March 30, 2015

Monday at the Work Site

Gateway 2015 School2School HANDS Team:

     This is the first time any of our teams have traveled to Leon and on to Chinandega to visit or to work. Although Peter tells us this is the hottest part of the country, we are still excited to see another part of Nicaragua.

     We drove for about an hour until we arrived at Centro  Comunitario El Shadai, a small little school in the middle of a small, village area. We met the Principal and some of the teachers from the school, as well as the Pastors from the church and school. Because this week is Semana Santa, there is no school in session so there were no classes or students present – only a few interested children from the area.

     Our job for the next two days is to put a fresh coat of paint on the front exterior of the school and to paint the inside of as many classes as we can finish while we are here. We quickly got to work – sanding, sweeping, cleaning, cutting, rolling and painting. We are a large group and we worked quickly – our greatest obstacle was the extreme heat we were working in. We were thankful that the large covered gathering area shaded us for most of our work.

     During a break the Principal took us for a walk through the surrounding neighbourhood. This was much different than what we have seen or experienced yet. This area is very poor. Houses are small, rough and primitive; many are made of corrugated tin, cardboard, and black plastic. Sewage runs along the side of the dusty streets. Even the dogs look unhealthy and poor. Peter told us that most of the people living in this area were displaced due to Hurricane Mitch (in 1992?) and have never since recovered. With little to no opportunity for work, they live in a continued state of extreme poverty. We were humbled as many people waved to us, smiled at us, and as the children came out to play with us as we passed through the neighbourhood. It was an eye-opening experience for our group.

     We continued to work until the late afternoon when we cleaned up, and headed back to the guesthouse. We were thankful for supper, fun in the pool to cool us down, showers to clean us, and devotion time together. We have also been spoiled in this guesthouse by having air conditioning in our rooms at night!


Student Highlights from Monday


Wow what an amazing adventure this has been so far.  I’m so blessed to have my brother, father, aunt and friends by my side throughout the entire process.  Today we had the opportunity to help support a school that is very poor, and we chipped in by redoing the painting of the whole campus, in which EduDeo will later chip in with new windows and steel bars.  As we were painting the compound, I felt really overpowered by the fact of how fortunate we are as Canadians.  Some of us are struggling with our pay, or what to wear or even the current social gossip.  But today was about realizing how we need to constantly count our beans and be joyful and thankful for each bean And it couldn’t have been a better day to learn that today, and to conquer that reality as a team.




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