Saturday, November 15, 2014

Reflections on Building Homes and Relationships

Today was our ‘fun day’ of the trip. We left Esteli bright and early this morning and made a few stops on the way to Granada including an active volcano and handicraft market for souvenirs. We spent the afternoon on a private island having lunch, kayaking, swimming and relaxing poolside. Finally we had a little time to explore Granada City before having a nice team dinner this evening complete with a traditional Nicaraguan dance performance with a marimba.

As we prepare to head home early tomorrow morning, I asked the team to reflect on the week and share what this experience has meant to them or pass along some of their favorite memories.

Angels of God

Today we not only finished with our portion of work on the house, but it also marked our final day with the family.  Gioconda met us at our van today with a huge smile and hugs for everyone which was all the motivation we needed to get our sore arms and legs back in motion. Her family's love for one another and toward us has really left an impression with many, if not all of us. lt is hard to believe we only met them on Monday.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Español corazón

Today, despite being referred to by the Habitat jefes (“bosses”) as a dura dia (a hard day; Nicaraguans often drop the “s” in conversation for words like dias), actually was fun for some of us.  The plan was morning breakfast and be at the work site by 8AM.  Minus scheduled breaks and a lunch we optimistically looked forward to finishing the house by 4:30PM.

Work Hard Play Hard

This blog comes to you from one of the two brother-sister alliances of the group: Cheyenne and William Farrell. 

Since today was our third day on the build site, most of us knew what we were doing when we got there. Yes, we needed instructions from the masons to ensure everything was done accordingly, but we no longer need to be taught the small things, such as how to make rebar. This helped move everything along much quicker! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Love and Cigars

We encounter so many ways each day to show God’s love, in big ways and in small ways, with and without much self-sacrifice. As my husband mentioned in an earlier post, indeed there are people in need so close by. So why would we incur such expenses as plane tickets, a week off work, food and lodging, etc. to help our brothers and sisters all the way in Nicaragua?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Piensa en Grande!

Within five minutes of our drive from the airport to our hotel in Managua on Saturday, I saw the most uplifting, energizing, and appropriate phrase painted on a wall:


Think big.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Flexibility and Forgiveness

We have made it to Esteli! We are excited to be settling down here for the week. This city is the location of our Habitat build site, which we will finally be working at tomorrow!

Prior to leaving for Esteli this morning we went through our trip orientation. The presentation was an eye opening look at the extreme  poverty level and need for homes there is here in Nicaragua. It is the 2nd poorest country in Latin America and 79% of the people live on less than $2 per day, while 43% live on less than $1 per day. Many homes have inadequate  roofs and 45% have dirt floors. This  is a look into a world that is quite unfamiliar to most of us. Living in a world without  the comforts of modern technology can almost seem incomprehensible. It certainly makes me feel humbled and truly blessed for all the things I daily take for granted, such as indoor plumbing and clean, accessible drinking water.