April 1, 2016

Cultural Day with Bautista Libertad

Gateway 2016 School2School HANDS Team:

A lot goes into the organizing of the trip for Gateway students on their way to Nicaragua. One of the organizations that we have connections with is called ACECEN. This is an association of Christian schools in Nicaragua. They train teachers and oversee many of the decisions that affect evangelical schools here. Pablo is the director of ACECEN, and today Gateway presented him with a cheque for $750USD. There was also a large donation of sporting equipment. Thanks for the support Gateway Parents!




Guest Blogger: Jake Barlow/Angelica Vibas

We had pancakes for breakfast! They tasted different from the pancakes I am used to, they were delicious. We have had a lot of good food here. We went to pick up the class of grade 11s from Bautista Libertad. We went and visited the Managua Zoo which is the first time that Gateway students have had a chance to do that. This was a different zoo than we've ever seen. It's very open and you can walk around easily. There was a variety of animals, some you'd see in Canada, some from the Amazon or even Nicaragua in the wild, and some from Africa. Some of the birds were even outside of the cage. There were peacocks, turkeys and chickens walking outside of the cages. It was cool to get really close to them. They also had a few water buffalo, and goats. Some animals you could get so close to you could feed between the bars of the fence. We fed grass and leaves to a tapir, goats, and donkeys. Zachary fed lettuce to one animal - you can't really do that at other zoos.


20160331_094033 20160331_094737 20160331_095348 20160331_095446 20160331_095654 20160331_100840 20160331_104710

We hung out at a park for lunch. Peanut butter sandwiches, tuna and egg salad. While we were driving through Granada we saw some very old, historical buildings. Many of the houses in the town were different colours. They were beautiful and unique. In Red Deer you wouldn't see that kind of thing, everything is sort of the same, here they are all solid colours, blue, green, orange - bright and beautiful!

20160331_120147 20160331_124043 20160331_124124 20160331_124106 20160331_131829

We went into Lake Nicaragua. Some kids went right into the water and swam. It was very warm and shallow. Most of the Nicaraguan students don't go into the water at all. It felt like hot tub temperature. It wasn't cool or refreshing. Then we went on a boat tour (there are 360 islands, we only toured a few) around one area of the lake. The islands were small, but beautiful. They looked like a jungle, and some had beautiful homes on them. Some of the islands are even for sale. The boats stopped at monkey island, where a couple of monkeys came onto our boat to get crackers from Lesther. It was so weird and cool. Their tails can wrap right around you and hold on. The monkeys would dip the crackers in the water to soften them and then eat them. But little fish would start nibbling at the crackers when they were put in the water.

20160331_132930 20160331_134949 20160331_134956 20160331_135008

We then traveled to a fort on a VERY high hill. We had to walk up. It was so hot, and so high, some of us had trouble getting up. Everyone was hot and sweaty when they got to the top. There was an amazing view from the top, so it made sense that you would put a fort up there. The fort was used as a prison for political prisoners during Somosa's terrible reign. We had a tour of the prison, which is cement tunnels and bunkers dug into the hill. Up to 600 prisoners were held there at a time. There were 2 levels to the prison. One level held 400 prisoners, the deeper level held 200, and more torture and terrible things happened there - physical and psychological. Some cells held up to 60 prisoners at once. Many were completely dark. It would have been awful to have been trapped there. After the Sandinistas freed the country from the Somosas, they stopped the prison from being used. Now it is sort of like a museum. People didn't even know how bad it was at the time. There were also a lot of bats in the tunnels, whipping around our heads. Cool! One of the tour guides had a brother who experienced the jail for 6 months. Thankfully the war ended, and he was released. The tour guy also saw a woman give her testimony of the prison. It was so terrible, and she was in such bad condition. It was so emotional, she actually fainted while she was talking about it. He was really passionate about his job. We could imagine what it would have been like to be there, because of the dark, and the play screaming that some of the kids did.

20160331_164423  20160331_165822 20160331_164317 20160331_163043 20160331_162828 20160331_162648 20160331_162628 20160331_161601

Mrs. Strom reminded us of a play we saw as an English class that had prisoners communicating to each other in prison during times of torture for the Christian Church. It was very sad. The walk down from the hill was a lot easier than the walk up! We stopped at two gas stations on the way home for people to go to the bathroom. (Angelica) I got to interact with some new friends that I hadn't really visited too much with. I got to know some new words, and it was fun to hang out, chat and visit. I saw how friendship was really important to them. Nazareth is a girl that I connected with. She told jokes and hung out, but actions speak louder than words, and she showed she cared about me a lot. In some ways I wish I had made these connections earlier in the week, but I'm still glad that I did!

(Jake) The kids are really into playing sports and games which is nice. It is easy to connect doing games like that. I have had fun playing with students and hanging out. We played some soccer at the beach today.

There was a lot of traffic on the way home. There was some kind of accident that blocked the road we were supposed to take. This made us take a really long way around, and it took a long time to get back to the Nehemiah Center for supper. It seems like our group is also getting more personal with each other. We share more at devotions, and enjoy being together. It is really cool to see us grow and change together.


Candy, notes and love

Tonight students got their care packages! This was a fun and interesting time. There was a lot of candy! Thanks families!


Leave a comment
Email address will
not be published
Required field.
Required, don't worry, it will not be published.
Please include a comment!
Keep in mind, all comments are public.