Saturday, June 22, 2013

Buenos Dias! 

Our day went so late last night that I didn't have time to post before backing and falling to bed! The last day is always so hard here having to say goodbye to all the chicas and staff that we've all grown so close to. 

We spent our last day at the Villa cleaning.  We sanded playground equipment and spray painted the slide, cross bars and teeter-totter, dug a ditch for a conduit, and watched Nick and Abee hack down a tree with a machete!    

Nick and Abee

It was a good thing we stayed at the Villa we are all exhausted from a week of work, heat, humidity and emotions.  In the evening we had our last dinner with the chicas, staff and another team from Washington.  Following that was a dance party and goodbyes.  The touching part of the night which had us all in tears was the chicas gathered around our team and prayed over us.... still brings me to tears!

Thalia, on-site Susie and Tracy (me)
Team Salzwedel, the Chicas and Staff

Breakfast is in 15 minutes, then off to the airport at 9:30.  This is be a long day of travel back home with much time hanging around the Managua and Houston airports for flights.  If you have a family member of this team, give them extra grace this weekend.  We are all still processing our week and are leaving people we have become close to here and on our team.

Won't you consider coming along next time?  Or, now that you know the story, would you consider sponsoring a girl or house mom here at the Villa?  Go to   Adios!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day Six

Our week is winding down.  Today was a beautiful but very difficult day.
We left the Villa at 8am to drive 1.25 hours to serve a community who lives in the landfill in Tipitapa, Nicaragua.

The church we visited on Sunday, El Faro has started another location at Tipitapa.  The pastor of the church, who also lived in the La Chureca landfill serves this community and has an incredible story which he shared with us.

As he shared a boy went around our circle twice hugging each of us, he was so glad we were there.
A few of us played with the kids and the rest started painting 2 rooms at the church which they use for a daycare for the families of Tipitapa.  

Next we got to do something that none of us will soon forget.  In organized chaos we serve 300 meals to children and a few moms that brought their kids.  The children sit and wait for what will probably be their one meal of the day, a bowl of rice, vegies and plantain pieces and a cup of juice.  If they came with their younger siblings they make sure they have food first and help feed them.  We are talking about 5 year olds bringing their younger siblings and assisting them.  It's beautiful.

After the feeding center we finished up painting the two rooms and then the pastor walked us through a neighborhood to show us the land that has been gifted to the community.  They have hopes of having a pig farm and community garden among other dreams.  We stopped by one home to pray for an elderly woman with an infected foot.  She is not healthy, but she cares for her downs syndrome daughter in a little hot shack.  It was a pretty shocking sight.  One that has caused each of us to step back, pause, breath, and give thanks.  It promoted change in each of us.  Most of us are still processing the day.

Then we packed up and started down the road back home.....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 5

What a long a wonderful day, leaving the Villa at 9am and getting home at 6pm.
We started with touring the Granada Islands, which are 365 islands that were formed over 10,000
years ago when Volcano Mobamcho exploded.

One of the monkeys on Monkey Island

After a sack lunch at a park we walked through Granada, one of the oldest cities in Central America.
It has an array of bright colored buildings many of which have inside court yards.

Granada Cathedral

Next we tried out our Spanish with the vendors in a local market.   

The last stop was one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time.  We went to view the active volcano, Maysaya.  It was huge!

Yes, that is smoke from the volcano!

Holly and Laura

Then dinner, playtime with the girls from 7-8:30, a game of fishbowl, showers and off to bed!
Full day! We are back to work tomorrow to serve more people of Nicaragua!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day Four

Today was a long, humid and super successful day in the field.  We returned to the same school as yesterday and were greeted with smiles and cheers.  It is so easy to fall in love with these sweet kids.
After playing for an hour or so we got to work.

While half of us painted, half of the team went room to room and acted out a bible story.
Holly, Jenna, Seong and Hannah

 We had lunch with the teachers and assistant principal of the school.  Working on the school we knew it looked much better, but until the lunch with the staff we didn't realize that painting the school changes the attitude for the children and makes them more eager to learn. 

Nick, Brogan, Jenna, Laura, Hannah, Thalia, Holly, Tracy , Seong

After dinner tonight one of our team members, Thalia taught an art lesson to the girls.  They were really engaged and enjoyed being able to learn about an artist and paint like them.

As I'm sitting here blogging, once again I can hear the frogs, birds and "screaming" bugs.
Everyone is getting ready for bed, we are all pooped!   Tomorrow we will go to the Granada Islands for some local history and a cultural experience.... while giving the staff a partial day off!

Hasta Luego

Monday, June 17, 2013

Day Three.....winding down.

Hola!  We are cooling off before dinner after a great day in the field.

Today we went to a local school, sang for the children, played with them and then started to work when they had to go back to class.

 A few of our team spent the day on a hot tin roof using steel brushes to scrape off the rust, very very hot work!  The rest of us cleaned first then painted a classroom and outside wall. 
Laura and Nick

Holly, Hannah, Jasmine and Jenna
Tracy, Thalia and Seong

Our team did a great job working together today and staying hydrated.  We are now taking turns in the shower and relaxing before dinner.  This evening we will be a evening away from the girls which will give us time to plan for classroom visits and our lunch with the teachers tomorrow. 

Thanks for lifting us up in prayer!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day two.....done!

Just wrapped up day two in Nicaragua with a killer card game of Mau. Frogs are singing, bugs are screaming and Brogan is playing his guitar. I love the sounds here!

We went to church this morning, Family Day in Nicaragua. It is a small building with bars for windows and it was very packed and hot! But, the heat does not stop the locals from a vigorous worship.
It's wonderful to know that even though we speak a different language and are culturally different, we still praise the same God!

We had lunch at the Villa before heading out to a huge park with the girls and ending our day with them with ice cream. 

Our first two days have been good for us bonding with the girls. They are starting to be more comfortable with us and us with them. 

Tomorrow we will be going to a local school to paint and build relationships with the grade school children who attend there. It will be our first test to see how we work together as a team, esp in the heat and humidity! Prayers welcome:)

Buenos Noches!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

We made it to Nicaragua!

All 10 of us have arrived in Nicaragua on 4 different flights! All safe and sound. 
We arrived, went through immigration and were standing at baggage claim in time to experience the 6.2 earthquake!
We're here and we're gonna shake this place up!