Nica Service Trip Overview

Nica Service Trip Overview

Our youth had impressive reflections on their experiences in service in Nicaragua. As a way of saying thank-you to their families, this church community and the people who they encountered– all of whom made their trip possible– they will share some of their reflections in worship this Sunday.

Below are the telegraphic updates posted on FB so families and friends would know we were ok despite our not really being on-line or in other ways within communication’s reach:

Day 1: the travelers have all safely arrived in Managua. No mishaps. Colleen enjoyed her first experience flying. Everyone whizzed through immigration except Jordana who must have looked suspicious. She eventually was admitted to. CEPAD had lunch prepared for us. Then the youth took a siesta in the air conditioning. Colleen wrote in her journal, and Michael and Beth headed out to shop for some needed supplies. Orientation, dinner and intro. to Nicaragua tonight.

Leave early for Mesa Sur in the morning … 4 hours in an unairconditioned van. There we are all staying together in the school building. But we will not have any internet or phone possibilities in a town of 80 families in the mountains in the north. (Also, Beth already lost her phone, but good-spiritly sees God’s hand in getting her out of touch!) We will check in when we return from Mesa Sur on Saturday afternoon.

Day 6: Back in Managua from Mesa Sur. Worked on 3 houses’ foundations, dug a trench for a retaining wall and cleaned up a mudslide after torrential rains the first night. We are dirty and sore and tired. Have done a month of church in 4 days (long, millennial services!). We even sang “Siyahamba (in Zulu, English and Spanish), “We Are Climbing Jacobs Ladder,” and “Amazing Grace.” Michael preached on Thursday night. Jordana sang Pie Jesu in a Catholic mass, at a work site and in a dirt-floored home. We have slept on the floor, banished a few to the “Quarta de Ronconistas,” learned to shower out of a bucket, eaten all our meals in the Casa Lopez (the women from the village just kept cooking for us!). It turns out that living in la Communidad with cows and pigs and chickens and dogs running in and out (not to mention the bats, rats and snakes) is not that bad when the people are so dear.
We have learned much about lives in some ways different from ours. We have already learned about ourselves. And one another. We are enjoying enjoying ourselves. Off to church tomorrow and a tour of Managua. Monday we will see one of the big markets in Managua on the way to the ferry in San Jorge and the Island of Ometepe. We may not be back on line until Wednesday night, but we are all doing fine. Many stories to tell…

Day 10: Ometepe was grand. Everyone liked the relaxed hippy experience of Finca Magdalena. 7 started up Volcan Maderas, 5 made it up & back (8 & 1/2 hours up & back, steep & muddy — mountain crabs, monkeys, snakes, cicadas, butterflies — we were so tired by the time we finished that our bodies were shaking).
The others took a day of relaxation: bike riding, the beach, a walk, multiple meals, reading on the porch. Today we visited Granada for lunch (Cafe Chavallos no existe, so the youth enjoyed a Cafe “en el stilo Norte Americano”), then shopped at the artisanal market in Masaya before returning to Managua for dinner and dancing tonight (to celebrate our last night or the 4th of July?). Home tomorrow…

Day 12 (really 1 day after the trip): With great thanks to Beth Walker and Colleen Rose Ott who accompanied me as the adults on our Service Trip to Nicaragua, and to Annemarie, Daniel, Dee, Jackson, Jordana, Samantha… for being troopers who didn’t finally let any foreignness, hardship, discomfort or illness overwhelm them, everyone is safely home. Each traveler will be given a specific award for their personal accomplishment in worship on Sunday. And they will share the gift of some of their responses and insights from the trip…