Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Another Beautiful Day in Paradise

I was taking a taxi yesterday evening when I saw a gorgeous rainbow. The pictures don't really do it justice. I was thinking how fitting it is to have rainbows here, because with all the flooding rains, we need a reminder that Jehovah won't cause a deluge any time soon.




Anyway, the weather here has been so nice lately. Much cooler than it has been, with just a little rain here and there. Of course, I did still manage to get sunburned out in service the last couple days. I really should consider using sunscreen at some point.

Today was a great day in service. We got a fair amount of people home, and I started a new study. Pretty soon our days are going to be all filled up with calls. Yesterday we went out in the afternoon for a couple hours, we meant to do territory but started with calls and that took us until time to go home. Not a bad thing!

We have a new friend visiting the English hall. We met at the assembly; she was doing her hair and I was cleaning the restroom. "Where are you from?" she asked. "Ceiba," I said. "Me too! Visiting the Spanish hall." She asked for my phone number; it's funny how in Jehovah's organization you can be comfortable giving people your information right away. Of course, I don't always recommend it, lol. But sure enough, she called me two days later and has been coming to our hall for meetings and service since. I do feel a little bad for stealing her from the Spanish hall, but she's just so nice!

On a serious note, I wanted to make sure everyone knew if we haven't contacted you, it's because we don't have your info anymore. Everything was on our computer that got stolen. So we haven't been avoiding you, we swear! If y'all would like to contact us, skype zmilligan87 or contact our parents for email and phone. We would love to hear from you!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Long Week

This week was so long, and yet, I'm thinking it's Monday already. So go figure.
We had CO visit, which was really nice. This was their last visit to our hall, which makes me sad because I really like them, even though we just met last weekend. They travel all over Central America, visiting the different English congregations. I bet that's such an amazing experience. I would love to get to do something like that some day.

We had them over for lunch, which was a lot of fun. As you can see, the brother was so tired he just had to use our hammock.


Service this week has been productive. I finally got a call at home that I have been trying to get for a few weeks now. We are supposed to sit down this week and demonstrate a Bible Study.
My other lady at the hair salon is telling me to come back next week as well. She finally has a copy of the book so that's progress. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with her, because the language barrier is so great. She was able to tell me that the reason I haven't found her is because she's been "ditching work." All the English you don't know, and that's the phrase you do? Then again, Zach and I know a lot of unnecessary Nepali phrases so who are we to judge?
I met a really nice man this afternoon who spoke fluent English. He reads the Bible and goes to church occasionally. He wanted a copy of the Bible Teach book, but didn't want any commitments of people coming by and talking to him. So we told him where the Kingdom Hall is, and that he can come by anytime if he has questions.

It's so quiet right now. This past week has been Carnival, which means loud music and parades and fireworks at all times of the night. But right now, Sunday afternoon, it's quiet, which means the birds are chirping and not too many cars are driving by. It was actually silent here once, I didn't like that. It was spooky.

I'm kinda sad. The District Conventions are starting up, and we don't have ours for another 4 months. How will I ever survive without the new releases? Hard to believe we will be home in less time than that. I don't know how we will adapt again, we are so used to life here. That's why we are coming back down, I guess.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I love Hurricane Season

It is currently raining. Or still raining, I should say. It's been stormy weather for like a week. Right now the rain is just pouring down. We got back from walking to the store about 5 minutes ago and as soon as we got in the house, it got sooooo much worse. I don't think we will be walking to meeting tonight. Hmm, wonder if we can hitch a ride with the CO...
On the bright side, we finally got to use the rain jackets we bought specifically for coming here. And it is a LOT cooler. I thought we missed the wet season, but hurricane season brings some nice storms. At least it doesn't bring hurricanes.

So last weekend was incredibly awesome. We took the direct bus to Progreso, which is a small, quiet town. It was really easy to navigate, so we didn't actually need to get there 2 days early. Our hotel had air conditioning though, so it was totally worth it.

Here is a picture of the direct bus. See the nice comfy seats?

We went to the supermercado to pick up some supplies, and they had the coolest stuff there. Of course there were more fruits and veggies we didn't recognize, so I made Zach take a picture of those. Then I watched Food Network at the hotel and found out the weird purple thing was chinese eggplant and it didn't seem so exciting anymore. But you get to see pictures of some other things we discovered anyway.


This is a package of banana leaves. I wanted to buy them but had no idea how to use them.

This is the super exciting soda we found.


 The Special Assembly day was really good. We already went in November, so I got more out of it this time around. Every English congregation in the country came, and the attendance was 179. Definitely the smallest assembly we will ever go to. There was one person baptized, and the talk was directed right at him. Very personalized, which was cool, but I hope he isn't shy. The brother's name is Darren and he is in the Roatan congregation. We didn't actually get to meet him, but we know all about him now.




We did meet some other friends from the Roatan congregation. It was pretty funny, we met in the morning, went out to dinner together and now we have a place to stay when we take our trip to Roatan. I love how you can make friends so quickly in Jehovah's organization.

