Saturday, August 25, 2012

We're Back

We made it to California alive and well. We miss everyone so much though. Cannot wait to go back.

So... here are pictures from El Salvador.

This is homemade sushi.

Here's some interesting fruits we discovered. No, this first one is not an artichoke.

 These are coffee beans. They turn red when they get ripe.

This is Zach with the maid. She was super nice and an awesome cook.

 This is the Kingdom Hall.

Next post will be pictures from Pioneer School.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Brain Dead

Short update:

1. El Salvador is fabulous.

2. All the friends are super wonderful.

3. We are having a great time and have experienced so many new things.

4. School makes my head hurt.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Coming to El Salvador

The last two days have been such an adventure. I still cannot believe we are here in El Salvador.

We had a safe flight from La Ceiba to Tegucigalpa, then from Tegus to San Salvador. Both flights were extremely short, the latter was about 30 minutes. It felt so pointless. Really funny though, about every 5 minutes they announced "No Smoking Allowed On The Plane." It would seem that is a real problem.

When we got to El Salvador, we weren't sure how to find the person picking us up. We had sent a picture of ourselves, but we didn't have a picture of them. Within just a few moments though, I saw a sister waving a songbook. That made it easy. It is so wonderful to have a connection like that, you can identify a Witness so easily.

We went for a tour of the city last night. San Salvador is so BIG! All the shiny lights and buildings and freeways. The most exciting part was seeing a Starbucks. I almost cried. We are suffering from serious over-stimulation right now. There is so much to see and to do here. It is such a contract to La Ceiba. I'm actually glad we came here first before going home, because I think it would have been too much culture shock to fly into LAX straight from La Ceiba and be surrounded by all those people.

This morning we went out in service. Here, they have actual streets and house numbers. That was a novelty. I was so glad I did not take the first door, because they don't yell here. They ring the doorbell. That would have been embarrassing. But the sisters I worked with were entertained by my stories of service in Ceiba.

After that, we went to the meeting. The Hall is very nice, and there were about 50 in attendance. It felt like a huge number of people. There were other visitors as well. I met some other sisters who will be in School with me. They came from Granada, Nicaragua by bus. It was a 14-hour drive. Zach and I have done some long drives, but I can't imagine that long of a bus ride.

The congregation was formed in December, and is mostly made up of what appear to be native El Salvadorians. Spanish is their first language, but all are trying very hard to learn English so they can preach. It was so wonderful to see them working hard to praise Jehovah. They are so friendly too- everyone hugs and kisses even though we just met.

Our host family is a husband and wife, with two boys, age 16 and 13. They have been so hospitable to us and made us feel very welcome. We are just so grateful for Jehovah's organization and all the friends. And they have been giving us the BEST food. I may not care for Honduran tipico, but I love Salvadorian food. Which is not actually that much different, it's just tastier. Weird.

We know it's only been a day and a half, but we really like it here. We are already trying to figure out how we can come back.

This afternoon we went sight-seeing. There is a volcano and crater about 20km from the city center, so we drove up the mountain to take a look and get a view of the city. You can see so far! There were two other volcanoes and a large lake that you could see, and on a clear day, you can see all the way to the ocean.

Tomorrow afternoon we meet at the Hall to get our information for Pioneer School and we start bright and early Tuesday morning. I am so nervous and excited all at once. I cannot wait to meet all the other friends who have gathered here to be together for this first English Pioneer School in the Circuit. And, of course, we will get to see Bro and Sis Turner again. I am so happy I get to be a part of this wonderful experience.

We have taken lots of photos, but all the equipment to get them on the computer is currently packed and I'm lazy. So photos will probably have to wait until we get back to the States. Two weeks, y'all! It's gonna go by so fast!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Rain Rain Go Away

Last night we went out for a last dinner with one of the sisters here. It was really nice, but once again, we got rained out. The power went off at the restaurant for a little bit. By the time we got out, the streets were flooded. So did we go home? No, we caught a taxi to the mall and walked around there while the streets continued to get worse. Always thinking of the smart thing to do, we are.

When we did decide to go home, there was a huge line waiting for taxis. At the mall, only certain taxis are allowed to work, and all of them were busy so we had to wait a while. Finally we got tired of that and decided to just walk out to the street and grab a cab. What we didn't realize was this meant treading through water up to our calves and getting completely soaked. Then we couldn't actually get a cab to stop for us. So we are standing out there, getting wetter and wetter and cars are driving by and splashing us. We stopped one taxi, and he told us he didn't want to go where we were headed. Thought that was strange, but when we did catch a cab, we found out why. The roads in our neighborhood were flooded so bad that we weren't sure we could make it through.

Thankfully we did, and got home safely. This morning, all the water was gone. They don't have drainage systems in this country from what I can tell-where does all the water go? It's very odd.

We went out to run some errands this morning, and we found the water. The really nice, really green golf course is now a swamp. If only we'd had the camera...

And people tell us December is much worse. I really, really want to see that.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Last Meeting

Last night was our last meeting here in La Ceiba. It was quite entertaining.

It was just starting to rain when we got there, but by the time meeting started it was pouring and the lightning was hitting right around us, causing the thunder to boom and shake the windows. The power didn't go out, but it was so loud that we couldn't hear anything. The brother conducting the study had to keep repeating himself because we couldn't hear the questions. It felt like I was yelling into the microphone to answer- probably because I was.

And then suddenly- it was nice and quiet. Just in time for our demonstration, it figures. :)

We had a nice demo for the last part. The two sisters are fluent in Spanish, so they started off in Spanish then switched to English halfway through. It was actually pretty real to how we do service- since the English congregation is the foreign language here. I swear, I will never get used to being the foreign language in my mother tongue.

We will miss everybody, but I'm sure the time will fly by and we will be back soon. We are going out with some friends tonight, and tomorrow we have to clean our apartment. We finished all our packing today, but of course, packed things we still need so we are rummaging through the suitcases every few minutes. Thankfully, everything fits. And we are going home with an empty suitcase after all. I was worried, but VICTORY!!!