This was the day for "debriefing", getting away, enjoying a kind of retreat to muse about what has transpired over the previous 7 days Sleeping in until 8 o'clock was a treat, having our daily devotion with "Pastore Frank" (always a high point in the day), packing an overnight bag,, and boarding our bus with Ernaldo at the wheel comprised our morning.

Going through the lush Nicaraguan countryside is always a treat for me: the banana plantations, coconut palms, smoking volcanoes, Brahma cattle, homes (most little hovels, others quite nice one-story structures, with the latter gated with tall concrete walls topped by broken glass bottles), one-horse carts and wagons, and old buses galore on the main highways (some roads very good close to Managua, others narrow with plenty of potholes), roadside stands (Pepsi, snack foods, crafts, etc.)

We made it to our first stop...Masaya, and SHOPPING! The market there is an old reconditioned fortress and we were turned loose for an hour and a half to wander, peruse, and perchance purchase the unique things that Nicaragua has to offer...that is, for the girls. Us guys, Ernaldo, Frank, and Hudd, (Mike is always with Sally L anyhow, and Eric was busy interpreting) had a soft drink, got a T-shirt or two and patiently waited, watching the local world go by until time for departure and lunch...Oh, the trials the waiting male animal goes through, tch, tch!


Then off to lunch at a very nice restaurant outside of Masaya

Our trip then got us to our final desination, the resort town of Granada and a very nice hotel (La Gran Francia) with a small pool and AIR CONDITIONED rooms...what a treat later to sleep actually needing blankets! This little town has a central square in front of a large cathedral being reconditioned and very beautiful. All kinds of people, old and young, on the green surrounded by cars, buses, one-horse taxicabs for sightseeing, bicycles, nosy boom boxes, and everyone having a good time.

After a pizza dinner during a torrential downpour with the resounding thunder and dazzling lightning display, we came back for a "debriefing" and sharing time in a room at the hotel. My, my, it always is an amazing and emotional time to review what has happened to us and, through the Holy Spirit, hopefully to those with whom we came in contact. ONLY THOSE THAT GO ON A MISSION TRIP can ever fully realize what I am saying! You really need to experience it...words, pictures, videos can never do it really need to "get out of the boat to walk on the water". My, where have I heard that before?

So, it is now Oct 16 morning and we have but one more day of enjoying this beautiful land before going back to the "real world"...and who decides which is "real"???