Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Goodbye Nicaragua

Ok so I figured I should probably at least finish my stories of Nicaragua. So the Waslala trip... one word EPIC! I loved the trip. We took our two Toyota trucks, one covered to put our luggage under in case it rains and one uncovered so people could stand on the back because we couldn’t fit everyone in the front of the trucks. Our trip up was an absolute blast! Poor Jason though. Only guy in a truckload of girls but he did get an education though. For the first 3 hours it was smooth roads. Well as smooth as Nicaragua roads get and the last 3 hours was brain-jarring bumpiness! We were all very seat sore by the time we got there! The last little bit was a bit muddy. At one point we were spinning out going up a hill with a huge bus sliding down toward us and we couldn’t back up either cuz there was a bus directly behind us. Huge sigh of relief went up when the bus was able to direct itself to slide around us. We stayed at a house directly above the clinic which we did get a tour of later on. Great work going on there! If you get a chance pray for the work happening there. For supper we had to drive over to Timo’s house and trying to back out of the driveway we ended up sliding into the ditch. I know its rainy season there but in Malpiasillo the rain has kinda been lacking whereas Waslala has had plenty or so it looks! We finally got unstuck and made it there and enjoyed really good Nicaraguan cooking. After hanging out and lots of chatter we headed home or so we tried… Ditch number 2! Sigh lol it made for a good laugh anyway. What we all thought it was very ironic was that Jason Shantz had been driving the first time and the second time it was big Jason and we figured out must be just a Jason thing! :) Not that I could have done a better job! The next day bright n early after breakfast of course we shipped out to go on our little hike. It took around 2 hours I think to get there and Waslala roads are CRAZY bumpy! I was riding in the back and I had to hold onto the bar above me and I was so sore later than I couldn’t sleep on my side! Yes it was BUMPY but fun! Ok I love making this sound dramatic although it wasn’t really that dramatic. Ready? Ok so this hike was a hike through the mountainous muddy Jungles of Nicaragua during rainy season and none of us had brought boots and it was too muddy to keep our flip flops on our feet so most of us ended up going barefooted! See! Dramatic right. ;) Nah not to bad really but I really did enjoy this hike a lot, a lot of good talks and memories. Some of the people in the front of the group even got to see monkeys! I saw at least one. Hhmmm just saying, hiking in a long muddy dress is a kinda frustrating. Got to love new experiences though right! When we got within sight of the waterfall we were supposed to magically turn into monkeys or something. Jumping from slippy rock and climbing over huge boulders till we finally got to the waterfall. Oh and funny story, I lost my flip flop down the stream and our guide and Jason had quite a time trying to retrieve it, which I was very thankful to them for. The waterfall was magnificent, loud and powerful! Three of the guys went swimming and it was overall a fun time there. We got a bunch of videos and pictures. After a bit we headed back but unfortunately on the way up I had gotten cut right under my big toe where you grip when you walk so the way down was a little slower for me but Krista, being the awesome chica she is, offered me her boots that one of the guys had given her. Boots made that hike a thousand times easier. Apparently the hike up took a little over an hour and the hike down took 50 minutes. I can believe the second one but not so much the first one. We got back to our truck by 2 and we were all rather hungry since we hadn’t eaten since 7 that morning but we were rather late for a youth event in Waslala so we decided to drive straight there and maybe stop at a small store for like a few snacks. About 20 minutes into the drive our truck got stuck in neutral I believe is what they said, so while they were trying to fix it we got to walk into a lil town up the road a little and get some snacks and while we eating them a young girl came along selling chicken, rice and tortillas. Praise the lord cuz I was hungry for real food! :) After maybe a half hour the truck was finally fixed and we were back in business. We got back to the house packed up and all got refreshing COLD showers. It’s amazing how good it feels to be clean when you were caked with mud. We missed a lot of the youth event but got there right in time for supper. And wow I had never seen so many native Mennonite youth before. The church was packed! It was so good to see the Waslala Water students again and hear all their crazy stories! After supper we had a lot of singing and every church represented there sang a song in front of everyone. After a lot of talking and stuff we mozied over to the Yoder girls house. Some of you may have heard of Pablo Yoder? Anyway this was his daughter’s house. We had a blast there and wow do they have some exotic pets! A huge bird parrot like thing, an alligator, a monkey and they have a snake pit! How cool is that?? That night Rosibel and I just had a party. She knows a little English and I know a little Spanish and it just worked. We were sitting on the couch listening to music and talking with my Spanish English dictionary app open my phone. I’m gonna miss that girl! The next day after we went fabric shopping we headed home. We made a small pitstop in Matapalga for lunch and while we were there these 3 HUGE guys walked in!! like huge as in TALL!!!! The one guy had to be 7 feet and the others close to it to! The one guy lazily reached up and touched the ceiling, TOUCHED! And he could have reached farther. Wow now that’s when it was hard not to stare. I overheard one of the guys say “yoo so this is like downtown Matapalga”, that made me laugh. Anywho so we got home around 3 and well crashed! It was good to be home again.

