Archive for January 2012

Shank family visit!

January 26, 2012

A few days after we hosted our Christmas party, the Shank family arrived! We had a lot of fun showing them the beautiful country that is Nicaragua as well as introducing them to our friends here.

First dinner at our house, soon after they got off the plane.

We went to the Isla de Ometepe, an island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua that was formed by 2 volcanoes.

We're on a boat

Hiking up a volcano to see some waterfalls

Walking through a plantain forest to get to natural mineral pools.

We spent New Year’s Eve weekend in Managua with our church and friends.

Family + friends

Watching New Year's Eve fireworks in front of our house

Don preached on Sunday with interpretation by Adam

We went to northern Nicaragua to a coffee plantation named Selva Negra.

Our Nica-chalet

The Nicaraguans were cold

It was really fun to have the family here to visit!

Responding to poverty

January 20, 2012

This is a thought provoking article from a great blog, Red Letter Christians.

http://www.redletterchristians.org/on-the-receiving-end-beggars-and-pbj/

My thoughts:

The thing about poverty that really gets me is the loss of dignity. I often ask myself how much self-worth did that person have to give up in order to beg at a stoplight? It is hard for me to ask for help for even the simplest tasks – I can’t imagine what it would be like to depend on other people’s generosity for your subsistence. And how many times people would look at you scornfully and reject your pleas for help.

It is important to remind myself constantly of the power inherent in me. Power to influence people, power to get projects funded, power to say I have no “spare” change.

I recently finished reading Paulo Friere’s book Pedagogy of the Oppressed. This was one of my favorite paragraphs in the book that details how to advocate for and with the less fortunate :

“Elements of Witness”
Consistency between words and actions
Boldness which urges the witnesses to confront existence as a permanent risk
Radicalization (not sectarianism) leading both the witness and the ones receiving that witness to increasing action
Courage to love (not accomodating an unjust world) but rather the transformation of that world in behalf of the increasing liberation of men
Faith in the people

**

We will write soon about our many adventures in December and January!

Twas the Night Before Christmas

January 7, 2012

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the city,
People were cooking their “gallina rellena” and making themselves look pretty.
Except for two gringos busy as bees in a hive,
Knowing their guests were soon to arrive.

They had agreed to host a party to “provide only the house”,
But at the last minute realized a few details had been left out.
The guests were expecting to be well fed,
And visions of tasty chicken dishes danced in their heads.

So one gringo was cleaning, mopping the floors of the kitchen,
While the other set out to buy five roasted chickens.
But when he arrived at the store he observed such a clatter,
That he raced to the chicken counter to see what was the matter.

And as he hurried to the back of the store,
His heart sank when he realized what the clatter was for.
It seemed many others thought it would be great,
To take home a juicy roast chicken wrapped in plastic on a styrofoam plate.

He encountered several shoppers with sad baffled stares,
Realizing their Christmas tables this year would be bare.
And his high Christmas spirit began to turn sour,
When they explained that more birds were coming in an hour.

When what to his watering eyes did appear,
But a worker with a cart with the chickens so dear.
He arrived at the front of the line with a smile,
And began to build his Christmas chicken pile.

He could feel several sets of eyes now locked directly on him,
And decided to stop at four chickens now realizing his sin.
The clerk at the counter then said with a sneer,
“One person with four chickens will never make it out of here!”

To the checkout line in a flash he dashed with alarm,
As the four piping hot birds seared his tender forearms.
When at long last a shopping cart he had in his hands,
He took just a moment to formulate his plans.

With his wife by his side they would split the birds two and two,
So quick as a wink in a taxi to the supermarket she flew.
The four birds were bought and no one protested,
And they arrived safely at home relatively unmolested.

The party was lively, everyone enjoyed the food,
Never knowing it was obtained in a manner quite rude.
And despite all the craziness the couple was still able to recite,
“Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!”