June 8, 2012

And they’re off!

Early this morning students arrived at Quinta Goshen eager to leave for service.  It is hard to believe that six weeks have already gone by.  We sent 15 students in a microbus toward Managua with Don Jose (our trusted taxi driver), Dalena (in country coordinator) and a lot of luggage on top.

Don Jose dropped Steph and Marissa off first as they were off to the colonial town of León where Steph will work at a public elementary school and Marissa at a health center.

Anna and Rachel took a taxi at the UCA bus station to Batahola Norte (a barrio in Managua) where they will work at the Cultural Center.  Hannah and Jennifer were dropped off with their host families in Barrio Grenada in Managua, where Hannah will work in the community health center and Jennifer will work in a busy preschool.

Don Jose continued to the other side of Managua where Andrew’s new host father was waiting.  Andrew will be working in the very rural town of Candelaria (an hour of driving and hiking from Teustepe, Boaco) with solar panels, farming, and anything else that his family does in the village.

At the same bus station where Andrew met his host father, Kyle, Allison, Mary, and Brook got on a bus to Matagalpa.  Kyle and Allison will live in the city.  Allison will be working at an orphanage for malnourished children and Kyle is working at a school and afternoon program at Infancia sin Fronteras (children without limits).  Mary will be working with Vicente on his organic coffee farm about 30 minutes outside of the city.  Brook is working in the small village of Balzamo where she can split her time between farming, the public school, and any other projects that CEPAD (a Baptist NGO) is working on.

Arielle and Alisha headed off to Jinotega where they will work at Los Pipitos, a government program working with children with special needs.

After the students traveling north were on their way, Don Jose started back toward Jinotepe.  He dropped off Erin at Km 8 on the south side of Managua, which is a very familiar neighborhood to our group.  We have stayed at the guest house twice and there is a Mennonite related orphanage called Fortress of Hope in that neighborhood.  Erin will be working at the orphanage with children of all ages and the staff.  Kelsey was dropped off last in El Crucero.  She will be working in the small village of Santa Julia with a woman’s co-op and farming.

Five students went with Keri to the local bus station to find their way to their service location.  Luke took a 30 minute microbus ride to Volcán Mombacho where he will be working on an orchid and butterfly project.  Kat, Breanna, Jen, and Amy got on a microbus heading towards Managua (but a different route than the other 15).  In the town of La Concepción (also known as La Concha), Kat and Breanna got off and met their host families. They will be working at the health center.  Jen and Amy continued on until Km 10.5 where more host families were waiting.  Both Jen and Amy will be working at the orphanage Hogar Belen.

This evening Caleb and Lynelle will be heading to Managua to catch an overnight bus to El Rama.  They will then travel by boat to Pearl Lagoon.  We will be going with them to Managua and make sure they get on the right bus.  Caleb will be working a physician in the local health center, and Lynelle will be at a multi-lingual school.

By now we have heard that all students have arrived at their location or are with their host family finishing their journey.  We will start visiting them in about two weeks.

We have several fieldtrips and other events to write about and get pictures uploaded so be looking for those in the next couple of weeks.

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