Friday, July 15, 2016

July 14, 2016

Yesterday was SO full and rich!  It was a long, very very hot and humid day, but we accomplished so much work and in the way of loving people!  So good.

We worked all day back at the same school getting as much done before we leave for the week!
We stopped for lunch with the 3 teachers, parents who worked alongside us and their children.  The older kids sang us a famous Nicaraguan song, we hear poetry and we presented the school with gifts.
Because of the generous people of our church we were able to give them the gifts of.... Fixing their well water container, which leaks, repair one their broken toilet (outhouse), bring electricity to the school and put in lights in one room, give school supplies and staple foods to the 3 teachers, give soccer balls and jump ropes to the kids AND we are taking the teachers and 35 children to see a movie today!  Most of these children have never been out of their communities or been on a bus!  We are so excited to share a lifetime memory with them today!  

I better get going so I don't miss out! Adios!

The school on Monday
The school at the end of Thursday!

Our morning worship

A friendly game of dodgeball

Lots of rope jumping

Parent helpers!

Getting electricity to the school

The children singing to us at lunch

Team pic selfie style

There is ligh!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

July 13, 2016

   Today was our culture day and we packed in as much as we could, which is why I'm writing this post on Thursday at 6:30am!  We began the day at 7:00am and finished up our schedule last night at 10:00pm, long but great day.
   We started our day with group time and then Lucas led worship at the all-staff devotions, followed by a message from another team's pastor, then we jumped on the bus for our day of adventure. First stop, a boat ride through the 365 islands of Granada, which were originally formed from a volcano erruption. We toured through the islands where there are huge vacation homes of the wealthy, some historical sites, some small shacks and an island with monkeys.  I didn't get any photos of us feeding them, but I'm sure they will pop up later when we return.
   Next we took a small amount of time in the beautiful town square of Granada with it's colorful buildings, horse drawn carriages and park center.  I took the opportunity to walk up the steeple of the cathedral and see the beautiful view.  
   Then back on the bus to the town of Maysaya to shop at the city market for mementoes, where I look for my little Nicaraguan Amiga Juana.  She is 76, is way under 5" tall and carries a basket (every day) of "cookies", chocolate powder, horchata powder and moringa seeds.  She is quite charming and does a good sales job, enough so that I always by something and then give her an extra dollar for a photo.  
   Next we went to Volcano Maysaya which is active with steam and lava.  I've been to this volcano many times, but this is the first time with lava.  The photo doesn't do it justice.  The sound of the flow, way down there is the sound of a distant thunder storm or large fascinating!
   Our last stop was for dinner at an outside restaurant for an authentic Nicaraguan meal of Gallo pinto, grilled chicken, fried cheese, gigantic avocado and plantains.  
   On return to the Villa we had time with the chicas and then our evening meeting.  It was a long day, but so great.  If you've sent someone or sponsored someone on this trip please know that you have amazing young adults!  These are great people with great hearts.  Thank your for allowing me and my husband, Jerry to facilitate growth in their week and lives!

Weekly all-staff devotions, worship led by Lucas
One of our two boats
And the second boat
The top of the cathedral
View from the top
Horse carriages
Lava flow!
Team Westside 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Another day in paradise

Another day sweating away in the humidity of Nicaragua.....and loving it!

Day two is done at the little school.... Hmmmm, I think it's called Los Calle in a rural area of Managua.
The landscape is beautiful and green and life is so very simple.  On the way down the dirt road to the school I caught a ride on a cart pulled by yoked oxen, it was SO cool.  I was told I was not only the first American, but first white person to ride on his cart!  

The school kids and parents that have been for helping were there again today to help us work on painting and sanding.  We are staring to build relationships and know that it will be hard to leave these sweet people.  Tomorrow we will take a culture day trip to the islands and town of Granada, but on Thursday and Friday we are excited to know we will be back to change the look of the school and the lives of the children and teachers.  Our team works super well together and we feel like a close knit family......and they are so fun!

Such rewarding work, and so honored to serve.  I love my life.

This is the entire school.... 5 rooms.

Eating Mamones 

Playing bubbles

The swing set crew

Jerry and all his little helpers

The front gate crew

The roof crew!

Good Morning for Nicaragua!

I've been getting requests to blog again this trip, so here I am in my favorite spot thinking about what to communicate.
We've been here in Managua for a little over 50 hours now, but it already feels like home for many of our newcomers.  The Villa, where we stay, has such inviting loving people

We began our week of work yesterday at a tiny rural school where we will be ALL week!  The more common pattern is to work a day or two at different schools, but this time we will spend 3-4 days with the same teacher and children and be able to form tight relationships.

This school is 30 minutes from the Villa in a very rural, poor area.  The school has 60 students, 3 teachers and no electricity.  The building was constructed in 2001 and nothing has been done to it since, possibly including being cleaned.  But our most important work is to love and build relationships with the children and local people.

I've got to cut this short, the bus in about to leave for our 2nd day of work!

 Sanding& painting the fence
Painting the back wall.  This is the entire length of the school.

