Can you imagine being without your phone and Internet for more than 5 days? We did just that in Isla Ometepe in Nicaragua this week and it was pretty wonderful. I was surprised to not have jumped on the first opportunity to reconnect when we first arrived in Managua today. All I was wishing for was to be back swinging on the Hammock in the Island and eating green mangos.
We completed the school project last Wednesday and the next day jumped on a boat to the island surrounded by beautiful greenery and 2 volcanoes. We stayed at Finca Magdalena, a beautiful but simple hostel at the bottom of Volcan Madera, which by the way we climbed!!
The school project was an amazing success! We did more than we could ever imagine in one week and got a chance to get to know some of the kids. I will post more photos and detailed information when I get back. My favorite part of the project has been the people we have met along the way from the teachers who advocate for their students, kids so eager to help to the lady who cooked homemade meals in her home while we worked on the school. Nicaraguences are warm, welcoming and truly amazing people. It took me back to my pulgarcito de America, El Salvador.
For a very long time I was looking for something but never knew exactly what it was until now. This is exactly what I was looking for and craving. Change doesn’t just happen inside our boxed worlds; it has to happen outside of it too. We live in a world of imperfections and never-ending struggles but there’s so much we can do about it. I met a woman from Nicaragua this week who put it beautifully, “most of those who go to the other side (U.S) forget about those who remain (the poor)… if everyone who went came back to do something to help those who were left behind we wouldn’t be the way that we are. “
Last year, one man (Ivan Quezada) promised to do something about what he saw as he traveled through Nicaragua, and a year later did more than he could ever imagined along with a group of 17 and his son (Pablo). Magic happens everyday all around us, WE can make magic and it all begins with one person. A grain of salt from one person can make a difference, imagine what a grain of salt from everyone would do!
I could go on and write forever but need to catch a plane back home very soon. Here are some highlights with photos…
-Arriving at the school and meeting all the kids
-Eating homemade meals at Irma’s home. She was so welcoming, warm and kind.
-Seeing the kids working with us
-Pablo’s story telling skills and coolness (Ivan’s Son )
-The colorful chairs we decorated for the kids
-The color, art and words in the school rooms
-Kids playing the parachute and having a blast
-Adults playing with the kids
-The kids taking our cameras and taking photos of us
– The kids singing the Anthem on our last day at the school
-The kids dancing folkloric for us
-The teachers dancing folkloric
-Professor Ponce tears after I asked, “What motivates you”
-Kids mom coming with fresh fruit and water while we were working
-Kids dancing the last day
-Adults dancing with the kids
-The beautiful doors and colors of Granada
-Dancing in the streets of Granada in the middle of the night
-People’s response and smiles when I asked if I could take their photo
-The kid’s smiles
-The sunset on our way to Isla Ometepe
-Climbing the volcano with 8 other people
-Swimming in the crater of the volcano
-Falling and getting so dirty as we climbed up
-Eating fresh fish
-Waking up to the beautiful view at Finca Magdalena
-Swinging in the hammock and not doing anything
-Sitting around a bon fire and playing games with the group in our last night in the Finca
-Monkey peeing on my head a night before leaving Finca
-Drinking lots toña, the local beer
-Picking up a EURO boy when we arrived in the Island
-Relaxing in the bus ride on our way to Managua
-Late night group games
-Talking to the ladies from the first hotel about Domestic and Sexual Violence
-Jackson- a kid i fell in love with
-Crazy mosquitoes biting the heck out of us
-Jumping in the water in Monkey island
-sitting and not doing anything
-The volcano tour Guide- Willie!!!
our group… oh our group!!!
-Angie and Rick taking care of me and wanting to protect me
-Matt’s crazy jokes/humor
-Sharon’s Belly Dancing
-Ivan and Pablo’s amazing father/son relationship/connection
-Kelsey’s contagious Smile
-Johana’s kick ass attitude/ joseph’s craving for burger and fries
-Omar’s drinking face and layed back attitude
-Luis clever humor
-Sitting in a hospital room
and so much more