We just spent our first summer here in Nicaragua. This was the first time in four years that we did not travel back to the US for June and July. There were several reasons for this choice… Andrew had a class that he needed to attend, we had travelled to the US for Christmas, and we had visitors who were excited to come see us in the summer months are some of the main ones.
I was a little nervous about staying here, mostly because I have a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out) and hated to think of all the family and friends we were missing out on seeing, and all of the fun things they were doing without us. Now that the summer is done, though, I’m glad we stayed. There are certainly pros and cons to staying, and I’ve listed some of them below in case you are wondering what they are (listed in no particular order):
- We were able to continue in some of our ministries throughout the summer (Andrew at Tesoros de Dios, and Ruth at House of Hope).
|Relay Day at House of Hope|
- We didn’t gain the 10 pounds that we normally gain in the US every summer.
- We were able to create a summer/more relaxed routine for our family, including sending our kids to summer camp at NCA.
|Our family Summer Plan|
- We had our neighborhood to ourselves. We did miss having our neighbors around, but is was also nice to be able to walk outside in our PJs and let the monkey run free.
- We were able to explore more of the beautiful country we live in, and our neighboring country, Costa Rica.
|Family jump at Laguna de Apoyo|
|Exploring Somoto Canyon with friends|
|Exploring Costa Rica with Grandma and Grandpa|
- We didn’t have to figure out borrowing a car for the summer.
- We didn’t have to figure out 12 places to stay as we travelled across the country—we got to sleep in our own beds!
- Andrew was able to prepare for the upcoming school year with a more relaxed timeline.
- We didn’t have to try to buy everything we need for a year and fit it into 5 50-pound suitcases.
- We didn’t have to worry about everything in our house growing mold.
- We didn’t have to find someone to watch our monkey, Dexter.
- We didn’t have to stand up in front of churches, though we did miss worshiping and fellowshipping with our home churches in the US.
- We ended up pet-sitting for all of our friends who did go back to the US for the summer (this could maaaaaaayyyyyybbbbbeeee be listed in the PRO section as well, since our kids did enjoy having extra pets around).
|Charlotte and her new BFF, Buddie|
- We didn’t get a chance to do our US-shopping for the year (we’re REALLY looking like “missionaries” these days!)
- We didn’t get to see our family, except for a few visitors.
|Our summer vistors: Laura, Michael, and Micah|
- We missed out on fun American summer activities—camping, celebrating the 4th of July, eating berries, VBS, reunions.
- We didn’t really have much of a complete break from “ministry” life in order to be refreshed for year 5.
- We didn’t get a chance to connect with our many, dear friends.
- We missed out on meeting our 4 brand-new nieces and nephews (and since they are so cute, here they are):