Recent Posts

July 27, 2015

Buen Viaje!

We said good-bye to our wonderful students around 5:30 a.m. Nica time (7:30 a.m. GC time). They disappeared through security and now are in flight to Atlanta and then onto Chicago, scheduled to arrive there at 5:20 p.m. local time (6:20 p.m. GC time).  And then onto Goshen by bus arriving there 9:00-10:00 p.m. We had a relaxing final weekend retreat together at Laguna de Apoyo, a volcano crater lake, with Vulcan Mombacho looking down on us.  More later on our final days together, but for now Buen Viaje!

July 22, 2015

JESSE BONTREGER has been spending his service term working at a theater company in the capital city of Managua.   JOURNAL EXCERPTS BY JESSE: “Managua is the bee’s knees…My very first impression of Managua was one of nerves. I felt a little nervous moving into the big city, but this was nothing unlike my feelings about Carazo or host homes from previous trips.  It was a natural state of nervousness that subsided quickly.  I have found the city to be both enjoyable and safe.  The streets are well-lit and everything is within walking distance.  I love running here and taking…

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July 22, 2015

ISAIAH FRIESEN & LUKE KAUFMAN are serving in the city of Masatepe.  They only have a couple days left there, but here’s what they’ve been up to…   JOURNAL EXCERPTS BY LUKE KAUFMAN: “For service I am working in the health center of Masatepe.  I chose this assignment to help me learn more in my field of study of nursing. So far I have spent my days going to the rural poor towns of Masatepe.  I arrive at work at 8am and go around to my co-workers to greet them. Then I sit and chat for 15-20 minutes with the…

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July 17, 2015

EMILY SCHROCK, BEN SHELLY, and MOLLY ZOOK are all spending their service term in the northern mountain city of Jinotega. Emily works in the mornings at a school for children with special needs and the organization, Casa Materna in the afternoons. Ben works in a junior-senior high school assisting students with learning English. Molly works in the mornings at the same school Emily does and works especially with deaf students. She spends her afternoons at Mayflower, a boarding school for Nicaraguan deaf children.   JOURNAL EXCERPTS BY MOLLY ZOOK: “Living in Jinotega is beautiful.  The city is in the valley,…

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July 14, 2015

Repliegue Race

  POSTING BY ISAIAH FRIESEN: This past weekend, July 11-12, Luke Kaufman and I ran a vaunted and long-awaited race of 30 kilometers from Managua to Masaya. This event also includes races of 5k, 10k, 15k, and 42k, with the vast majority of runners participating in the 5k. Those who run less than the 30k take buses to the finish in Masaya for the festivities at the end, featuring folkloric dances and songs from the era of the Revolution blaring from loudspeakers. This race commemorates and follows the route of “El Repliegue,” translated as “the retreat” or “the withdrawal.” El…

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July 13, 2015

DAVID PAULS is spending his service term at the Vicente Padilla family coffee farm outside of Matagalpa.  The Padilla family is committed to organic and sustainable practices throughout their farm.  They live and work by the principles of permaculture. JOURNAL EXCERPTS BY DAVID PAULS: “Days start for me at 5:30am when the radio turns on to wake people up.  I sleep for 15 more minutes then get up for coffee and see what work I will be doing in the morning.  It always starts with helping Levi cut grass and haul it over to the cows, then after that we…

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July 11, 2015

EMMA KOOP LIECHTY and SOPHIE SEARS are spending their 6 weeks of service in the beautiful mountain city of Matagalpa.  Emma is serving in Colegio Bautista Matagalpa, a private primary school while Sophie is serving in small public school, La Amistad, that works with children who have special needs. A JOURNAL EXCERPT BY EMMA KOOP LIECHTY: “In a typical day here in Matagalpa I wake up around 6:30am.  I shower and get ready for the day and eat breakfast with my sister and mom.    Around 7:30am we head to work.  Maria, my host sister, comes with us since she goes…

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July 10, 2015

Maddie Birky and Brianne Brenneman have service placements in Estelí, the 3rd largest city in Nicaragua. Maddie serves with an organization that has a Bibliobus-a mobile library program for school children especially in the region of Miraflor outside the city of Estelí. Brianne serves 3 days a week at Escuela de Cristal, a private school that has many children with disabilities or other challenges, and 2 days a week at a small Centro de Salud/public health center. JOURNAL EXCERPTS BY BRIANNE BRENNEMAN: My First Day at Work:  “Today was hard.  I wasn’t expecting my first day at work to be…

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July 6, 2015

David Jantz and Emily Vogt are spending their service term in the town and surrounding areas of Santo Domingo in the Chontales department/region of Nicaragua. A JOURNAL EXCERPT BY DAVID JANTZ: “The town is located in an idyllic setting with mountains surrounding and cobblestone streets winding their way through brightly colored houses.  It’s a rough-and-tumble cowboy town where cowboy hats, horses, dirty jeans and rubber boots abound.  I was immediately interested in everything I saw as it is a far cry from the city life of Jinotepe. There are very few cheles [a term for light-skinned people] so I stick…

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July 5, 2015

Natalie is serving in the northern colonial city of Leon at La Colectiva Casa De Los Colores.   JOURNAL EXCERPTS BY NATALIE THORNE: “I am in a unique situation for service.  I actually live and work with the same four women at the same house.  Each [of my housemates] has a degree in social work and everybody seems to be here for similar reasons. They all have a passion for justice and equality within Nicaragua.” ——————————————— “Leon is a relatively large colonial city that is littered with beautiful, rustic, stone architecture.  Occasionally there is a tree here or there and we…

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