January 25, 2014

Saturday evening

Grimsby HANDS Team:

Hello again from Managua

Another busy day in Managua.  The weather was beautiful and for a day, we got to be tourists.  Peter took the day off today (his wife Trudy arrived from Alberta last night) so Lester and his young son Carlos were our tour guides for the day.

We piled into the van and set off on the road for our 'cultural day'.  Once we were moving we asked Lester where our first stop was going to be.  The answer that we got was that we were going to a pottery shop.   Wait a minute.... a pottery shop??  Doesn't he know that he has 12 men in the van?  When we arrived, we entered the shop and we were immediately escorted downstairs to the place where the pottery was made.  The potter showed us his foot powered potters wheel and tossed a lump of clay onto the centre.  Almost miraculously, that lump of clay was formed into a vase between his hands, he made it look effortless.  He took the time to tell us about the whole process from making the clay to firing the pot.  The potter was only 22 years old, he had learned his craft from his father who had learned it from his mother.  By the time we left the shop (also their home), most of us had a piece of authentic Nicaraguan pottery in our hands (ladies, please look surprised when you see it).

We left the shop and headed to Mombacho volcano where we donned helmets and harnesses to go zip lining through the forest canopy.  More learning for the team, we learned that there are three basic ways to go down a zip line.  First there's the basic seated position, pretty standard stuff but lots of fun.  Second, there's the 'upside down monkey'.  In order to do this, you let go of the line, lean back and lift your legs.  You end up flying through the forest, head down feet up.  Many of us were a bit aprehensive about this one till we saw Jerry flying through the trees upside down.  The third, and most complicated way to go down the line is called 'superman'.  This requires a little bit of extra gear and help from one of the zipline attendants.  You end up flying down the line, face down, arms out with the attendant right behind you, holding your feet (screaming is optional).  I'm pretty sure that everyone did that one. 

After Mombacho, we had lunch in the shade, right on the shore of Lake Nicaragua.  The food was delicious and in the distance we could see Concepción, the active volcano on Ometepe island.  There were birds everywhere so Sid and Tony had very little time to eat.

From there we headed out on a boat tour through the 365 isletas in Lake Nicaragua, just north-west of Grenada. These are a bunch of small islands that 'Mombacho spit out'.  It was a little bit windy and the water was rough but it was well worth the trip.  Pastor Sid was in the front of the boat, binoculars ready, looking for some of the more elusive bird species in the area.  The rest of us we more enamoured with Lucy, the monkey that jumped onto our boat from 'monkey island' and took all of Jerry's mentos.

Our next stop was the central square in Grenada.  A place full of people strolling and socializing.  Just off of the square was the cathedral and most of us had a chance to look inside for a few moments, beautiful.

We jumped back in the van and headed back toward Managua with one more stop to make.  Lester brought us to Masaya volcano, one of the most active volcanos in Nicaragua (the last eruption was in April 2012).  We drove up a narrow winding road all the way to the rim of the crater.  In the parking lot, the curbs have instructions to park facing out (in case the volcano belches and you need to make a fast exit).  Unfortunately for us, there was a large cloud of gas in the crater and there was not much to see inside.  We were told that although this was not good for us, it was good for Nicaragua since as long as the volcano was venting gas it wasn't building pressure.  They start to worry when the gas stops.

After Masaya, we headed back to Managua to meet Peter and Trudy for dinner at the local Pizza Hut.  

Tomorrow morning we're planning on attending Lester's church and we're all really looking forward to that. He's told us that it's a 'happy church'.  There's lots to be happy about here.

till tomorrow



Jan 26, 2014 at 8:24 am

Wow!! What an exciting day! Beautiful pictures!I hope someone got a shot of Harry zip lining, there are people here who will want to see it to believe it!! Have a blessed Sunday!

Jan 26, 2014 at 8:40 am

Nice that you can enjoy the local area, as a tourist for the day.

Thanks for the great blog Randy!! It is good to follow your day and experiences.

Jan 26, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Thanks for posting the beautiful pictures, looking forward to seeing more!

Jan 26, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Hi! Wow, it sounds like your having an amazing trip! God is good all the time! Thank you Randy for writing the blog, it is awesome to stay in touch and continue our prayers for the team! God bess!

Dick &Betty
Jan 26, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Thank-you for keeping us up to date with the blogs and pictures, we feel so connected to the team. Keep safe..... Blessings to you all.

Jan 26, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Great photos ! Keep them coming !

Zip lining huh ? Couldn't get him on the FERRIS WHEEL !

Sylvia Van Geest
Jan 26, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Oh. My. Word. Pastor Sid, what has gotten into you?!?!? You can fly!

Rose S
Jan 26, 2014 at 5:13 pm

You did the same outing as we did a year ago while at the Nehemiah Center. I'm so glad you got to meet Lucy! I have a great picture of Gord Van Geest and Lucy - twins :)

and I have to admit I laughed out loud when I saw the pic of Pastor Sid ziplining - doing the 'Superman' LOL!

loving the blog!

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