Monday, June 29


Home sweet Home!

One of the many buses we see on the Pan American highway...with all the colors, it's hard to miss!

An artisan stop with many colorful flamingos

An anonymous volcano

Farming in the area of about contours

Just a few landscape pictures on our trip home from the spiritual retreat.


We're having fun watching Sebastian grow...he is so much more alert now, and loves to look at everything. He also enjoys daily conversations with the lights (it comes from his daddy's side :) He is anxious to get around and see the sights.

Zachariah enjoys reading to him, while Nathaniel considers him around the same level as the family dog...lovingly patting his head from time to time.

Bathtimes are getting a bit harder, as he gains weight and the number of rolls we're looking at getting a bath seat of sorts.

Sometimes I wake up and I think, I can't believe God gave me 3 boys! Not in a negative sort of way, just in amazement! I was walking to the corner to buy our nightly bread treat with the boys when a skinny old lady sidled up next to me and asked me if the baby I was holding was a boy. With an enthusiastic Yes! I explained that God gave me 3 boys. She clucked and said that she had 11 boys and 2 girls...hmm...I was speechless! Suddenly, 3 boys didn't seem like such a big deal!

Spiritual Retreat

Last week we had the pleasure of attending MCC Nicaragua’s annual spiritual retreat. While traveling with small children is always a bit tiring, we enjoyed spending time with our fellow MCCers and the spiritual refreshment of a bible study and quiet time with God. It was held south of Managua, in a small town called Concepcion that had a pleasant climate, similar to our city of Matagalpa. A view of the path from the main building to our cabin

New MCCer volunteer Beth Jerdon provided the programming, and she did a terrific job of mixing both personal and small group time. Here she is, listening to Alan preach (just kidding!)

We learned how to perform an inductive bible study, and then we split into small groups and presented an inductive study on the first six chapters of Mark. We ate traditional Nicaraguan food (which also happens to be our traditional breakfast and supper food!)

It was a fun time, but also a little sad, as we said goodbye to our SALTers (Serve and Learning Together) and YAMEN friends as they will be leaving in a few weeks to return to their home countries of the US, Canada and Bolivia. In August we welcome a new group of SALTers and YAMEN. Unfortunately, Angela had to leave the first night of the retreat as the MCC office in Managua was broken into again, the second time in six months. Regrettably, the robber stole money and several laptops that some team members had left there. While this cast a sad pallor over the retreat, we felt fortunate that nobody was hurt and prayed together for restoration and justice.

And THIS!...was a surprise shot we found while downloading our pictures...looks like somebody was having fun with our camera!

Monday, June 22

Where are we?

For those of you having trouble remembering where in the world are we, this ought to help! Here Zach looks at a picture of Nicaragua and shows where we live...with Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south...

and a picture of our beautiful city, Matagalpa, nestled in the valley...oh how we love the mountains!

Friday, June 19

Hard at Work

Steve has been quite busy since returning to Nicaragua...he has been visiting with the farmers to see who and how many have built their rabbit and chicken houses, buying and delivering materials to build the goat houses, reviewing and distributing worms for compost, organizing meetings to discuss project details and buying chickens and goats.

This sack of worms and compost was taken from a farmer, who only started with 18 worms,
and was able to share 100 lbs of worms and compost with two other farmers.

A look at a rabbit house with it's inhabitant.

and when we're not working...

I must say, Nicaraguans are masters at relaxing! And I definitely love those 2 hour lunch breaks...


Whew! All that hard work is tiring!

The latest on Seb...from the length of this post, you can see how much time I spend sitting around, thinking up things to write :) He is doing well and is ready to conquer the world, since he spends his awake time trying to get around and being frustrated that his body won't do what he wants it to do!

Tuesday, June 9


Steve and I were chuckling about a comment I have received quite a few times since coming back to Nicaragua. I've been told quite a few times, and loudly, Look how fat you are!

It's good to remember that here in Nicaragua, a fat woman is a beautiful woman. But can you imagine somebody telling you that in the US? Even though lots of women think it, hardly ANYONE would dare tell their friend, You're getting fat! without risking a slap in the face, or worse, social excommunication, unless you are really close. It just goes to show that beauty is relevant and very cultural.