Playing ring around the Rosie.

Self it with the director of Villa Esperanza, Wilburt.

Orientation with the staff of the school.... The 2 in purple shirts and the jeans jacket.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday 8/31 We're almost home!!!

I thought I would be posting yesterday's events on our Houston layover, but my phone died WITH all the pictures on it! Pray it will be resurrected when I take it to Apple, OR I can get my photos off it!

So, in lieu of Sunday's post, here we are on our 6 hour layover!
See you all in a few hours!

P.S. We miss you William



Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday 8/29

Wow, it's hard to believe that this trip is almost over, but we only have one day left!  

This morning after our group time and breakfast we worked around the Villa until lunch time.
We have been helping with the foundation structure of a new building which will be the learning center, as well as a few other projects.  Some of us were also helping with little extra chores to get ready for the party tonight.

All week the Nicaraguans and Americans have both been wanting to have a rematch of a soccer game that was played a year ago.  The Nica's decided on baseball, so that game was started after lunch.
 Guys are guys and it got intense REALLY fast. #trashtalk  They are so funny, joking and ribbing each other, but not losing that competitive spirit.  
We were "Nica resourceful" and used cinder blocks and boards for our bleachers.

  In the end the Americans whipped, I mean, beat the Nica's 22-15.

After the game we started getting ready for the big Quienceanera celebration for 5 of the Chicas.
This celebration is something I have always wanted to be part of and it was such an honor to be here!
Each girl was allowed to invite 15 family and friends so we had quite a packed house.

Our teams helped serve food, drinks & cake and Dillon & Christine sang 2 song, and Alex spoke to the girls. The girls had a first dance which was shared with some of our teams guys.  

It was an awesome celebration and great day all around.
Tomorrow is our last day and it is a really full day.  I may not post until our layover on the way home!

Thanks for keeping up on this trip.  This has been an awesome week!   Please be patient with your friends and family when they return, new friends have been made, personal growth has happened  and they are leaving a place they have fallen in love with!


Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday 8/28am

I'm starting this post by not claiming any responsibility for the lack of continuity or misspelled words! We started our day at 6:30am and just ended in the last hour.  The heat and humidity are draining our energy and the emotion of leaving here is starting to be a reality for our team.  But let me finish the writing I started at 10am and had to put aside.  Here we go!

One of the richest parts of our day begin each morning with our own quiet time reading and writing in our journals, then we gather for our group time for the next half hour.  Each team's morning meeting can be a little different, this team gathers to worship, pray for the day and pray over one team member a day. It's a really special time.  ( Oh, and did I mention we have fresh coffee too?!?! )

The rest of the day was spent at the Villa with the other team getting the property ready for the
big Quinceanera celebration tomorrow!  Tonight we went to the Cafecito for a authentic Nicaraguan meal (I forgot to take a picture!)  The Cafecito was started by one of our missionaries to raise money for the Villa. It's a cafe and coffe shop all rolled into one with awesome food and drinks!  We were joined by our head Villa worker William, his wife and two kids and another due in a week!


When we returned home we had "girl time" until 9pm!  Special relationships have been formed with the girls and we just love hanging out with them. 

Following this was our nightly debrief meeting where we are beginning to discuss the reality of leaving this little Eden in Nicaragua.  Lots of emotions to feel and talk about.  

Tomorrow we will be prepping for the HUGE Quinceanera party for 5 of the girls here.  There will be 180-200 people here to celebrate, so we have a lot to prepare for.  This is such an honor that we will be able to be here for.  SO excited!


p.s.  I do want to follow up on the story of the baby we met on Tuesday.  
Our schedule was changed on Tuesday and it is now apparent why we worked at Chiquilistagua, it was for this mother and her baby!

Our schedule was to go to a local church and help with a small building project there, but a local school called and needed help with their yardwork so it could be fumigated again for mosquitos.
We arrived at the school to be greated with another round of darling kids!  The woman above was waiting for one of her children to get out of school and holding her what appeared to be a newborn baby, but he was 7 months old.  One of our Nicaraguan workers, William noticed the child's size and labored breathing.  Just by looking at him he could tell he had a heart condition and was failing.... William's daughter went through this two years ago. The mother had missed the child's heart doctor appt because she didn't have the money for the transportation to the public hospital.

On William's day off on Wednesday he picked up this woman (a single mother of 4) & baby, took them to the hospital and begged the staff for another appointment.  The next appt was a year and a half out!  Because of Williams experience here and his persistance they "found" an opening on Sept 30th.  They were able to see a general doctor on Wed and discovered the baby had a malformed chest cavity, 2 heart valves that were connected and fluid in his lungs!  They checked the baby in to start medications for rehydration and getting rid of the fluid in his lungs, and I got word back today that he was released.
William will be picking them up again on Sept 30th for their cardiologist appt.

Flexability is a big part of our schedule down here, and when a plan is changed we always know it is for some reason.  This time is was so God could work through a father to help save another person's child.  It is so humbling to be part of God's work and be able to see these amazing things unfold before our eyes.  We are all so honored to have been part of this week!