We had one last day trip with the Leon crew on Monday and that was a blast! More hiking, riding in the back of trucks, awesome souvenir shopping, talking, and memories I pray I will never forget. Oh and hear this, it was COLD! At least in the back of the truck it was! Brrr! Sigh Have I ever mentioned I love this crew! Miss you guys!
Goodbyes… Sigh I HATE goodbyes! I just kept singing to myself “no tears in heaven be no tears no tears up there, no tears in heaven will be known!” but the time finally showed its ugly face. Goodbye to my native friends, my mission friends… sigh so hard. We left for the airport bright and early Thursday morning. 3am early to be exact. It was about a 2 to 3 hour ride and it was in dead silence. Yes, yes I am the annoying person that loves talking at early times in the mornings! Poor fellow travelers. We got there is plenty of time though and made it through security and everything and before we knew it we were leaving the beautiful country of Nicaragua that we loved so much. Our flights were for the most part unsuccessful except one part. Wow way to close of a call. We were all boarded our 2nd flight from Houston to Newark and Bradlyn kept not boarding and not boarding and we all figured well he will show up because by now we were used to him disappearing but he was always there by the time the plane took off. But he kept not showing up and I was beginning to get a little worried and a little panicky. I was all like praying he would show up and almost the whole plane was boarded and he wasn’t showing up finally I was like got to call him! I fished my SMBI WATER contact paper out of my bag and typed in the number beside his name praying that it wasn’t his home phone or something. After a couple rings he calmly answers and I was like yo where are you!? The plane is supposed to be leaving the runway in about 15 minutes!!! I think I shocked him a little bit cuz he was like should I hurry? and I was like YES!!  And I could hear him running. I prayed and prayed he would make it before they shut the door. Finally he was like the 2nd or so to the last person who entered the plane. A collective sigh went up from all of us. He was like panting and we were all like where were you? And it turns out he was basically as far away as you could be in that terminal. And the reason he didn’t know it was leaving was cuz his phone was on Nicaraguan time which is about an hour behind Houston. Well that made for some excitement and a fun story to tell! We got to Newark around 7ish and got on the bus and I had a blast seeing everyone again, hearing all the stories and just driving around picking up everyone from different airports! Our last stop was back to Newark again at 12:30ish and then back to SMBI we headed. We got there around 5 and I didn’t get to bed till probably 6ish. And woke at around 9:30 ready for a day of sitting in chapel listening to everyone tell their stories about their trips. It was good to hear them but when you’re tired they did all sort of run together and you are sort of just longing for home. I finally got home at 12:30 ish and boy was it good to see everyone again!! I was welcomed with dogs barking, huge hugs, welcome home signs and balloons and eager ears! :)

Thanks for following me on this little journey of mine. I loved every last minute of it and am so thankful for the journey that God brought me on and I will actually be on my way to Belize in exactly a week from today so if y’all wanna hear about that trip too then stay tuned! ;)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

StoryTime :)

