Day 1 Friday – 8/8
Our ministry trip began with our assembling at SeaTac Airport. Angela and I arrived first and then the rest of the group arrived. Unfortunately we had forgotten our Spanish texts, so our daughter made a special trip back to the airport with the care package. Thanks, Rebekah!
We took the obligatory departure photo (with the Hawaiian airlines plane as the backdrop and we were soon loaded for our 12:55am departure. The plane was totally full and partially into the flight, a baby near many of us started screaming and that continued for at least an hour. It turned out that the mother was deaf and couldn't hear it to be able to respond. Needlesstosay many of us didn't get much sleep on this leg of the trip to Houston. Arriving in Houston on schedule, we learned that our departure gate was in another terminal and that led to an elevated train ride. Arriving there and then walking the entire length of the terminal we had a couple of hours before our departure. Many took the opportunity to get a little breakfast. What was really interesting was the iPod vending machine! One could put in a credit card and just like buying a soda or candy, the machine would dispense the iPod of one's choice.
The second leg of the trip from Houston to Managua left on time and a little over 3 hour later we broke out of the clouds and could see Lake Managua and an active volcano. Our approach took us over the city and soon we were de-planing and headed for immigration where we all cleared with no problem.. It's $5 per person to enter the country. Then we headed to gather our checked baggage and for a bit there was a scare when Rachael couldn't find her bag. Eventually she found it and we also spotted Dwayne and Carol Markham outside of the glass windows. We cleared customs and all assembled outside of the secure area when we were greeted by two representatives of Chosen Children Ministries who had a bus to take us to the mission compound at Masaya. I turned on the GPS and SPOT tracker and hopefully a signal will get posted to the tracking location. It was about a 30 minute ride to the compound and we saw all sorts of sights that were uncommon to us includng very poor areas, donkey carts, pedicabs, very rugged streets, etc. Beyoond that, there's a beauty to this country and it's very very green. Given my personal interest in motorcycles, I saw a number of them and they looked to be 100 to 125 cc's in size. But that didn't stop the people from riding 3 or more people on the bikes. We also noted that the principal form of bus transportation used former US schoolbuses many of which were painted very colorfully.
Arriving at the compound we were greeted with lunch (baloney & cheese sandwiches) which acttually tasted good. Of course it was about 90 degrees F and we are all sweating in the heat and humidity. The grounds are quite lovely and we'll be divided into men and women in two dormitory rooms. We also learned that there is no internet connection so I don't know when I can post, so I'll do the blog off line and update it as I can. We also learned that the location in LEON is not available to us because of problems with power and water. So we'll be changing plan after we meet with Adrian, our local contact here.
Given that many didn't get much sleep, many elected to nap this afternoon while a small group of us took a walk up a dirt road behind the compound. Again, it's very poor and during the trip we were able to give away 10 New Testaments. Bernardo was able to help immensely in engaging the locals with questions. Below are some photos from our little walk.
We enjoyed a very nice and simple dinner of rice & beans and vegetables and shredded hamburger. Around that time, Adrian and Cheryl arrived and it was a good time seeing them again. We enjoyed some brief fellowship and gave Cheryl our gifts for the children.
After dinner we practiced our songs (sounded really good) and learned that we would be spending Saturday with Adrian in a new neighborhood playing with children and doing a little teaching.
It's good to be in country and we are anticipating seeing Adrian again and working to assist him.
I retired at around 8:45pm as I finally “hit the wall” with lack of sleep. I remember awakening around 12 midnight to the sound of Dwayne coming in. It took me a good long while to go back to sleep.