Saying Goodbye?

When we first came on this trip, we understood that conditions would be temporary. The housing, food, and activities wouldn’t last forever. The teaching and the cement shoveling would continue after our 2 weeks. The sun would still set; its golden colors would still reflect against the serene lake, and there’d be others there to Read More…

Moment of Happiness

Well, this is it. We’ve departed with the kids. There are no more work days. And we leave Ometepe for good within the next 12 hours. For our departure, we had heard about an “inauguration” being held in our honor for our contributions to the community. I had figured it was simply a few “thank Read More…

When the Day Ends

Before this trip, I would much rather labor over a pile of rocks than struggle to teach kids English. Yet here I am, I have done both, and I will miss it. Every day I see the energy bounce the kindergarteners as they recite the various English they were taught. Everyday I am harassed by Read More…

Bittersweet

It’s hard to believe that two weeks has already gone by. I can vividly remember how nervous I was during our first teaching day and now I’m sitting in a hammock reflecting about our last. The day started out like any other day, waking up to the kitchen bell that signals breakfast is ready and Read More…

To Build a School

To Build a School You’ll need money and time. A lot of metal bars, countless bags of cement, and some non-corrosive paint. You will need a galvanized roof, supported by eight strong posts. Begin by building the foundation. Level it out, add rocks and re-bars. Now get some cement. Mix as much as you thought Read More…

Towards the End

Today, unlike any other day, was different for a change. Unfortunately, one of our group mates were unable to work along side of us because he has fallen ill. However, that did not stop us from helping the children. For the first time in two days, we were not greeted by heavy rainfall but a Read More…

Relationships

We are almost halfway through our second week and I can feel myself becoming more and more connected with the kids every day. There are kids that I have been building relationships with since the first day and kids that I am just meeting. Today, in third grade I met a boy that spoke Spanish, Read More…

It is a Monday and I couldn’t be more happy.

It is a Monday. I woke up this morning at 4:30am to the sound of silence. Then a splitting crack of thunder boomed, like an explosion, and was followed by pounding rain. It was the kind of rain that was so loud that it sounded more like a hail storm that was going to make Read More…

Familiarity Ameliorates Fear

In a few of the group’s reflection sessions, the casual question came up: What is your biggest fear? Since I am a naturally timid person, a plethora of horrors popped into my mind: the dark, bugs, deep water, loneliness, humiliation, failure, death, and so on. I realized my fears have often kept me sheltered and Read More…

Community Baseball Game

Our group has only been together for a week now and we are already starting to discuss our reunion. I think everyone here can agree that we all have an incredible connection, despite our very different lives at home. Considering that, we have a lot in common. We all laugh at the same jokes, enjoy Read More…

One Week Later

Quinn: One week ago today we were all awkwardly lounging in the Miami Airport. Silence was one of the favorite activities. It’s weird how now we play card games and connect on deeper levels. It takes time for most things to become better. For example: wine, indie films, naps. But it took less than a Read More…

Someone Please Ship Me Chili’s Desserts (And Other Thoughts)

Something that’s always bothered me is our society’s need for everything (and everyone) to be groundbreaking and extraordinary at each moment in order for the activity or person to be noteworthy. This leads to raging disappointment (at least for me) when I am a part of something that doesn’t shout “impressive!” However, as I’ve grown Read More…

Sight / Sound / Smell: A Reflection

The view from my new home is incredible. I live in a second story room on a refurbished coffee plantation that was built on an island created from 2 massive volcanoes. The porch outside overlooks a torn down building; covered with a mixture of a vibrant green moss and pruned ferns. Tall trees surround the Read More…

Third Time’s the Charm

Our second day of work greeted us with the bluest skies and hottest weather we had seen since arriving in Nicaragua. Despite the heat, we were all optimistic as we began our day’s work. Once we arrived at the worksite, Janier, the leader of the construction project, appointed us the task of creating and mixing Read More…

Changing the World

At the end of our first work day we were laying on the dock as the crickets chirped beside us and the waves splashed below us. We gazed up at the stars reflecting on our first days on the island. As we talked, we realized that despite being from Boston, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, New Read More…

A Change of Home

This place feels like home. It’s a strange thing to say, because I don’t usually sleep with a bug net over my bed, find geckos in my shower, or live on a tropical island. Yet, only two days into our stay at Ometepe, it feels like home. After a delicious breakfast at the Hacienda Merida, Read More…

2 Liter Bottles

I’m not phased by a lot. In most settings, this is helpful (like being the only one not to cry at the end of The Notebook.) So when I stepped out of the Nicaraguan airport, nothing really hit me except for humid air. Granada, of course, was wonderful, as you heard in Jaxon’s amazing post. Read More…

Different Points of View

I’m sitting in a van, mind wandering around while I solemnly gaze at the rainforest flying by my window. Occasional bumps and potholes keep me awake. Housing projects start to come into view, unfinished and brightly colored. I’m feeling tired, I hope we’re there soon. I’m leaning against a wooden gate, mostly surrounded by rainforest Read More…

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