Original Posting from the cellphone:
We're at the beach at Salinas Grandes (literally at the end of a 11k dirt road) and will be doing a Bible club this afternoon.
It was good to see the church we worked on last year, and we got to see the church we will be painting at Xiloa (hee-lo-a). It's on the shores of Lake Managua which is the largest lake in central America.
The GSM telephone connections are wonderful, but I'll save my detail postings for when we return to the states. I stilldo a daily blog on my eeePC, but I don't upload it while here for lack of WIFI connectivity.
Full blog uploaded 8/16/09
Day 3 - Salinas Grandes
For me, it was an 11 hour sleep overnight. I was really tired and appreciated the chance to get some serious sleep. Praise the Lord for cold showers and not for the reason you're thinking. But that's getting ahead of myself. After a great pancake breakfast, we boarded the van to head into Masaya to pick up our order of primer for our painting project. We arrived there just as the store was opening and our order from the previous day was there waiting for us.
Leaving the paint store, we headed towards Salinas Grandes and took a small detour to pick up Cheryl and the kids and one puppy. We headed for Xiloa which is the location of our painting project so that we could drop off the paint supplies and see how the plasterer was doing in getting the walls ready. The interior was complete and about 1/2 of the front was complete.
We chatted with the workmen, and then headed back out to the highway to our turnoff towards Salinas Grandes. For the first time this trip, there were armed militia on the corner. Needless to say I didn't snap any pictures. We then saw vendors selling iguanas and even an armadillo (meal fixin's)..
We took a re-fueling and rest break at the Texaco just south of LaPaz. We bought some pop (.5 liter is 60 cents) and snacks and then headed on. Turning at the Salinas Grandes turnoff, we saw a number of familar looking vendors. It was the 11k down a very rough and rutted road to the beach by the salt settling ponds where we ate our lunch under a cabana.
It was very refreshing, and after lunch many went swimming in the warm Pacific Ocean.
Adrian took the van and went to gather youth for the bible club gathering. These youth come from at least 4 little churches and have been meeting together since April. He arrived back with them and we had a nice gathering.
Adrian gave the introduction and then Pastor Scott gave a message from Genesis on Abraham's calling and he applied it to our lives (with Adrian translating). He did a great job of incorporating the youth into his presentation.
Following the presentation, the kids played a bit with the two balls I had brought before Adrian took them back up the hill to the
"village". While he was gone, a couple of younger boys hung around and we eventually played ball with them. I partnered with the younger one who appeared to be about 5. I quickly observed without saying anything that he mimiced the way that I threw the ball to him. So I would vary my throw and it was cool to see him respond. I was thinking during this time that our inter-action was probably the only significant adult / child play interaction that he'd probably experienced in quite some time. We were also able to share some food with them. It was a practical application to our teaching times this week which focus on children coming to Jesus.
Suddenly, the wind kicked up and started blowing to the sea, and that wind was shortly followed by an intense tropical rainstorm! We huddled under the cabana and the lean-to attached to the next building. Soon Adrian returned and we loaded the van and headed out. As we approached the village, we spotted Pastor Ervin who approached the van and we exchanged greetings. It was good to see him again after a year. We herded some cattle and then passed by the parsonage that we helped build last year and noted that nobody was home so we didn't stop. My regret is that I didn't take a picture of the buliding.
It was then a 2 plus hour ride back to the mission compound with a brief stop to drop off most of the Mingos at their home. We also stopped at a supermarket to see if we could find some lightbulbs for our room. Unfortunately we couldn't find any.
Back at the compound, it was just before 7pm and totally dark which seems so strange. Dinner was waiting for us and we all gratefully gave thanks for our food and shared a meal together. And that takes us to the start of this daily account. With the humidity and beach activity, a cold shower actually feels quite warm and refreshing.
Over dinner we decided to stay in camp in the morning (Sunday) and worship together and do our lesson planning before
Adrian picks us up to attend the anniversary celebration of his church at 3pm.