Hi I’m Bethany how r u? I’m losing my mind. Help. Nah JK I was just looking at this blank page and going hmmm what should I say to fill this page that people actually would enjoy reading. Well currently I am listening to the two girls I live with discuss supper and different recipes. Ok so I haven’t really told you guys lately what I have been up lately. I guess my last story was the volcano. Ok so prep yourself for some stories whether exciting or interesting or amusing or boring I guess that would be up to your opinion. We have been keeping ourselves fairly busy over the last two weeks.
July 10
The Wednesday after our volcano trip we spent the morning handing out tracks and invitations in a small town called San Poncho. The invitations were for a bible school we did Friday but that’s another story. Anyway this town was way back in the boonies but oh was it a cute town. One stretch had these adorable little brick houses and they were so adorable. Some had little fences and others didn’t. We drove through a couple big fields and that’s when I was like wow! Ok imagine with me a brown empty fields but everywhere you look its volcanoes, In front of you, behind you, to the left & to the right. It looks awesome! Well we paired up. Brandon, Aaron and Krista and then Me Jason and Lanita and we went all over that little spread out town. When you approach a house what you normally do is call out Buenas and that normally brings someone to the gate. I was kinda shy. Yes people! I Bethany Fuhrman was shy. I barely said a word and kind of just shadowed Lanita who looked like she knew what she was doing. All in all we handed out around 60 lil packets and did a lot of walking. We got back home around lunch time just in time for a new experience. Chicken soup, Complete with chicken feet and plantains and different things.  But all I can say is hallelujah there is one less rooster in the world. I have learned to not really like roosters ok well I never have but I don’t really enjoy their crowing at 4 am! Then around 4ish we took some of the Sunday school girls who had learned a certain amount of verses to a very heavenly place in all this heat. yea you know it! The ice cream store! Yum! Eskimo, una irresistible tentaciĆ³n. Translation: an irresistible temptation! You got that right! :)
July 11
I worked up at the church all morning picking the stones out of the grass while the guys macheteed the grass. And the kids and I were wheelbarrowing dirt all over the place. Hard work! ;) You should see the place where Aaron and Brandon were machetying (and no I don’t believe that is a legitimate word). It looks amazing! We decided to leave early for Leon and stop and get Tacos. So we all piled in the truck and headed for Leon and more often than not when we “eat out” we are getting food from like little food stands that are all over but this place was an actual sit down restaurant. With the exception that the food choice is much slimmer and the service is much faster. We had the choice between tacos and repochetas (cheese rolled up in a tortilla and fried kinda tastes like mozzarella sticks) and they came with cabbage and cream. YUM :) I like Nicaraguan food! Well most of it anyway.  From there we went to the Leon church for the Wednesday night service and afterward YAY I got to FaceTime with my family! I get to every Thursday night after church because they have Wi-Fi there.  It’s so much fun seeing my family even if it is only through video chat. Then after we leave church it’s off to the store to stock up for the week. 
July 12
Bible School! Yep we did have a bible school while we were down here. It was only a one day thing though. I already told you guys about the little town we did it in. San Poncho. We were planning on around 70 people and that was actually probably how many we had. At first it was only like 4 people but then people started arriving. We started at maybe 9:30am with a bunch of songs then the Leon team did a skit about the birth of Christ and also a puppet show on the story of the Good Samaritan. In between the two stories they did a craft involving pipe cleaners and after the stories we played flying Dutchman. Then it was our turn. *teeth chattering* We started out with a skit about Lazarus and went onto a flannel graph about the death and resurrection of Jesus. And our craft was a coloring page then we handed out glu glu (a fruity drink in a bag) and el pan (bread made with sugar on top) and it was over just like that.
July 13
My first ever street meeting. For the street meeting we went to a town about an hour away called Chichigalpa. Cool name right!? The street meeting was held in a really cute park. The guys set up the generator and mikes and we sang for a while and then Delmar preached a sermon. Meanwhile we were handing out tracts. It’s really refreshing handing out tracts to the people around here because they take them from you and actually read them. Then we sang some more and we were finished. There were also some sad sights in the park like the man directly behind us who was laying half on and off the sidewalk curled up in a little ball who had no shame in going the bathroom in the middle of the park. I’ll be honest that broke my heart. Was there no hope in life to him?
July 15
