March 23, 2015


Gateway 2015 School2School HANDS Team:

     Today was the day we had been waiting for!  We were nervous and excited as we drove to the school and got ready to meet the people of Bautista Libertad! The sights and sounds of the streets and the people were a lot to take in as we drove … we found ourselves constantly looking out the windows, pointing, and commenting on the newness of Nicaragua.

     The outside of the school is encompassed by a high wall, with a large guarded gate at the entrance. We first walked down a back alley that appeared to be unkempt and uncertain, as we approached the school. This made us feel somewhat worried and nervous! However, we immediately felt welcomed as we entered the school’s courtyard … so many smiles, hugs, and handshakes awaited us! Our uneasiness was immediately put to rest – we were surrounded by beautiful people, who had been waiting for us to arrive!

      We were given a tour of the school after we arrived, complete with special greetings and messages from each of the classes that we visited. It was a wonderful beginning to our time together.

     In Nicaragua the students graduate from High School in Grade 11 instead of Grade 12. As a result, the class that we partner with are all Grade 11 students. These were the students we were looking to build close relationships with. We had devotions together with the Grade 11 class and shared a time of opening worship.

     The school day at Bautista begins at 7:30 in the morning and dismisses at 12:00 noon. Once the school was dismissed, the Grade 11 students stayed for the afternoon with us, starting with a delicious lunch. Next we traveled to a park that displayed a miniature version of a street in downtown Nicaragu before the 1972 earthquake. We shared ice cream together before going the visit the historical Plaza de la Revolucion where we saw the stunning Old Cathedral. Finally, we went to a local park and played basketball and volleyball together with both finishing our day together. – What a fantastic first day together!

     We had supper at the Nehemiah Canter, devotions and a time of journaling together.  We prepared our materials for our English lessons that we were going to teach the next day, and crawled into bed … tired, but fulfilled!  We had enjoyed our first full day in Nicaragua!





Some of what we did is difficult to put into words. Any stereotypes I had about Nicaragua were shattered when I met the students. When we first met the grade 11 students, it was awkward at first. But we made friends quickly, even with the language barrier. We started a game of volleyball, and that really got things going. We had a shared chapel and worship time, and that sealed everything with some ice breaking times. We got to go see some tourist attractions together (a tiny city and parks that are way better than any in Canada) which was awesome.


I have had two brothers who went on the trip before so I felt that I knew a bit of what to expect, but it was good to experience it first hand rather than just hear about what they did. It was nice to get to see each classroom in the school that we partner with. It was good to begin to get to know each of the students individually. Going to the park was really special. It is a beautiful place - the people and the scenery are equally beautiful!


I thought it was really interesting that there are so many students who are good at English, and want to practice when they talk to us. There was one boy who was interested in Canada, he wanted to come there, see the sky and experience snow. I like to get to know the students on a personal level. The first day was good, but by the second day, there was more opportunity to connect through visiting, talking, sharing our photo books and playing together. We heard from one of their teachers that their students are really excited about getting to know us, but they sometimes don’t know how to show it. That is a lot like us. I am already friends with a lot of the students on Facebook, and we are chatting already! I get homesick sometimes, but I don’t really see that happening on this trip, because it already feels familiar here, and we are with so many good friends.


For more photos click on the following link:


Mar 26, 2015 at 8:04 pm

What an awesome opportunity that you guys have been blessed with.It sounds like you are having a great time..

Take care have fun and may God continue to bless you,you are in my prayers.

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