This was a busy day for our team! We had worked hard the night before to get everything ready and to make sure we had all of the supplies organized and ready for the crafts we were to lead at the school today.
Our morning started as usual, with an early breakfast and a quiet bus ride to the school, where many team members catch some extra sleep during the 45-minute drive to the school. Once we arrived at Bautista, we opened our time together with team devotions and games and activities together. These times are special in continuing to build relationships between the two groups.
The remainder of our morning was spent teaching crafts to different classes throughout the school in grades 1-6. Our crafts included teaching lessons about different aspects of Canada such as the seasons, snow, Inukshuks, the maple leaf, bodies of water in Canada, etc, and then making crafts that related to the various lesson. Our students were amazing at being bold to teach and explain the lessons, as well as how to make the crafts. They worked to assist the students in making the crafts and encouraging them in their efforts. Some crafts went better than others, but the students were diligent in their efforts and kept a positive attitude throughout the entire morning. We were very proud of all of them and how hard they worked to make it a special experience for the classes they were teaching!
We shared lunch with the teachers today. We had a few activities with the staff and a short time of sharing together. It was evident in the sharing that the relationships between the two schools continues to grow in importance and meaning for both schools. It is evident that their entire school works to prepare for our arrival and looks forward to the times that we share together. We were humbled to hear how many grades prepared presentations for us (such as a song in English that they had been practicing for 3 months to be able to perform). We learned about the fundraising, the planning and the preparing that the students and the school work at in order to be able to share this time with us. What a gift this partnership is … to both schools!
In the afternoon we worked at two different service projects. One project was to paint and update the mural on one of the school walls and paint the lines of the basketball court within their school courtyard. The new lines and colours, along with the addition of Gateway’s name to the basketball key looked fresh and bright in the courtyard.
The other project was to take a large group of people to a local park and clean up the park together. The park is a location that our teams have worked at before - a park that is used often by the kids in the neighbourhood. The park had a lot of trash and weeds that needed to be cleaned up. It was VERY hot while we worked in the direct afternoon sun… shovelling, raking, pulling and picking up trash. We took many wheelbarrows full of trash to the nearby dump as we slowly worked to make the park clean again. It was heart-warming to see the mural on the park wall still remained that had been painted years ago by earlier Gateway and Bautista teams!
Our time in the evening included Facetime home, games and conversations shared together, time for reflections and journaling, and some good showers to get rid of the layers of dirt from cleaning in the park. It felt good to work and to serve others in a variety of ways today! The work was definitely more fun and rewarding because it was shared with others! Again … what a terrific day!
#gcshands2017 #nicaragua #springbreak #wedocrafts