The Hoopers

The Singletons


Monday we went to Tela to get our visas. We didn't have any problems, but it was a little nerve wracking. We didn't speak much Spanish, the official didn't speak any English, and he was asking us questions. When he wasn't asking questions, he was very quiet and carefully examining every bit of information we provided. At one point, he asked our purpose in visiting the country. I had heard stories of people who said they were coming into a country to preach and got denied entry so I was a little paranoid when Zach replied that we were Testigos de Jehova. I shouldn't have been worried though, the official got all excited and started telling us about other people who were Witnesses who came to see him, and did we know the couple from Finlandia? 

We decided to take the chicken bus back to La Ceiba from Tela, which was another fun experience. The difference between the direct bus and the chicken bus is amazing. That extra 100 lempira for the nice bus really makes a difference.The chicken bus was seriously broken, seats weren't attached to the floor anymore, the windshield was completely smashed but still holding together, and they started the engine by reaching under the bumper and twisting wires together. And of course, there was the rain. I'm pretty sure the driver couldn't see out the window a couple times, but that didn't stop him from passing other cars on the road and driving like a madman around the corners. Thankfully, he had a guy hanging out the door to see for him.

The best part of the ride was definitely the clowns. That's right, our bus came with entertainment. The clowns were actually on both buses with us, so maybe they were stalking us around Tela, I don't know. They were very helpful though, they shouted out the window at every bus stop to let everyone know where the bus was headed. Their act probably would have been more interesting if we understood Spanish, but it seemed to be like an Abbot and Costello sort of deal, and it was pretty entertaining. The second part of our trip, the bus was fairly empty so the clown in blue sat down by Zach and they talked for a while. 




Actually I lied. I just remembered the best part of the trip. I wasn't able to get a picture, but at one point, the guy who collects the money on the bus was talking to us and he was showing us how a seat was broken, and a HUGE spider climbed out of it. So we got to watch the guy running around trying to kill the spider with a stick used to hold the windows up. He didn't succeed, so it was kinda freaky knowing at any moment the spider was going to be climbing up my leg. Thankfully, we didn't see it again.

This week we have the CO visit. I think they are staying in the room next door, but I haven't seen them today so I don't really know. We have lunch with them tomorrow, which should be nice. Service this week should be interesting, the weather forecast calls for thunderstorms and flooding all week. Enh, it's an excuse to take taxis and wear our ponchos. 

Well, that's all for now. It's almost time for Jeopardy. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rainstorms

It's been rainy the past couple days. Last night we had a torrential downpour that flooded the streets. It was so loud we couldn't hear the TV. Here's a video- you can't actually see anything, but you can hear how loud it was.
video

Today we went downtown to do a call. They weren't there, but we got to walk around and look at a couple fruit stands. We picked up two new fruits. One is supposedly a little apple, but it's shaped like a pear and tastes like eating perfume. It does have a red skin though. The flesh is a really weird texture, but it tastes kinda good. Not really sure what to think.



The other fruit is shaped like a papaya, but has a hard brown skin like a cantaloupe. The flesh is bright red, which makes me happy. But we haven't tried eating it yet, I'm a little scared. If we could find a guanabana fruit, that would be awesome. And now I have the guanabana song stuck in my head. That's a video we need to post- me singing. Actually, you probably don't want to suffer through that.

Tomorrow we leave for El Progreso for the Special Assembly Day. We don't have a clue where we are supposed to go, which is why we are leaving two days early. We finally figured out where the bus stop is, now we have to guess what time to be there and when to get off the bus. And once we get to Progreso, we have to find the assembly site. I think it's across from a hotel, which is by the mall, so it should be somewhat easy to find. I hope.

Monday we have to go to Tela to get our visas renewed. It's hard to believe we have been here 3 months already. In some ways, it feels like we have been here forever, and sometimes it feels like we just got here. Hopefully the next three months will go well. Of course, they could always deny our visas, so we might be coming home soon...Nah, that won't happen.

Should be an interesting weekend.













Monday, May 7, 2012

Vacation Day

We didn't do anything for our anniversary last month. Well, I lie, we went to Pizza Hut and it was very exciting. 
But since we celebrated in such a spectacular fashion, we decided to go to a local hotel yesterday so we could go swimming and have an actual air conditioner. It was awesome. Here's some pictures. If you sit through them, I'll tell you a story about how we were amazingly brave....well, sorta.

The view of the pool from our room. Yes, that's the beach in the background. It was so nice to have the window open and listen to the waves crashing on the shore.
The pool area. 

 Zach's beautiful steak dinner. Doesn't it look good?
Some pretty flowers on the property.

Zach walking on the beach this morning.


You skipped the pictures and went right to this part, didn't you?
So here is how we were (sorta) brave. The hotel we stayed at was right on the beach in the Zona Viva- the party district which is generally dangerous. So dangerous, in fact, that the hotel has armed guards patrolling their section of the beach 24/7. It's not usually a good idea to go down there. But down there we went, and first thing this morning we went out on the beach before anybody else was up. Well, the armed guard was there, so I guess we weren't technically all alone. But that's not the brave part. We....went in the water. GASP! I know, we will probably end up with horrible parasites now. 

Sigh, ok, Zach just told me I'm exaggerating a bit. We did go in the water, but we only walked in it, so I doubt we will actually get sick. Plus we were upcurrent (is that even a word?) from where the nasty black water hits the ocean, so I'm sure it was fine. We'll let you know if it turns out otherwise. 

Actually, you probably don't want to know that.