Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Our first week

(Chase writing)
Sorry we haven’t blogged sooner—it’s been a crazy few days! We made it in to Managua, Nicaragua safely Thursday night at about 8:30. My brother David picked us up and we somehow managed to cram all of our luggage in the back of the van.

For those of you who don’t know, we are living with David and his wife Kristina and their baby Beckett. He is a high-school teacher here at a well-respected school called Nicaragua Christian Academy. They have graciously offered to share their apartment with us, and we are already so glad we decided to! The transition alone has been so much easier already knowing people and having the basic living essentials.

We were able to send down several crates of our stuff with a short-term team from Woodcreek in June, and it was a little strange to be reunited with it…a bit like an early Christmas. Friday morning, we immediately set out to trash the place with unpacking (yay for not living out of a bag anymore!). A lot of our packaging had molded over the months, but nothing was ruined with it, and only a few of our items had broken in transit.

We went to Subway for lunch and Beckett threw up on the floor. I was slightly traumatized. I drove for the first time in a foreign country, and, similar to planting a flag in a new territory, we had Russell nachos for dinner.

Saturday: We went to our first kids service with One by One in the morning. Unfortunately, we don’t speak Spanish well enough to have understood more than about 5% of what went on, but we still got to play lots of games with kids beforehand. One little boy latched on to me for the whole service and later told Julie he wanted me to be his uncle.

In the afternoon, we went to Sinsa (the Nicaraguan equivalent of Ace Hardware) and found out just how expensive commodities are. A plastic, mountable medicine cabinet/mirror was $45, hangers were $5 for a 10-pack, a 13-gallon trash can was $24 (on sale), a countertop dish rack was $50, oscillating fans were $60, etc. Needless to say, we were blown away by the cost of living and are having to reconsider what our needs actually are.

In the evening, we attended the One by One “youth” (meaning age 15-30) service and again understood almost nothing! Still, it was good to get a feel for how things work, not to mention being able to finally see these things we’ve been talking about for months.

We went to the English-speaking church that meets at Nicaragua Christian Academy. As it turns out, the worship team was short one person, so David asked me to fill in on the keyboard that week! That was a lot of fun, although it was a little awkward when the pastor asked if there were any first-time visitors and I was introduced while still standing on stage. We both took naps that afternoon, which were much needed and quite refreshing! That night, Dave and Kristina hosted a “coffeetime” event at our apartment so we could meet their friends and neighbors. It was great to meet people here, but also made us sad as we miss our close friends from home quite a bit!

(Julie writing)
We started Spanish class! We go from 8-12 and this week, we have one teacher named Armando for the first 2 hours and another one named Jeffrey for the next 2 hours. It’s great because it’s 1 on 1 – or, I guess 1 on 2 in our case. We are at similar levels, so we just started in level 2 for class and bought the book for level 1 to refresh ourselves. In addition to Spanish, we’ve learned a little bit about the culture in class. Apparently, people who are stuck-up and think they are better than everyone else or are rich are called “fresas”, which in English means strawberries. Odd :) Anyways, after class, Kristina picked us up and we went to the market to find some furniture. We found a great bookshelf and a little desk! We got home and immediately uncluttered our room a little bit, which helped it feel a lot more like home.

Spanish Class again – 4 hours a day is a bit tiring! But I think we are learning a lot and hopefully will be able to pick up Spanish quickly and have comprehendible conversations soon! After class today, Jeremy (the One by One director) picked us up and we went to the mall (MetroCentro) to have lunch. I started feeling a little sick today so I stuck with something safe – Quizno’s, but Chase had “Rostipollo”, which I think is Nicaraguan fast food. Jeremy also took us to buy phones, which we got for $19! Again, getting a phone helps it feel a little more like home, like we are a little more independent. Afterwards, we looked around at furniture a bit – we are needing to buy a bed soon (we’re sleeping on a borrowed one), so it was good to see prices and compare. They are pretty comparable to the States – a mattress is probably around $450-$500 for a good one, and even repels mosquitoes! Then we headed over to the Camino de Vida building (our church) to go through the staff handbook with Jeremy and learn a little bit about being in charge of the children’s ministry from Katie, who is the current children’s director.All in all, it has been a busy few days, but we are enjoying being here in Nicaragua. We are so thankful to have Chase’s brother David and his wife Kristina here, and we love living with them and baby Beckett. However, I am a little bit lonely and missing all of my friends a lot. Pray for us to be able to make friends quickly here! Also, as I mentioned earlier, I am a little bit sick and unfortunately, the medicine I need, I can’t seem to find anywhere here, so pray that we could find a pharmacy that has it! We love and miss you all and we appreciate you all greatly.

Oh, and just for fun…here's a picture of a bus we saw yesterday morning on our way to school…


  1. awwww so much great stuff!!!! i love you guys so much and miss you alot already! i got to see you way too much this last couple of months and it has spoiled me. te quiro!! ( that is for julie not you chase)

  2. Very cool! 'Fresa' was one of the first slang words I learned in Mexico when I stayed at the University. I thought it was weird too...Anyway, thanks for the update! Praying for you!

  3. I'm so glad that yall are doing well. Just wanted to say thank you so much for seeing Aaron and I while yall were in Abilene. It was refreshing to see old friends! I pray for yall whenever I see your pic on the fridge. Can't wait for more updates! --Laura Wilder

  4. It's such a joy to hear your virtual "voices." You're on the prayer list I'm about to type up and send to the community group.

    Jaimie and I both let out a big "Awwww!" at the little boy wanting Chase for an uncle. I think we think he'd make a good uncle. (Which I suppose is good since he is one and now has to get used to nephew throw-up. :p )

  5. Thank you two SO MUCH for blogging. It's encouraging and nice to be able to read what's going on with you. We love you tons.

    !Dios te bendiga!


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