March 30, 2013

Meeting New Friends - Day #2

Gateway 2013 HANDS Team:

Day #2:

       It was great to get some sleep!  We woke up to the beauty of the Nehemiah Center and of the welcoming people here.

     After breakfast we were taken to our new partner school, Bautista Libertad.  The school is on a week of holidays called Semana santa or Holy Week.  However, even though the students are off for the week, many of them came and joined us for the day at Bautista Libertad. 

      We had a beginning activity together as a group and then toured the school.  As odd as it sounds, it was exciting to see painted steel purlins!  … These were the steel purlins that our 2012 HANDS team had painted last year for the addition on their school.  It was great to see the completed project and to see the work that our previous team had helped in.

     Later we went to a beautiful public park named “parquet Luis Alfonso Velásquez that had been built in honour of a 12-year boy that had been killed during a political demonstration ….  What a great place!  The students played a variety of games together, including hockey, basketball, volleyball, and games intended to mix the students together.  We also had lunch together in the park and the blessing of being able to give our leftover food to the people in need there.

     After lunch we went to “Plaza de la Revolucion” which is the historical center of the city. The “Old Cathedral” is stunning in the middle of the park.  Having suffered great damage during the earthquake, it has never been fully restored.  It is beautiful on the outside, but you are no longer able to tour the inside.  We also saw monuments of important personalities; the President’s legal residence (similar to the whitehouse); and National Palace of Culture.

     Next we went to Lake Managua where we were treated to a boat tour of the lake.  While the lake looks beautiful from a distance, the lake is actually very polluted.  While we were scanning the beautiful scenery, we were also taken back to see the location of the local dump where over 1200 families reside.  Children were swimming in the polluted water, and trees that at first appeared to be decorated, were literally covered in trash.  We were reminded of the beauty here, and yet the great need that also exists here!

     The boat tour was enjoyable … yet also put some of our tired and worn out team members to sleep … sitting in the sun while the boat rocked back and forth … back and forth … some students took some nice naps!  J

   We had started the day together by each being given half of a scripture verse.  Throughout the day we needed to find a member of the group from Bautista Libertad that had the other half of the scripture verse, and then learn information about each other.  We ended the day by completing this activity, sharing what we had learned with the group.

     We said our goodbyes and returned to the Nehemiah Center for a delicious supper, free time to FaceTime family and get on the internet, rest and shower.  Soon we will have devotions and turn in for the night.  It has been a terrific day and a great start to our journey here in Nicaragua.  


STUDENT HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY .... Today's Students Sharing ... Abby and Josh ... 

"The principal from Bautista Libertad came up with a fun idea of getting to know each other.  Half of the group got a yellow bookmark and half got a blue one. One of each colour matched up to complete a scripture verse. When we found our scripture verse partner we had to find out what their name was, how old they were and hobbies they enjoyed. Finding your match wasn't easy, which helped us interact with many of the students before finding our actual match." Abby Douglas


"For a fun activity we went to the park and played games with the students of Bautista Libertad. We played basketball, wide games and hockey using the equipment from last year. It was cool to play with them and cheer each other on, everyone was very accepting. It was also neat to see how well we got along and played together regardless of skill or the language barrier." Joshua Tuazon 


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