Monday, November 25, 2013


So many people have questions on how we need greaters support ourselves here.  I recently ran across a post which offered excellent suggestions:  My Journey: Online Interpreter Job Wanted .  Just click on the link to learn more :)

**UPDATE 01/13/2014**
Guys, the suggestions on this post really work.  I set up a profile with oDesk and got the first job I applied for.  It's paying my living expenses here in Nicaragua with a couple hundred bucks extra each month.  I do recipe translation online according to my schedule.  I'm paid per the recipe so I control how much I make a week.  Try oDesk out!

Friday, November 22, 2013


FYI guys, I recently added a page to this blog with a long-ish summary of my journey to becoming a need greater.  It holds the same title as this blog post and can be found just under the title next to the word "home."  Check it out and let me know your comments.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Even though I've been here a couple years and feel pretty comfortable with how things work here, every so often I have experiences that show without a shadow of a doubt that I am definitely not Nica.  One recently happened at my DC and has to do with washing.  If you had to pick between the 3 methods shown below, which would you choose?
Lavadero and pila...the ridged section (lavadero) is for scrubbing.  The deep section (pila) is the water reservoir for rinsing

I think you all know this beauty

Flat rock for scrubbing, lake water for rinsing
I, like most of you I'm sure, choose the washing machine.  I have yet, to date, lived in a place without one, and it was #1 on our list of things to buy when we moved to Nindiri.  I'm fortunate, though.  Probably 90% of Nicaragua still washes by hand.  However, at my DC I was put in a situation where I had to wash using the pila.....correction:  had to clean a very dirty mop head in front of my entire congregation using the pila.

Picture the scene:  3 pilas all attached to each other with me and 2 sisters at each then 2 brothers between us all scooping water regularly to help out.  I thought, "I've got this.  Very quietly I'm going to ask Shema (the brother next to me) how to do this and then no one will know my handicap thus avoiding a big, embarrassing scene."  To which Shema responded loudly in My Big Fat Greek Wedding style (you don't eat no meat?!), "What?!  You don't know how to wash by hand?!  That's ok, I'll explain it."  Apparently, the trick is to just scrub to death against the ridges until you feel like your arms will fall off and you no longer have any fingernails.  Only then is the mop head truly clean.  And when you have 50 people behind you screaming, "Dale, Shawn, dale!"  (Go for it, Shawn, go for it) failure is not an option.  Let's just say I ended up with a fairly clean mop head, a very tickled congregation, and no feeling in my biceps until the next morning.

I'll never take my washer for granted again.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Although our Circuit Assembly isn't until January, we had our Circuit Pioneer Meeting last Friday.  Turns out the other half of our circuit was doing their C.A. this past weekend, so we got the meeting early.  I thought you guys would like some facts about my new circuit and a great photo of my fellow Nindiri pioneers.
Location was at Piedra Quemada KH.  I found it to be particularly beautiful.  The long building to the left are apts for the C.O. and a need greater couple from the States
 We had the meeting at Piedra Quemada for Nica Circuit #7.  That circuit is made up of 22 congregations, 1,991 publishers, and 180-185 regular pioneers.  We average 5 studies per pioneer.  The needs of our circuit were to increase our number of students and ensure we're taking steps to make them progressive Bible students.  What did I most take away from the meeting:

  • Jehovah is an orderly god.  He expects his servants to imitate him.  I should conduct my service in an orderly way and my person, supplies, and even home should always be orderly.
  • I have to be a better student of the Bible.  I need to schedule specific times to read the Bible without rushing, make sure I understand the information, then meditate.  I'll never improve my teaching abilities otherwise.
  • I have to guard against discouragement.  I need to think positively about my territory, my students, my fellow workers, and the hard-working elders helping to direct me.
Hopefully, putting these items into practice, I'll have a successful 2013/14 service year.

Here's my new buddies.  Starting from left back row:  Alexis, Ivan, Johan, Larry.  Front row:  yours truly, Selene, Clara, Argentina.  Only Julissa is missing; she couldn't get off work.
I've been getting to know the Nindiri pioneers a little more and have really started to value them after learning more about them.  We have one pioneer who's still going after having cancer twice, a pioneer who's only been baptized 4 years, a pioneer who is incredibly zealous although having rheumatoid arthritis from a young age, 2 pioneers who are family heads as well, and 2 pioneers juggling a demanding work schedule on top of it all.  I see I have a lot I can learn here in Nindiri.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Between Granada and NindirĂ­ sits a natural lagoon called Laguna de Apoyo.  It was formed by the Masaya Volcano centuries ago, and is a really nice place to swim and hang out.

So on Sunday, a sister from my new congregation said a little group wanted to take Shelina and I there.  They packed a picnic and picked us up and we spent all afternoon swimming, grilling, and making new friends.  Can't wait to do that again!

Selene serving us grilled pork ribs and beef, cucumber & tomato salad, and tortillas

Fabiola and Mery serving up

Shelina taking a quiet moment to herself

Friday, November 1, 2013


The most exciting thing happened to Shelina and I yesterday.  We have been feeling so glum that everyone we know in the States has gotten a new English Bible and we just had a PDF to read.  Don't get me's been amazing to hear everyone's stories of the Annual Meeting and see pix of their new Bibles, but it's not quite the same as having the real thing, you know?!  That's why when we went to visit our friends the Solowiejkos who just got back from the States, we were shocked and excited for THIS.....

 And yes, I am smug that I'm all the way in Nicaragua and still get to read the new Bible without having to go to the States first.

Here's a gratuitous shot of my niece Camellia with her new Bible.  I swear she's the cutest kid ever!