So that's good news for you ladies! Even if in american culture you are not beautiful, there is some culture that thinks you are. Then I remembered the verse in Proverbs that states that beauty is only skin deep, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Wednesday, June 3

Random Thoughts...

Hi all! This is just a quick listing of some of the random thoughts that ran through my head this past week, as we traveled from the US to Nicaragua.

-Lightning is so pretty from an airplane window..I just hope we don't get struck

-Man, I forgot how hot and humid Managua was

-Whoa! Can you believe he just did that?! Watch out for that pedestrian! What is she thinking? Whew, we made it through another drive of Managua

-Those kids should be in school, I can't believe they spend every day out here, begging at this intersection...what a life

-4 fans on me and I still can't sleep in this heat and humidity

-mangoes everywhere, little yellow ones, medium sized red ones, big green ones...mmm

-I can't wait to get home to Matagalpa, in the HAS to be cooler than this!

-What is she saying? Is she speaking English or Spanish? feels so nice to sleep in my own bed...and it helps there is no humidity and the temp is only 74 degrees

-Keep your hand on your cup! Don't leave your food! I forgot how many flies live here

-Ooohh...mosquito bites on my little toe are the worst!

-my forearms are so sore...haven't washed laundry by hand for 3 months

-the sound of a torrential downpour on our steel roof is so...refreshing at night. It makes the best white noise ever

Monday, June 1

Bienvenidos a Nicaragua!

Greetings from Nicaragua! We had an exciting, truly Nicaraguan-style first week back...and it all started before we even left the airport.

We landed at the airport amidst a fearsome thunderstorm, which was quite beautiful from the air, but overpowering once we were on the ground. The pilot did a beautiful job at landing the plane through the gusty winds. We waited and waited to get off the plane, and once we finally did, we found ourselves among hundreds of other travelers, standing in the hallway, waiting to get into immigrations. We waited, and waited, and waited some more. Due to the swine flu epidemic, we had our first chance at thermal imaging...we stood in front of a thermal imaging camera and saw our body temperature, while several Nicaraguans, faces covered with masks, gave the yes or no to move forward. When we finally descended the escalator to the immigrations area, it was a nightmare. Hundreds of people stood around, waiting to be processed. After traveling 14 hours, this is NOT what we wanted to see. So we waited some more, and after a bit, a Nicaraguan lady behind us motioned to one of the officers standing there and motioned that we had a newborn, could we go to the front of the line? The officer nodded yes and directed us to a line, open only for families with small children. This really infuriated some people, and there were angry shouts and tempers bursting at these Americans who had managed to get to the front of the line.

When we finally made it to the baggage claim, there were bags everywhere. We had to wait another half an hour until our bags made an appearance, then we finally made it outside, where Seth and Sarah awaited us, while the rain came down in torrents.

We had made arrangements to stay at another MCCer's house while in Managua (they are currently in the States, thanks Alan and Beth!). When we arrived, we plodded into the house, eager to get into bed. We had planned to meet with our country rep the next morning and head to our home in Matagalpa after lunch. Unfortunately, we had forgotten that plans are rarely kept in Nicaragua. After talking with some friends, we learned, to our horror, that our landlady had just fumigated the house, but the smell was so overpowering, our friends did not recommend returning for at least one more day.

Below: The dining room is in the foreground and living room in the background (our suitcases took up most of the living room)

This continued on for 2 more days, living out of suitcases and sweating in the Managua heat and humidity, trying to figure out what to do with the boys with no toys and living in a city we are not familiar with

Below: The kitchen sink/bathroom sink/water play area

Below: Sebastian wore his birthday suit during his time in Managua, but he still got a heat rash

We talked to our friends who checked out our house morning and evening, and hearing that everything needed to be scrubbed and washed, including bed linens, towels, clothes, toys and kitchen dishes/utensils. We finally decided to head up and clean the house ourselves.

Below: Zach gets his shoes on in preparation to leave for Matagalpa, his "pink" home, as he calls it

We arrived at our house in Matagalpa, 3 days after arriving in Managua...tired and sweaty, but excited. The house smelled fine, and although it was a bit dirty, the boys were happy to have their toys and beds back and we couldn't have been happier!