Saturday afternoon we got a bit of a later start heading to Las Brenas. We were going to spend some time with a pastor and his family. Roger has gone up to this area to work a few times now, but had only traveled by plane. This was to be our first time driving all the way to this community. Before we even left Rio Blanco we hit the dirt road, or better yet the rock road. I can handle a dirt road just fine, but these were rocks bigger than your fist and not smooth at all. There was a constant banging around that I don't think a chiropractor can even fix. It was a bit different getting used to such a drive. We managed to hit one patch of pavement that lasted about 2 mi. and then thankfully we hit another patch of road that they are working on that lasted about 10+ mi. (it may have not been all pavement but at least it was a smooth dirt road.) It was dark before we were even halfway there, which made it a bit more challenging for Roger to drive on a road that he didn't know.
We finally arrived at Las Brenas around 1am, and exhausted! The family woke up to greet us, but we were ready to hit the sack. But not until a quick bathroom break about a block behind the house in the outhouse. (Thank God for flashlights!) We were able to gather our strengths after a good nights rest, Roger had to preach the next day at the pastor's congregation.
Las Brenas is a community right on the main 'highway' but there is no electric lines (they ended 4 hours up the road) and there is no running water. I wondered how the kids would do without all those ammenities that we take for granted. Don't get me wrong we have had a fair share of electricity going out and no water at times, but you never know how your own kids will react. I will have to say that I was truly amazed. By the time the trip was over they didn't want to leave. I guess they wanted to experience the farming life. Josiah woke up Monday morning ready to milk the cows. Rachel helped clean the beans that they had grown. We made all kinds of food from food that they had grown (they are a fairly self sustaining family). I learned how to make cheese from fresh cows milk. It was such a great experience for us all. But most of all, the time with this family was amazing. The pastor's name is Luis and his wife Glendy. They have 6 children; Amir, Kenia, Javier, Julissa, Melissa and Benny ranging from the ages of 17 to 6.
There is truly not enough space to tell of all the fun and new experiences that we had. It is definately a 'sit down with a cup of coffee on a comfy couch' type of stories. I have one last funny thing I will share with you before I leave you with some photos for our trip. Each day when it came time to take a shower you had to learn to be very vulnerable. Their shower room was off to the corner of the kitchen with a large bucket inside in order to use the bowls to bathe. It was closed in of course, but you could hear and see most of who was there at the table (they couldn't see you), but that wasn't the hard part. The other two walls of the shower room were outside walls with gaps between each board at least 1 in wide or more, perfect viewing space both from the inside and the outside. Thank goodness we were in the campo (rural)!!
By Tuesday we were heading back home. It was a wonderful drive back, bumpy road and all. Of course, somewhere along the way we lost our rear license plate. There's no telling where it is now. We made it back home in 13 hours, wasn't half bad!! It was really great to see that much of Nicaragua. What a great trip!!
Here are some pics from our trip, but to see more they are at:
typical house in the northeast
bringing water back from the well or river
Roger ministering at Luis's congregation
Kenia teaching me how to make cheese
Julissa and Rachel getting the beans out of their shell
our bathroom accomodations (a nice hike from the house)
Josiah milking a cow with Amir
Benny and Josiah enjoying a coconut
Julissa, Melissa, Rachel and Kenia playing on the hammock
Javier getting the cows ready to be milked
Amir teaching Josiah how to milk a cow
our drive back home....lovely sunset!!