One thing I have grown to love here is spending time with the Nolt family that is living down here. The young family have stolen my heart. I am gonna miss them dreadfully when I leave. This Monday morning I spent the morning helping them which I really enjoyed. I just did lil things like hanging out laundry, doing Ava’s hair and cleaning the boys floor and oh yea selling sticky buns. Megan and I went out to be a little sales people. We have a little route and we go around shouting El Pan! At first we were both a little quiet and shy but then we egged each other on. We passed Aaron working at the church and he informed us we had to be a little louder and more nasally. Then it was on to the market for to finish selling the sticky buns and to shop around the little town of Malpiasillo. It was much fun and man is there a lot of shoes and purses for sale. But of course there are barely any shoes my size. Made me wish my feet were a lil smaller. ;) Before we left Christine got us orange juice. Now stop! Don’t think legit orange juice. No, no, no this orange juice is divine! :) It is a really sweet and just amazing! And then another new experienced happened, I got a bike taxi ride with Megan. Oh so fun! I was kind of afraid I was gonna fall off though but I didn’t! After that around 3ish us “singles” headed off the beach! We met the Leon crew there. It was so much fun. Most of us didn’t go swimming although two of the guys disappeared up the coast and went swimming for a while. Meanwhile we gabbed for a while until finally after the guys got the net set up and we found and/or fixed a vball we played a few games of volleyball before supper. I’ll be honest it’s the first time I have ever played volleyball on the beach. It’s much more challenging! Big Jason (there are two Jasons I call the older one big Jason and the other one little Jason) had dug a big hole and had a fire going. They had stuck our 3 mountain pie makers in the fire to purify them and um… hehe did you know mountain pie makers melt?!?!? One was perfectly fine except the hinge was broken but the other two only had one working side. So supper came a little slower than intended. But it was still delicious! Hmmm pizza mountain pies! Wow I wish you could have been able to have been there! After supper Amber Wantz and I took a long walk along the beach and we couldn’t help but just MARVEL at the beauty of God’s wonderful creation! Down here is gets dark earlier around 7ish actually. So by this time is was basically dark and the moon just made crests of the waves just glow! It just made you want to stay there and just worship God! It was magnificent! No words I say are gonna be able to describe. Simply Glory be to God!
*Next several days were pretty relaxed especially with Krista sick in bed.*
July 18
Today was fun. Ok so I absolutely love spoiling my lil sister so having 10 year old Megan Nolt, the eldest daughter of the family stationed down here, around is so fun. I decided I would spoil her a little so we went out on the town. She knows Spanish pretty well too so that was a big help. We biked into town and shopped for a while and bought a few things and I bought her orange juice and then we went and got Ice cream from the Eskimo place and went and bugged Brandon for a little. Later when I was facetiming my lil sister I asked her if she was jealous and she was like no because she gets it all the time. Sigh I have spoiled her too much. Oh well I love it!
July 19
Ok so yesterday was Amber’s 20th Birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I really like birthdays! It’s a day designated to celebrate the life of someone and I really enjoy doing that!! Anyway to celebrate her birthday all of us girls went out to a pretty nice restaurant that overlooked the beach and had a pretty nice selection of food. Their fish are huge! But if you know me you know exactly what I ordered. Yep you know it I got shrimp! :) It was a really nice night to just to hang out and get to know each other and of course celebrate Amber! We love you girl! Afterwards we went back to the Leon girls’ house for cake and when I say cake I ain’t talking normal chocolate cake no this is an Amber special. Multilayered chocolate cake with divine icing! Lol Delicious! Mouth watering yet? Ya gotta love girl’s night out!
July 20
Yay! Girls trip to Asososca! Yeah, go ahead try and pronounce it! :) We took about 10 of the teen girls from out at the Palmarita and drove to Asososca and let me tell you that was one PACKED vehicle! 13 of us in all! But I really enjoyed it! I’ll be honest it’s kind of hard connecting to the people down here because I can barely communicate with them.  But this trip really gave me an opportunity to do just that! Yara is a 16 year old girl that I connected pretty well with. She knows a little bit of English so between my limited Spanish and her limited English we made it work. She was a real sweetheart! Ok so you’re probably curious what Asososca is. Well it’s a really big gorgeous crater lake.  When we got there we hiked up to a little cute shake like over look and hung out there for a while. We sang a ton of songs and learned a few new ones too. Ok well technically all these songs are new to me. Many have familiar tunes but new words anyway we also had a little lesson and then It was time for the hike down to the lake. It was so pretty! One downside… MUCHO MOSQUITOES! Gah! *shivers* every second I felt another one bite and at one point I had stopped to rest when we hiking and I thought oh goodness I stopped in a swarm of gnats but uh nope! It was a legit group of mosquitoes. Oye ve! But I didn’t let them ruin my time! Nope we had a blast! We didn’t go swimming partly because most of the girls don’t know how to swim and mostly because they moms would have been very upset. After a while we hiked the very steep treck back up. On the hike I got to know another girl pretty good. Her name is Rosibel and she is 19 years old. We had a blast together. She just was a trucker on the hike so I started calling her Mona (monkey) and she turned to me and in English said no I am a Lady then gave me a big grin. When we finally got up to the top I resolved when I get home I am gonna get in better shape especially after I found out that one of the girls ran the whole way up. Lol anyway after we got back to the overlook we had lunch which consisted of birthday rice. Rice made with tons of lil goodies: hotdog bits, raisins, and a couple other things. Yum! And boy can those tiny girls pack away rice! After finally connecting with some of the girls it was really sad for me to go and drop them off knowing it was probably the last time I would see them. When we got back we cleaned the church and then crashed and rested for the rest of the night.

