Tag: Nicaragua

Thanksgiving with the Family

Thanksgiving with the Family

Thanksgiving.  During the year, probably the holiday I look forward to most.  This year, it had special meaning for me.  Of course, I had a chance to go home, but it was the first time I was able to be home with my two younger sisters since we all left for college.  In fact, it was the first time we were able to share a true family meal with this group of people in a long time.

My best friend (a family member, minus the DNA), the guy with the yellow shirt, was in Nicaragua all summer working with an organization called Amigos for Christ; building wells for those who need clean water.  Between his dedicated service in Central America and my internship up here in Chicago, we haven’t all been together since last Easter, which was a long time ago.

So this thanksgiving, besides the great food, family parties, football and hikes, I was especially grateful for the chance to reconnect.



It’s the first Monday back from spring break and getting back into the school routine couldn’t be harder. My week in Nicaragua was more amazing than I could have imagined and my mind is definitely not in the mood to write the Shakespeare essay that I have to do tonight.

So, instead of talking about school, let me tell you about Nicaragua!

Our first day there (Sunday) we climbed an active volcano named Cerro Negro! It was very steep and the majority of the time I climbed using all fours. Even though it was incredibly hard, it was definitely worth it once I reached the top. The view was breathtaking!

View from the top of the volcano we climbed!

On Monday our group went into a community called Chunco and spent the day playing with the school children. We set up soccer and baseball games and, for the girls, we brought hair bows and nail polish and did their hair and nails. They absolutely loved it. Even though most of us did not speak very much Spanish, the children were very open and loving. I spent the day constantly holding hands and giving hugs to these amazing children.

Playing a cat and mouse game with the kids in Chunco

Tuesday and Thursday we went to a different community, Rincon de Garcia, and worked side by side with the Nicaraguans from the community. We spent the day digging trenches for water pipes. Rincon de Garcia is a very poor community that does not even have clean water so once the water pipes are put in place it will completely change the standard of living for everyone in the community.

Some members of our group working of the water pipe trenches in Rincon de Garcia.

On Wednesday morning we went to a handicap orphanage in the town of Chinandega. The residents there were all severely handicapped and our purpose was to just serve through our presence by reading to them, helping them play games or just sitting next to them rubbing their back.

After the orphanage we had lunch in town and then brought the kids from Chunco to a pool. The pool trip is a once a week trip for the kids and only the top five best well behaved kids from each class get to go. It is supposed to encourage the children to go to school and behave well once there.

Friday we went back to Chunco and played with the kids more. In the afternoon were were lucky enough to take a trip to the beach and got to swim in the ocean. We watched the sun set and then headed back to Amigo’s property for the night.

Overall it was a very humbling, eye-opening and amazing experience. I could not have hoped for more out of my spring break and I miss it so much already. Unfortunately, I have to force myself to come back to reality and focus on school.

Spring Break!

Spring Break!

Only two days until spring break! In the midst of midterms and many papers, it is the light at the end of my tunnel. This year I am going on a mission trip to Nicaragua from March 3 to March 10 and I could not be more excited!

The trip has been organized by one of my close friends, Alex. He went on a mission trip in high school through the same organization that we are going through, Amigos For Christ. Amigos has a site in Chinandega, Nicaragua, and has been able to bring a community fresh water. While down there, we will be continuing this work by digging for water lines.

We will be doing more than just physical labor though. Our itinerary shows that on Sunday, our first day, we are going to climb an active volcano! Monday and Tuesday we will be working in the community but on Wednesday we are going to an orphanage. We will be playing with the children and entertaining them. After the orphanage we have the opportunity to go into town and get souvenirs and such. Thursday and Friday are back to working in the community and we leave on Saturday.

The fact it is just two days away though means I need to go into crazy fast packing mode Thursday night after my midterms are over. Luckily, I do not need to bring much, just shorts, t-shirts and one nice outfit for church.

I am getting too excited though and am neglecting my midterm studying! I need to get my priorities in order and focus for just two more days. Ah, so much easier said than done though.

Alex, who is organizing the trip, while at the orphanage on his trip during high school.