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Nicaragua Wrap Up

I am back from an incredible trip to Nicaragua! I’m not going to post specific details because I already did that during our trip on our group blog: https://nicaraguanadventure2016.wordpress.com

But I did want to give a little overview here. I definitely had some expectations going into the trip because I have done mission trips in other countries, including Central America. I expected the work projects to be similar. I expected the lodging and food to be similar. I expected the overall experience to be good, but not as great as my other trips that were with good friends and some that were return trips to the same place. I now know better than to hold to expectations.

The people of Los Robles, Nicaragua blew me away. They are humble and grateful despite having practically nothing. They welcomed us into their homes, gave when they had little, and chatted despite our broken communication (minus our fluent leader). The children laughed and played and openly gave hugs to strangers who couldn’t communicate with them. And the people in our group REALLY blew me away. Most had not done a service or mission trip before. But everyone had a heart to serve, was easy going and flexible, and ready to have a great time, which is exactly what we did. God placed each one of us on this trip for a reason, and as our trip leader said, if just one person had not made and kept that commitment, the week would not have been the same.

I do hope to make it back to Los Robles, Nicaragua one day and also hope to see more of this beautiful country, which we got to see a little more of on our last day as tourists in Granada. Adios – until next time!


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Adios, Atlanta

The time has come! Seven new wonderful friends and I are leaving for Nicaragua this weekend! If you missed my first post, click here to learn what this trip is all about and why I’m going. A big thank you to everyone who supported me financially and made this trip possible. We have worked hard to prepare a VBS curriculum for kids in the area as well as put together 120 hygiene kits for those kids (with a wash cloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, a comb, and cup). These, and so many things we take for granted having readily available will be a huge gift for the kids we come into contact with. We will also be helping with some home improvement projects in the area.

I’m so excited for this experience – personally and for us as a group – and prayers this week are appreciated (especially for no volcano eruptions or tropical storms 😉 ). I’ll do a post or two when I get back, but while we are there I will be keeping our trip blog up-to-date. Visit the site and follow it if you want daily updates and pics! Can’t wait to share stories and [lots of] pictures! Adios!

nicaraguanadv


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Happy Working Song

Wednesday, May 26
Work day numero tres. Done with the sifting and moving sand. Now on to bigger and better things. Moving rocks!! I think this was harder than the sand by far.

Work day 3 - rocks

There was an exciting part to this day. Walking through the town square on our way to the hospital, we made a friend. Meghan yelled “DOG!” at me from behind just a dog licked my hand. Now the dogs in Santiago are not exactly clean or well-fed or taken care of….so it was not exactly heartwarming, even though he was cute. Well, he decided that he needed a break from his real life for the day and continued to follow us all the way to the work site. He stayed all day, following us with the wheel barrows and eventually laying, exhausted, in the cool sand. He didn’t want food at lunch. He just wanted some lovin. It take long for someone to name him: Gillium. And he will forever be remembered in our site photo!

Meet Gillium.

Gillium keeping up with the work

Lunch and nap time

The full group, including Gillium!

We left work a little early so we could do some shopping before the shops closed for the day. We lost Gillium somewhere near where he picked up with us that morning and never saw him again! The evening was more fabulous hot tub and pool time, and another delicious dinner.

Walking back into town

Hot tub....heaven

Pool

Dinner at the Posada

By this point in the week, I think we were all sore and tired, but also very relaxed at the same time. This trip was so different from my first 2 undergrad spring break trips. Then, we had schedules and things to do and places to be. Now we had work during the day, but basically free time after that to do what you pleased. We still had devotions/discussions in the evenings, which help to process everything you see and are doing, whether this was your first time there or seventh. The most difficult thing is to think about what to do with the extreme poverty. Obviously it’s nothing we can change, but it glares us in the face every day we are there. On the up side, the community seems to put family before anything else, which we could all take a lesson from.