July 22
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETHANY!! You’re an awesome Sister in law!! Love ya girl! J
Today was awesome! Hmm wondering why? Well cuz it was spent shopping of course! :) Souvenir shopping! Yay! Lanita and I spent the day shopping in Leon with the Nolt family. I found a bunch of little goodies :) but I shall not say what all I got on here. They gotta be surprises for the people!! Although I will try and describe the market, Hmmm one word packed! Little stands everywhere and everyone vying for your attention! And if you just glance for more than a second at their stand you were suddenly surrounded by the shop’s people asking if they could help you. At one purse store I thought she was gonna bring me every purse she had although it made for a good laugh. It was a fun day all in all and it was fun giving Krista a little show of what I got when we came home.

Well I must say if you have read this far Kudos to you! I am writing this on my word document and it says I am up to 4 pages and 2,587 words! Wowzers maybe a little on the long side! Well tomorrow bright and early we leave for Waslala and we got a 6 hours trip ahead of us! Prayers appreciated for travel and health! Thanks! Love y’all! :)  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New Nicaraguan Experience

  •      Eating supper and seeing a chicken come pecking to the door and come inside.
  •          Seeing women walking up the road yelling EL PAN (which are absolutely amazing btw! It’s like sweet bread. Bread with sugar :) yummy!)
  •           Learning how to cook different foods and eating new foods. Plantain chips are amazing btw!
  •           Trying to communicate in a language that I can barely speak. That can be a trial for me cuz yall know me! I love talking!! ;)
  •           Getting a ride in a bike taxi. I really liked that!
  •           Getting rained on by bugs in the night time.
  •           Having my feet so bit up that I can barely touch them without hitting a mosquito bite! Ugh itchy!
  •           Paying for my own internet.  50 cents a half hour. They have a little thingy you hook into your computer and then there is a program u install into your computer and you send out how long you wanna be on and then when you get a message back you hit connect and your good to go :)
  •           Sitting in the hammock and being able to hear the baseball game going on in town. Baseball is huge down here!
  •           Sit through 3+ services a week that you can even understand but you know that is glorifying God.
  •           Having to EVERYONE stare at you as you walk into town which I’m used to stares cuz I’m a Mennonite in a town that doesn’t have that many Mennonites but at least at home they look away if you look at them. Lol actually it doesn’t really bother me. Cracks me up really.
  •           A Nicaraguan hamburger. Hmmmmm no offense but major fail. I’ll wait for a hamburger till I get back to the states. There isn’t anything to them :) I bit into mine and could figure out which part was the meat. It made me laugh
  •           Drinking everything outa bags! I actually really like this part! I mean it’s so fun. Idk why but it’s more fun drinking stuff out of bags. I should start a company back in the states that does that! Just bite off an edge and suck. And their fruity drinks are the best down here!
  •           Little geckos everywhere. As I sit here I just saw one run across the wall. So cute! As long as they stay out of my bed I’m good.
  •           Wearing dresses all the time. Believe it or not I really have come to like wearing dresses! They are fun.
  •           Watching women make tortillas out of their home. Hmm yummy!
  •           Climbing volcanoes!
  •           Sharing a room for an extended period of time. Krista was kind enough to let me room with her for the duration of my stay.
  •           Selling sticky buns by yelling through the streets EL PAN DULCE!
  •           Seeing other white people and thinking oh wow there is a gringo. :)
  •           Seeing the moon making the crests of the waves literally glow. Beyond gorgeous!
  •           Volleyball on the beach. Come to think of it I have never actually done that before.

And much more but that is what came to my mind as I am sitting here eating baked oatmeal and drinking milk. Thank you guys for your prayers when both Brandon and I were sick. We are both for the most part better. Sadly sickness seems to the fashion or something right now cuz now Krista is sick and she isn't doing very well.  More prayers appreciated! Thanks you guys! You guys are the best! :) :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Experiencing Nicaraguan Life, Climbing Volcano and Getting Sick

