March 27, 2015


Gateway 2015 School2School HANDS Team:

     Today was a different day!  To start off, we got to “sleep in” and breakfast wasn’t at 6:00 am! We were all really thankful for this!

     We met the students in our partner class and traveled together for a cultural “field trip” day. We were to go to two different places together: visiting a pineapple farm, and going to El Chocoyero, a park where we went on a 2 km hike through the jungle together. This was also the last day that we would be spending together with our partner class.

     We came wearing the t-shirts that we had exchanged with one another, and piled into the bus together. The time on the road was filled with one group unified in conversation together as we worked to converse back and forth between English and Spanish. There was also a  great deal of laughter and fun as well … it was obvious that genuine friendships had been formed among us!

     The time on the pineapple farm was interesting and educational. The farmer shared his methods of farming the pineapple, including the time it takes from planting to harvest, methods of continuing to seed more crops from the same plants, information about farming in the area and the money to be made from a pineapple (he sells 1 pineapple for 20 córdobas which is less than $1.00 US). He also shared of his experience in the war, the manner in which he came to own the land that he now farms, and his allegiance to the Sandinista National Liberation Front, whom he said “saved him!” It was very interesting!

     We had lunch together at the reserve and then got ready for our hike. Our hike through El Chocoyero was beautiful! The park houses a number of different rare parakeets that live in the rocks, but they come out at dusk so we did not get to see them. We saw many different kinds of trees and learned a great deal about the jungle and the variety of snakes, animals and insects that live there. We were very excited when we saw a tree filled with Howler Monkeys … at least a dozen of them together!

      Once we were finished with the hike we took group pictures and headed back to the school where we said our dreaded goodbyes. How do you say goodbye to friends you have only gotten to know and feel comfortable with?! There were many hugs, photos, selfies, group talks, and tears. There are no words to explain how something so genuine can be formed in such a short time period!

     We spent the evening together at the Nehemiah Center as a team, enjoying supper, devotions, time for journaling, ping pong, games, and time to relax!  It was an incredible day!



This morning we got to sleep in a little bit later than the previous five days. We had been getting up at 5:30, but today we got up at 6:45. That felt good. We drove over to Bautista Libertad this morning, and a lot of the girls seem to like some of the boys in the class. That was funny to watch.We went with Bautista Libertad students to a pineapple farm. It was hot and dusty, but it was interesting to see how pineapples grow. I thought they grew on trees, but they grown on a small bush - mind blown. We hiked up to a small waterfall, and that was a lot of fun, but it was tough in the heat. We got back to the small interpretive center and a lot of students attempted to climb a vine on a tree. It was fun to watch.

Mckenzie B.

I really enjoyed going to the pineapple farm today. We heard the farmer, whose son now owns the farm, talk about how he came to own the farm, after being a worker on the land for many years. It connected with all of the history we have learned about in Nicaragua, and it is very interesting to meet someone that has been so personally affected. The ride to the bird sanctuary was very beautiful, and it was great to see the countryside. On the hike I could sense God’s presence as we heard the wildlife around us. It was the last time we got to see our Nicaraguan friends from Bautista Libertad, and it was tough to say good bye to them.


I really enjoyed the jungle hike we went on today. I was sweating buckets, and every other minute I wanted to home to bed, but it was fun. We saw beautiful trees, monkeys and a waterfall. Today was the last day to see the students from Bautista, so it’s a bit sad to say our goodbyes to them. I had so much fun with the students there, especially the younger ones. I am enjoying my time here in Nicaragua. I have loved being here. It is hard to explain. I get a bit tired in big groups, but running around with the little students has really energized me. What a great place.


Mrs. Klootwyk
Mar 29, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Thanks so much for your reports each day! It brings back so many memories for me of my own time in Nicaragua! It may have been a different school but the time with the children is the same.Enjoy your remaining time there! Thank you all for being the HANDS and feet of Christ to the people of Nicaragua!

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