As we are getting ready to move, I wanted to take some time to think back on some of my favorite Nicaraguan moments:
On the last day of school at the secondary campus (high school level) there is usually a big field trip to the nearest volcano or some other cultural location. Unfortunately, there was seismic activity at the time of the graduation this year, so La Esperanza sponsored a lunch and presentation by the volunteers at the school and the students put on dance performances. Pauline decided that since the students couldn’t get to “see the world” that day, we would “bring the world to the students.” Many of the volunteers gave a fun description of their country – favorite foods, activities, etc. I was only a few months into learning Spanish at the time so it was a challenge…..but seeing as the kids were sadly getting me instead of a volcano I figured I better try my best! I was so proud of everyone – Maria presented about Norway, Ben with Germany, Clara on Sweden, I presented on the U.S., Jorge on Mexico, and Dan finished up with England.
Bo and I found a student to sponsor for the next five years. Our match is with Fernanda and we’re so looking forward to getting her report cards and hearing her updates along the years.
Special events such as packing new backpacks full of supplies and handing them out to all the students before the new school year in February was great. Getting to see the student’s preschool, elementary, and high school promotion ceremonies. Celebrating with three of the program’s ayudantes – Maria, Justo, and Scarleth as they graduated university and enjoying a party at our house with all their friends.
Running pub quiz as one of the fundraisers for La Esperanza at OSheas bar. Best part was always testing the questions on the ayudantes the day before in the office.
Getting to know my awesome neighbors. It’s very important in Nicaragua to just spend time sitting outside of your home, talking or eating with your family. One particular family welcomed me into this tradition and I happily spent many afternoons sitting out in front of their house. They would greet me on my walk home from the office, or have me over for a meal. It helped my Spanish and it was so nice to have friends to spend time with.
Road trips – one to San Juan del Sur with Bo to celebrate our 1st year wedding anniversary, La Boquita beach with Mike and Juliane on their visit from Tucson, Guascaste Beach for my birthday with 11 other La Esperanza volunteers, Leon to see the largest cathedral in all of Central America, Masaya for the markets and volcano, and the Isletas tour only 20 min outside of Granada.
Finding my precious girl time through my women’s bible study at El Puente Church and Zumba class with our incredible and very enthusiastic teacher, Caroline. (For those looking for a bilingual church – check out https://thebridgegranada.org/ and looking for a Zumba class or good way to exercise when in Granada, stop by the Bearded Monkey hostel for more info on offered classes)
I started improving my skills with my office role, especially regarding the community tours. I had been shadowing Justo with the tours and one morning he was busy, so I led a group of 15 students and their teachers from Costa Rica. After that, I was able to lead several others on my own, explaining the in’s and out’s of La Esperanza, the schools and home building projects. I also started editing the LEG web page and writing blog entries (see one here!: http://laesperanzagranada.blogspot.mx/search?updated-max=2016-03-08T08:17:00-08:00&max-results=4 ) Also my office mate Conception and I finished the brochures! Funds were generously donated after a couple attended the tour and mentioned it would be a helpful tool to have. I re-designed the old one that hadn’t been re-printed for some time and Conception helped me arrange everything with the printers in town. Now, every tour-goer will receive a brochure they can bring back home with them.