Wow it’s been a whole week already! Its feels actually a lot longer! I’ll give you a tentative schedule of my life down here. Mondays are free for the most part. Tuesdays there is children’s church at 4 at the church.  Wednesday we clean the church and at 6 we have church. Thursday we have church at the Leon church. Fridays are free as well. Saturdays we clean the church more thoroughly and Sundays well obviously we have church. I absolutely love it down here! The girls I am staying with are off the chain awesome and they make it feel like home for me. I am learning how to do things Nicaraguan style: cooking, shopping, talking! My Spanish is improving a little bit. I still feel very behind. It is kind of hard communicating but I manage with my interpreters and my limited Spanish. Hmm let me talk about some of my adventures in the last week.
Adventure #1 Experiencing Town. I enjoy walking through the little town of Malpiasillo. It’s very quant with little shops all over that have interesting array of items for sale. I bought myself a Spanish bible or should I say Krista helped me buy a Spanish bible. I am still a lil shy around the Hispanic adults. But no matter where we go eyes follow us like crazy. Everyone is curious about these Gringos (white people). The church in which here has been here for less than a year so they are still sort of new to the area. The guys enjoy making kissy faces at you as you walk by. That got old fast. Random fact. Their sidewalks are so cool! It seems like every so feet it changes type, height, color etc. And also driving through the streets always are bike taxis. I have yet to ride on one but they look kind of fun.
Adventure #2 Trying to remember all these Hispanic names!
Adventure #3 Riding in the back of the truck :) I love this! I don’t know why buts crazy bumpy and can kind of hurt sometimes and def messes up your hair but it is so fun! Both of the mission’s trucks have a frame built on the back and a tarp over top so it is like a little cave back there.

Adventure #4 Telica! Ok I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into when I agreed to come along for this adventure. Hiking a volcano.  We woke up at 5:30 Monday morning and drove and met up with the Leon group and continued together to the volcano. Of course the ride there wouldn’t have been complete without a few wrong turns. We finally arrived at a small town at the foot of Telica. There we met up with our guides. A 12yo boy and then also a 22yo man and they were both really great guides. We also rented three horses. Brandon, (who has actually been sick for the past week or so. Prayers appreciated. I think he is starting to feel better though) Amber and I mounted up. I was a little nervous since I have not rode a horse in a very long time but it did not take long before we realized that these horses have one speed and that is ssslloooww, no matter how often you clicked your tongue or nudged their sides or hit their rump. I have a new impression of horses. My horse was actually only 3 years old but looked way older! On the way up the mountain we all traded on and off the horses. Actually most of the time the group had to stop and wait for the horses to catch up. At one point I was so far behind the group that I decided to be a lil silly so I pulled out my phone and was listening to a lil music and playing Subway Surfer just to see if I could and I could! :) It was kind of easy actually. The scenery going up was beautiful as we got higher and higher we could see farther and farther. But most of the time we were hiking in the woods. At one point Andrea and I were on the slowest horses and we got pretty far behind the group and came to a crossroads and had no idea which way they went. That was a little nerve racking. I was very relieved to see Jason come jogging up over the hill looking for us. We all stuck together a little better after that. About ¾ of the way up we found a rope swing and Jason and Aaron were swinging on it and when Jason swung he swung out over the gate and on the way back BAM he collided with the gate and actually broke it. It was very amusing to watch actually. I happened to be videoing at the time so I got that on video. It’s on fb. We finally made it to where you can see the volcano and that was the hardest part because it was all rock and it was not stationary rock. You would step on the rocks to climb and they would move. I was so afraid I was gonna twist my ankle or that someone would and it was steep too! It took me a little bit to get up to the very top. But once I did, it was so worth it! Magnificent! You could look right down Telica! Telica is an active volcano by the way. You could smell the sulfur. One girl made the comment can you imagine what Hell is gonna smell like in comparison to this because we were coughing over the smell here. Aaron, Brandon and Keith were having fun lugging huge rocks to the edge of the volcano and throwing them over to watch them crumble as they fell. After a bit we headed down to a little green plain to rest and eat lunch. After an hour or so we headed back down. You had to be major careful or the rocks would just shoot out from beneath your foot. Going down was worse that way then going up. We finally got down to where we had left the horses. I rode for a little way on the way down. The guide was leading mine so it was going a little faster so that was very nice. I am positive that going down uses different muscles than going up. All I know is I am gonna be sore all around tomorrow: Saddle sore and walking sore. About halfway down my stomach started feeling a little weird but I paid no mind waiting for it to pass and after a little bit took some pills. The trip up took us a lil over 3 hours and the trip took about the same I believe although it seemed to go much faster. We finally got within sight of the town and my stomach flared up again and I was at the front of the group and I thought maybe I’ll just sit down for a lil at the side of the road and wait and then walk with the people who were lagging behind with the horses. Well I sat down and didn’t get back up. Once I sat down it hit full force. It hurt so bad and it was so frustrating because the town was in sight but I was not in good shape. I tried walking and couldn’t and I tried riding Krista’s house and couldn’t. Finally Krista ran ahead and told them to bring the truck back and pick me up. I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be feeling so bad you really don’t care about how you look or act. Well I def found out. I was filthy n covered in dirt. Looking back I am a little embarrassed. Jason pulled up in the truck and I flopped in the back seat and stayed there till we got back to the house. I must say I haven’t prayed that hard in a while and I was also praising God that it didn’t happen when I was at the top of the volcano or I don’t know what I would have done. God is awesome is all I can say! I was at least able to talk and stuff by the end of the night and when I woke up the next morning I felt fine. PRAISE THE LORD! My stomach still feels weird every now and then but overall I’m mostly better. :)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

I have arrived!

