Recent Posts

June 29, 2015

Black Out

A JOURNAL WRITTEN BY EMILY VOGT On Friday afternoon that we returned from Masaya and Mombacho, there was not any power in La Villa where I live, and rumor had it in all of Nicaragua. I had returned to the house with one of the bus drivers, and I originally thought that no one was home because no lights were on in the house. The two hours that we were without power that night were some of the most enjoyable of my time in Nicaragua. Candles were lit so we could see in the penetrating darkness — two on the…

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June 26, 2015

A JOURNAL ENTRY WRITTEN BY SOPHIA SEARS One enjoyable time I’ve had with my host family so far is when I went with my mom and niece to a birthday party of my aunt. The relatives there were very welcoming and they all made efforts to ensure that I was having a good time. In these types of situations, it always makes me happy to see how much the people of Nicaragua want to share their country and culture with me. For example, I was asked to try all the different foods and drinks present at the party, many of…

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June 25, 2015


On Thursday evening, June 11, students celebrated with and thanked their Jinotepe, Dolores, and Diriamba host families with dinner, poems, songs, dessert and dancing. The next day, June 12, students departed for their various service locations throughout Nicaragua. Students are serving in/with schools, health centers, farms, child-care centers, advocacy groups, intentional communities, adult education centers, an artist’s studio, a theater company, and other organizations. They are spread out through the cities and areas of Matagalpa, Esteli, Leon, Jinotega, Managua, El Lagartillo, Masatepe, San Juan de Oriente and Santo Domingo. Stay tuned for future posts about the students’ various experiences of…

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June 24, 2015

A JOURNAL ENTRY WRITTEN BY EMMA KOOP LIECHTY The other weekend, my family went to my 8 year old twin nieces’ first communion. I knew there was going to be a family celebration afterwards, but I underestimated just how big it would be. What I encountered was a wedding reception-sized gathering with party games for the kids, plenty of loud music for dancing and a catered meal. I really enjoyed the time of just sitting and laughing and having fun with my family, but still I couldn’t  get over how big this gathering was. At the end of the party,…

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June 23, 2015

Though a little over a week has passed since the students finished their Study portion of  SST and have moved on to their service assignments, we still want to offer a Week 6 recap.  The week consisted of:  the final four days of Spanish instruction in the mornings (concluding with final exams and presentations); service orientation; a final lecture on economics in Nicaragua; two birthday celebrations; many conversations and details of preparing to leave for service; and a farewell celebration/despedida with host families.                                  …

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June 16, 2015

Competitive UNO!

A JOURNAL ENTRY WRITTEN BY AARON GRABER A time I really enjoyed with my family was on an UNO game we played which got very intense. It brought out competitive sides of both of my parents and a little bit of mine which made it all more enjoyable. My dad’s cousin was there so it was interesting to hear both English and Spanish around this very intense UNO game. On his days off my dad’s cousin likes to drop by our house to spend some time with family close to his age, because he lives alone. This UNO game was…

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June 15, 2015

Feliz Cumpleaños

This past week we celebrated two birthdays among the SST’ers.  The first, was Jesse.                 Then…though it was 2 some weeks early, Peter’s (a.k.a. Pedro) family wanted to throw him a surprise party before he left for his time of service. He was indeed surprised and many joyful festivities followed his entrance at his host home in Diriamba.                     Throughout our time in Nicaragua we have also celebrated 3 other birthdays together:   This coming week, 2 more students, Natalie and David J. will…

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June 14, 2015


On Friday, June 5 the group visited the beautiful city of Granada.  This colonial city, nestled at the base of Volcan Mombacho and along the shores of Lake Nicaragua (Lago Cocibolca), is known to be one of the earliest European-initiated cities in North America founded by the Spaniards in 1524.  The architecture is well preserved and many areas have been beautifully and colorfully restored.               In the morning students visited the Antiguo Convento San Francisco which records and displays much of the pre-Columbian past of Nicaragua.  The group also visited a local cultural center…

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June 11, 2015

A JOURNAL ENTRY WRITTEN BY NATALIE THORNE One memorable moment is when my host family came to cheer me on in the half marathon. I let them know about the half marathon a few days before it took place, but gave them little detail. I left for the run before my family was awake. I hadn’t expected them to come cheer me on, but about half way through the race I saw my father, mother, and brother drive past in our jeep. They all three waved, smiled, and cheered. A few seconds later, I saw them driving the other direction…

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June 9, 2015

A JOURNAL ENTRY WRITTEN BY JESSE BONTREGER I have had a lot of great times with my host family over the past few weeks. We’ve gotten to know each other very well and I’ve had fun living with them. One particularly good time together was last week when the power was out. Normally these occurrences make me very grumpy and pessimistic as they interrupt the planned flow of my day. However, I really was thankful for it last week. My family is constantly away or busy and the power outage gave us all a minute to sit and breathe. We…

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