Tuesday, September 4, 2012


So, I didn't fulfill my commitment...surprise, surprise!  BUT, I am finally going to update before I start forgetting.

About two weeks before we left to go to Nicaragua, we were asked if we would like to do "home-stays".  These home-stays are one night with a Nicaraguan family.  We would leave the site that afternoon, and then spend the night, having dinner and breakfast prepared by the family, and return to the site the next morning.  While in Nicaragua, it is stressed that no one ever do anything or go anywhere alone, just for safety.  So, when this idea presented itself, I was interested, and it seemed adventurous and fun, so I convinced as many girls as I could to sign up with me, so I'd be sure to stay with someone.  **We'll come back to this idea later**

We left on Saturday, and although I did shed a tear or two about leaving the boys, I think I handled it well, and was able to move past that pretty quickly.

Getting to Nica seemed easy and I felt as though we transitioned well.  We spent the first night (Saturday) at the Christ for the City Guest House, and had orientation (basically culture instruction) on Sunday.  We then packed up the bus, rode (or if you are me, Dramamine-induced napped) through the country side of Nica for 3 hours, and went to the church that we would partner with this week.  I was part of the pharmacy, and we quickly got to work setting up our work place.  We then meet the members of the church.  Next, was an interesting exchange:  they were going to introduce the host families to the team members that would be staying at their home.  They called out Julio and Marta, and then called out Jonathan and I...we were really confused because normally they pair up by gender, but this year they paired us by marriage...which was awesome, but we didn't understand and caused quite the ruckus because Julio and Marta couldn't tell what was going on (they thought we weren't married, or that we might not want to stay with them, which made me sad that we gave that impression).  Anyway, we had a translator come over and help, and all was well.

We stayed at a nice hotel, and Jolidia (spelling?) the CFCI cook, made every meal for us.  So we were very well cared for throughout the week.

Monday we started our clinic.  Clinic went really well.  Probably the biggest blessing was our pharmacy team.  I had heard how hard that team could be...hot, small, stressful quarters.  But, our team was amazing, and had an amazing leader, that in the mist of our only time of real chaos, she had the freedom, the insight, the wisdom to stop, and pray.  And, would you know, things just smoothed out immediately.  God was so good, and so gracious, and I might be biased, but we really had the best pharmacy team.  Girls, if you read this, I know that I wouldn't have gotten as much out of this trip without the amazing team we had...thank you!

As Monday ended well, I was super pumped up about how well it went, but it didn't take long for nervousness to begin to well up in me about home stays the next night.  I was the one that had convinced so many to do it, but I was starting to fear the unknown about what the house would be like, what the food would be like, would they use our distilled water, would they have a shower (at least what I thought a shower looked like), would we get sick?  But that night, Aracelyes (CFCI worker) shared with us what it meant for us to come to their homes.  She pleaded that we watch our responses, and that we reflect gratefulness as these people opened up their best for us.  It really spoke to me, and I tried to allow God to use me, and calm my fears.

So, Tuesday afternoon, Jonathan and Marta walked in with a young lady named Karen.  As Karen started speaking ENGLISH...she shared that she was from New Jersey, was in the Peace Corps, and knew Marta from the health clinic where she and Marta worked.  She told us that she was coming to the house to help us communicate!  Sounds like we weren't the only ones nervous! ;)  That afternoon, we walked to Marta and Julio's from the church.  We talked and rocked and I received a pedicure and manicure (more on that in a minute), and then shared one awesome dinner.  We then played soccer in the street for a while.  We walked to Marta's sister's and visited for a minute, and then headed in for showers and bed.  We had a fun breakfast including toast in a bag (like a loaf of bread, but toasted), and headed back to work at the church.  It was such a fun, but also seemingly normal night.  It felt right, and like we had been a part of the family forever.

Wednesday night was a hard night...I was missing my babies, but I also was wanting to relish in the moments like Tuesday night as long as I could, and tears just flowed...I couldn't even express how I felt (which, if you know me is a feat in and of itself).  Then, to make my conflicted feelings worse, Aracelyes shared with the team how the host families felt about us being there...how much better it had been then they could have imagined.  She shared that the daughters of Marta and Julio had learned and practiced painting nails just for me.  And she shared that one of the girls stated that they imagined that's how Jesus might have looked as He had his feet washed (while she painted my nails there were easily 6-8 girls from the neighborhood, gathered and watching us intently)...can you say HUMBLED???  I was just a puddle by the end of Wednesday night.  Which made our last day together, Thursday really tough.  It was hard to wrap up, and leave our new friends, especially Julio and Marta and their daughters.

Our week with the church ended with the exchange of gifts between us and the church members, and then with a celebration service Thursday night.  It was a special, special week!

Friday and Saturday we did some debriefing and fun stuff (like zip lining on volcanic islands and shopping in the market).  And, finally on Sunday we returned to the boys.

It was truly a great week, and we learned a lot about serving others, about loving others, allowing others to serve us, and about ourselves.  One of my biggest "take-away's" will have to come after my next announcement.

The night that we got home, we took a pregnancy test (I knew there was a chance I might be, but didn't really believe it).  Well, the test was positive.  We were a little stunned, but excited none the less!  Now, in order to understand my lesson from our trip you have to understand our home.  I love it...I do, but it is small.  It is a two bedroom, two bathroom home.  This will be our third baby.  After Becker, I told Jonathan adamantly, that I WOULD NOT have another baby in this house.  And, I was serious!  However, after our week in Nicaragua I learned something:  Although we were in an affluent area by Nicaragua standards, and most homes had flooring, and some even had internet, they still managed to live 7-12 people per home.  Most homes had one bathroom and fewer bedrooms than people.  And that was their norm, it wasn't changing, and they were happy, and willing to host others.  It really spoke to me.  I know that this house isn't forever, and likely, we will only be a family of five in this house for a max of two years.  I know we can be creative and patient.  Even if we are in this house forever, we are blessed with this home, and with each other.  It is a true testament of God changing my heart.  So many people ask if we are moving quickly after they find out we are expecting (and I don't blame them, because I made it quite clear we would come baby #3), but it is fun to share how God is changing me and my heart about the issue!

So, since this is the longest post EVER, I'll "commit" to post some pictures soon!

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