Yes after 30 hours of traveling I have arrived! Wow what a trip! I know I wrote a little already on it but to recap I woke up at 8 on Monday. We spent the day packing to leave. The groups that were flying all climbed into the bus said our tearful goodbyes to the left behinds and we were outa there! We got to the first airport at about 1 or so in the a.m. which happened to be my airport (Newark NJ). 2 groups were flying with united airlines, my Nicaragua group and the GTO Southeast Asia group. The check in unfortunately didn’t open till 3 am though so we camped out on the cement floors. The guys all slept and us girls watched a movie. Then a scary looking lady told us that we could check in now so we woke up the guys and got our tickets and stuff and went through security. We just happened to be the first ones through security so that was really sweet. Ok so at this point the tiredness is hitting so I’m there talking a mile a minute and be major goofy just to stay awake so there I was singing Amish paradise in the airport at 3:30. Got a funny picture yet? We then all headed over to the food court to hang out. We got our McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts coffees and we are all goofy and tired. :) We even made a video. It’s on my FB for anyone who wants to see it. Then things started to wind down and half the group went over to a random gate. I think it was Vancouver and they all claimed an aisle and lay down and slept While others of us charged our phones or journaled. 10am came way to soon and we had to say bye to our beloved GTO group. That was hard for me! We had a 3 hour flight to Houston in which I got at least an hour of sleep and then in Houston we had a 6 hour layover. But the awesome thing was that the El Salvador and Guatemala group had a lay over there too. So we got to hang out some with them. I got an hour of sleep there too. For our last meal on American soil we absentmindedly choice Chinese! Aka rice! Ah silly me. Oh well I loved the shrimp and orange chicken. Finally it hit 6:30 (7:30 your time) and we were outa there! Nicaragua bound! This flight had tv which was cool. It made the flight seem shorter anyway. We got down to Nicaragua at 9:30 (11:30 your time) yes we are 2 hours behind yall. Customs was packed! Took forever to get through them and then our bags and tags were all mixed up so we had to sort that out. Finally we got out of there and meet our people and the separation happened again. The Waslala people went one direction and Andrea and I hopped on with the Olive branch people. Let me tell you. If people wouldn’t have known better they probably would have thought we were drunk! The lack of sleep was speaking. I got to meet the people down there. I am in Maspiasillo Nicaragua and there are two single girls and two single guys and one family. I got to meet Krista and Lanita whom I am living with down here and Jason and then also Aaron with whom Brandon is staying with. We had a two hour or so ride from the Managua to our lil town and we had to meet up with the Leon people to drop Andrea off. It seemed like slowly I had to say bye to people. First the left behinds at SMBI and then the bus at the airport then my GTO team and the El Salvador and Guatemala group then the Waslala group and finally Andrea. Sigh bye y’all see ya in a month! We got here around 12:30 (2:30 your time) and finally after over 40 hours in which only 2 of those 40 hours I got any sleep I GOT TO SLEEP! Hallelujah!! I surprising only slept to 9 and then it was !bam! My first day. My alarm clock is either Krista’s parrot squawking or the rooster constantly crowing or the truck driving past with HUGE speakers blaring out the back. Let me tell you I woke up way nervous. Will there girls like me? Am I gonna be a bother to them? Will we all get along? I didn’t know what to think. So I got up unpacked and went to get a shower and yes they do not have any hot water but it’s not like freezing cold water it was refreshing lukecold :) They then showed me around the adorable little house. They have a pet cat and ducks and chickens and a parakeet and a parrot type thing. The house is a two bedroom house, one story and one bathroom and a living room which is connected to the kitchen. I am rooming with Krista since she has the bigger room. I got to walk around the little village. It’s really quant. It turns out that the people speak like almost no English so my Spanish skills are being tried. I’m not even sure how to describe the culture and everything down here. There are animals running around everywhere. Pigs, cats, dogs, chickens etc. I loved watching Krista and Lanita interacting with the people. Everyone was curios who I was and apparently I am really tall according to them. One thing I found out was that its really laid back right now at the least the mornings are. The neighbor kids come over about 1ish. They aren’t allowed to come over until school is out because school attendance is really low down here so they don’t want to encourage low school attendance. But I loved when the kids came! We all hung out on the back pouch talking with the kids and coloring and having fun and the weather was gorgeous. We went and cleaned the church around 3ish and around 5:30 we headed down to the church for the Wednesday night service. They started out with a few Spanish songs out of the hymnal and then Jason gave a devotional. I can grasp subjects but not everything. Then came the sermon. It was on spiritual gifts or at least that’s what Lanita said. Ok this was the really trying point for me. Its rainy season down here and with rainy season comes little black beetles that love light and they get stunned really easy. So they entire sermon we had little black beetles peppering us, landing in our hair, going down our clothes, hitting our necks, landing on our bibles. I had a little girl swiping them off me. I was like no I am not gonna let this bother me too bad. So I did my best to ignore them and swipe them off me from time to time. The floor afterwards looked like someone had taken a pepper shaker to it. Afterwards the singles went out and bought supper and went back to the girl’s house to eat it. It was fun. The group is a lil more on the quiet side. Two of the guys from Leon had come down for the service. And there ya go my traveling and first day experience. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Wow wow wow what can I say! This was quite a week! How can I gain so many dear friends in only 7 days? And already we are saying goodbye. I am not gonna go into the many many details of my week at SMBI except that it was filled with many sessions, sermons and team building lessons.  I wish I could help all yall experience what I have experienced this past week. Incredible! My dormies were incredible and one even has a crazy awesome Virginian accent so if I come back saying things weird don't be surprised. I was really surprised how easy it was to get used to the veils and dresses. Ok let's talk stretching times! Definitely the swing set! We had to walk across the swing set holding onto only a rope! We had a dinky harness under our arms too. When my group went... yeah it started pouring! Like barely see in front of you pouring! We were a soaked bunch. Needless to say I never plan to walk across a swing set again! Well we finally left SMBI at 9pm Monday night. We got to Newark NJ at around 1 after I talked my poor busmates ears off. They are learning that when I am fighting sleep or tiredness I babble and babble! But apparently I was good entertainment. The group that got off at our end of Newark was the GTO southeast Asia team and us Nicaraguans. So aka. Me, Emily, Kaylee, Shawn, Renita, Brandon, Bradlyn, Sharla, Andrea, Jared, Abby and Claudia. I absolutely love this group! We found a place to camp out until we could check in at 3. The guys were sleeping and us girls were watching a movie on my Laptop. At 3:15 we checked in and went through security before anyone else so it was nice and easy. I was so hyper and goofy. So we are hanging out right now waiting for our flights! Us Nicaraguans leave at 10 and the GTO leave at 11. Prayers are more than appreciated. I am currently have not slept since 8:30 yesterday morning. I can’t sleep in airports or on planes. Hmm Im gonna crash when I get down there. ~Bethany

