Sara LoTemplio’s Mission of Hope Blog
Friday, February 18, 2011
We arrived in Nicaragua at about 9 last night. There were people waiting outside the airport, just watching the Americans coming through, many of whom are on vacation. On the bus ride through the city to the compound, we passed through what looks like the slums of every city mixed together. Kids were playing in the street, animals roamed around, a woman sat rocking her baby in a concrete house with 3 walls and no ceiling. When we got to a stop sign, a man jumped on top of the bus and wiped the windows clean as if his life depended on it. It didn’t seem real.
Although it is a country of desperation, it is also beautiful. We p[assed by gorgeous maintains and a volcano which, I believe, is the first time I’ve ever seen. The weather is warm and the breezes are comfortable. The plants are tropical and interesting and there are vibrantly colored flowers everywhere. Me, Bennett and Anna (2 other kids on mission) discovered a delicious fruit that we picked from the trees in the back of the compound. It’s safe to say I’m falling in love with this country.
This morning I was also lucky enough to help build a home shelter for a family at Km 12. I moved different materials around for the Nicaraguan workers who did most of the actual building other than the occasional times they let me hammer in nails which usually resulted in a good laugh for them. When we finished, the kids in the family were so excited. They danced around inside and climbed on everything like kids do. To me, it had just been a shack, but after seeing their smiling faces, I can’t help but to feel like I gave someone a real home.
The highlight of my day was spending time with the children who came to visit in the afternoon. They were beyond excited over the stickers, Silly Bandz and the balloon animals we gave them. They were so sweet. One little boy took the stickers I gave him and gave them to his little brother with a kiss. They are extremely patient with my limited Spanish skills and we all enjoyed playing “Pato, Pato, Ganso” (Dick, Duck Goose).
When I first arrived, everything appeared different, but the more time I spend with these people, the ore I realize that they are the same inside. They all laugh at things together, the little kids run around and play, the teenagers hold hands on the way to high school. They smile, they cry. They are just like us.