Today was our first day at Centro de Fe, and it was AMAZING. After an early start, we all piled on the bus yet again and made the trek out to the school. Many of us on the bus had no idea what to expect, and though we'd heard stories of the school for years from past teams, we were a little bit nervous as well. Spending the past two days in Nicaragua has made us incredibly aware of our differences, and we had no idea how we would be able to connect with students and teachers at the school.
We had no reason to worry.
Within seconds of leaving the bus, we were greeted by beaming teachers, who were embraced immediately by Alison and Roy. We sort of migrated inside as a big group, brimming with anticipation. We saw a few students darting around the hallway, but the rest were waiting inside the auditorium. As soon as our group crossed the threshold, we were met with thunderous applause from hundreds of students inside.
We then were blessed with a beautiful welcome ceremony, where we watched traditional Nicaraguan dances and singing from each grade. Our team also led them in worship with the song Waymaker. Such a beautiful moment as English and Spanish lyrics blended together to praise the same God.
After welcome, the kids were dismissed for recess, and we had the opportunity to mingle with all of the students. Though a little bit unsure at first, we all quickly overcame that in the face of such joy and enthusiasm from the students, the younger kids especially. This was also our first real experience with a language barrier, but we overcame it thanks to some wonderful translators and google translate.
We then received a tour of the school and were once again struck by the pure joy and love radiating from within each classroom, and from the kids to each other and to us.
We met with the grad class at CdF, where we shared a little bit about our lives (in Spanish to the best of our ability), with the help of our photo albums. After lunch together, we loaded up with the grade 11s (the grad class) and walked a couple of blocks to a nearby park for a sports afternoon.
Despite playing in 37 degrees and blazing sun, this was another excellent example of how easy it is to communicate despite a language barrier. As said by a member of our team, "we don't need language because sports are a universal language." This was incredibly evident as we played volleyball, basketball, soccer, skipping, and spikeball together. So much fun, and such an amazing way to connect with all of the students. And for all of you worried parents, we had no casualties to heat stroke.
After even just one day, we can already tell goodbyes with the students are going to be so hard, but we are all so excited to continue building friendships and memories with the amazing people at Centro de Fe.
By Kendra and Malia
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