves had broken in during the convention and stolen everything of value from both them and the family they were hosting.  All of this while they're also busy (financially and emotionally) supporting a close family member with cancer.

The next day at the convention when we heard the news, we immediately rushed over to comfort them.  Their reaction was amazing.  They told us that when their 5-year old daughter saw everyone upset she said, "Don't be sad.  We need to pray."  And that's exactly what they did.  And their viewpoint?  "Maybe this is just the push we need to simplify and serve Jehovah more fully."  They expressed their appreciation for the assembly program--there was so much information about how our trials don't come from Jehovah and don't express his displeasure with us or show that we're doing something wrong.

What an example to imitate!

Friday, September 13, 2013


You all know me so I'm sure you've already guess the other part I loved about El Salvador--the food!  No, seriously, it was like visiting the U.S.  They use the U.S. dollar as currency, they've got chains I'm familiar with like Zara & Nine West, and they have restaurants I know.  Like what?  Drumroll please....

Can you hear that?  Yes, those are angels singing!  That's how I felt when I walked into THE ONLY STARBUCKS IN CENTRAL AMERICA!  They ONLY exist in El Salvador for some reason.  Ahhhh, Wifi and a frappuccino.

Where else did we go?  Not the Pancake Shop Pancake Shop!!!! But....
Denny's!  What's crazy is that I think I ate at Denny's all of one time when I lived in the U.S. and yet I was so excited to see it here.  Grand Slam, here we come!  You wanna know how I know I've lived here too long?  When we scanned the menu, we saw that certain soft drinks and juices came with free refills, something unheard of here in Nicaragua.  I told Shelina "if I just had a plastic baggie with me I could order a refill, put it in the bag, and then I'd have fresco at lunch."  Sad, huh?

And last but not least....

Oh, Mexican food how I've missed thee!  We spent Saturday night with a new couple we met serving in Guatemala (shout out to Kimberly and Trevor!!!) and enjoying blackberry margaritas, chips/salsa, and enchiladas. Ahhhh!  And for those of you reading this thinking "you live in Nicaragua; all Latin food is the same, right?"  Wrong.  Don't get me wrong, I love Nica food but oh, how I've missed my spicy Mexican. Hopefully, this will hold me over for a while.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


August 30-September 1 my roommate and I traveled with Granada English congregation and visited San Salvador, El Salvador for the "God's Word is Truth" District Convention.  I wanted to share some of the highlights with you.  First time in El Salvador.  And the convention was made up of English speakers (some serving in English congregations other whose first language is English) from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

mmmm sweaters and scarves! A.C. bus trip for about 14 hours

This was the sight that welcomed us in San Salvador. They even had brothers waiting to take us to our hotels and home stays.   They took such good care of us!

Me with one of the new releases.  Don't mind my crazy friend Jim in the background.

Saturday night we went out for the El Salvadorian national food pupusas.  They were worth the wait.  Imagine warm tortillas filled with goodies like squash, pork rinds, cheese, beans etc.  Yum!

David, Shaylita, and Shayla.  David picked Shelina and I up the first day and gave us a little tour of San Salvador.  Then his family took us out to eat Saturday night.  Sweetest family ever!

Some sisters from one of the English congregations in El Salvador came in native dress on Saturday

What did I most take away from our trip?  Hospitality.  I kid you not when I say the El Salvadorian brothers bent over backwards spending time and money to make us feel comfortable during our time there.  We had an experience Sunday evening that showed us that what we Americans consider hospitality is a poor man's excuse.  These friends have a percentage financially of what we do and yet were offering absolutely everything they had to us.  I think the brothers' attitude there can be summed up by what Bro.Jorge (baptized only a month) told us Sunday night:
"I want to learn English.  Before, it was to be better equipped at my job.  But now, I see there are so many English speakers in Jehovah's organization!  If I don't know English, how will I know how to help them?!"
It was also amazing to me how timely Jehovah's information always is for us.  The assembly really focused on the confidence we have that Jehovah is always there for us even during really difficult trials.  Some of our brothers were facing challenging circumstances leading up to and during the convention, and I know the information presented was a comfort to them.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Well, after two years here in Nicaragua, it was bound to happen.  I, too, was going to have a crazy story about a tarantula or lizard or in my case SCORPION making its way into my peaceful home.

It all happened a couple weeks ago when I got called late night to ask if I could brings snacks to Sign Language Pioneer School in Masaya the next day.  I said yes! and started baking.  That venture lasted until about midnight when I wearily sat on my bed.  I finally got it together to head to the bathroom and found myself following about a 6 inch long, black, angry scorpion!!!!  So I did what any girl would do....stared at it a good 5 minutes making sure it never left my sight.  Finally, I stopped hyperventiling, grabbed my largest, sturdiest shoe, and starting pounding like there was no tomorrow.  Then (you just never know) picked it up with kitchen tongs and threw it over the balcony into the street where hopefully it got run over a few times.

next to my size 10
I'm proud to say I did all this without screaming not even once.  I feel like Wonder Woman!