*** For those of you new to the blog, we are currently on hiatus together in Central America. Enjoy these abroad posts, and click above under categories to see our wedding and other related work. Shoot us an email to get in touch with us, and thanks for stopping by!***
The narrow road of a million little brown paver bricks fit neatly together passed quickly beneath us. The motorcycle whirred us along with a gentle clatter from the road, and the cooling air of the evening began to envelop us. The sun bathed the mountains on both sides of us in a soft, faint-orange glow, and as we clattered onward I felt Laura’s arms gently tighten around me and the side of her head rest upon my back. I couldn’t help but smile to myself. Honduras was 12 kilometers to the North, and as we rode through the Nicaraguan countryside, we passed simple rammed earth houses, bright fields of plantains, rice, corn and tobacco, and weaved our way through the cows, chickens, and myriad people impinging upon both sides of the road.
I breathed it all in, thanking God for the opportunity to be in that exact moment.
For those of you who don’t know, Laura and I are effectively on a 2010 post-wedding season hiatus, and we’re spending 3 months in Central America (we’ll be returning home around the New Year). The majority of our time here, based in Jalapa, Nicaragua, will be spent working with two small rural communities trying to help them improve their circumstances by gaining access to clean, safe drinking water. Laura and I both have a heart to use the skills and abilities that we’ve been blessed with in order to help others, and between the photography, her architecture background and my engineering background we want to do so as much as we can.
We are learning so much about the culture, the way of life, the Spanish language, the food, the people…and about ourselves. We’re staying with a family here in Jalapa, a smallish, rural town of about 20,000 people. The streets are dirt, the transportation is by horse, motorcycle, bicycle, and mostly on foot. There are cars here and there, but there aren’t exactly any traffic jams happening around here. The weather is hot, however occasionally it rains. Occasionally, it pours, and the roof on our house is galvanized tin, so we get to experience the full decibel effect of the rains!
We started our trip in Honduras, where we spent a week in Ojojonas, on a trip with Engineering Ministries International. We were working with an awesome ministry called Rancho Oasis for Youth, and helped design a master plan with full facilities for their property. We had an amazing time with our team, and learned so much in the process. We have so much to say about that time, but maybe we’ll save that for another post!
We’ve definitely gone through some culture shock and challenging times too…experiencing the frequent water and power outages, the noises that keep us up at night (roosters!), the smells of burning trash, the inefficiencies, lack of our normal creature comforts, scarce internet, the heat, the language barrier, the lack of transportation of the motorized variety, and most of all, missing our home! But through these things we hope we’re growing in character, humility, and flexibility.
For all of our current and potential clients, we are still able to respond to your emails…thanks for your patience though if we are a little slower than usual. We are working on finishing up our last wedding of the season (shout out Caroline and Aaron!) and are really excited about the 2011 season!