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Beginning

OK before I go into my first post here are a few expectations for this blog:
1. I am not an amazing writer! I write what I think. I don't attempt to be be all fluent and artistic in my writing. if you grade it on grammatical errors and stuff Ill be lucky to get a B. And yes I do use some people's big Pet peeves. I use text language sometimes! *GASP*
2. This blog is for the Glory of God not for my own gain and attention
3. I more than likely will not keep a blog after I get back because I am not much of a blogger.

Ok wow... Here I am, all dressed and ready for adventure! :) I am so excited yet MAJOR nervous for the first week of training at SMBI. They say its mad intense. *teeth chattering* I am so relieved that I get to go on at least part of this adventure with my really good friend Alicia Schlabach.
    Before I continue I will give you an overview of what this summer is all about for me. I am going to Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute under the WATER (World Awareness Training in Evangelistic Responsibility) program. There will be a week of Training at SMBI then on July 2nd I fly to Nicaragua with several other students and I will be helping out at the Olive Branch Mennonite Mission down there. I don't really know much about my responsibilities down there. Guess I will find out when I get down there. I am not sure at this point which day I am flying back but I know we will have one more day at SMBI and I will be heading home August 3rd. I will have 2 and a half week break and then Its off to Belize on the 20th for a week.
   So the last couple days have been saying my goodbye and experiencing my lasts (before I leave) and if you know me. I hate goodbyes. At least its only for the summer. I can handle that. :) Bye church, bye work, bye family, bye friends, last time wearing skirts n shirts. ok *pause*That was a big one for me lol because i have never been a dress wearer. :) uh oh Im gonna have to cut it short because *drum roll* IT'S TIME TO LEAVE!!! I'm going to meet Alicia and we are driving out to SMBI together. So yea THANKS everyone! prayers are greatly appreciated! ~Bethany