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May 13, 2011

First Reunión

Midway through our first week of classes and lectures in Jinotepe, we had our first reunión, which means “meeting.” We also like the literal translation of the word, reunion: a time when we come together and get reacquainted with each other and with ourselves. This will be a weekly event at the unit house, during which we’ll have guided discussion, getting-to-know-you exercises, group processing of events and issues, and devotionals/worship.

May 9, 2011

Sunday morning we headed from Managua to Jinotepe, stopping for a few minutes at Loma de Tiscapa on our way out of the capital city. This hilltop was where former dictator Anastasio Somoza built his presidential bunker, and ruins of his palace are still visible. Also atop the hill is a 59-foot tall silhouette statue of Augusto César Sandino, who was last seen alive here before being assassinated during peace talks with Somoza. The hill affords a panoramic view of the city, Lake Managua, and Volcano Momotombo in the distance. The group arrived in Jinotepe late in the morning and…

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May 9, 2011

Two Days — Two Houses

     After a full day of orientation, the students set out on a two-day service project in connection with an organization called Un Techo para mi País.  Techo is an organization that works with destitute families to help build them more sustainable housing.  The program, organized and run by university students, requires the family to be involved with the construction so that they can be a part of the process as well as give the volunteers a chance to make a connection with the family.  Our goal was to build two houses in two days in an area called Barrio…

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May 6, 2011

We’re happy to announce that 11 Goshen College students arrived safely Wednesday night in Nicaragua – all together, in one piece and with their luggage – after a very long day of travel. In fact, some reported that they never went to bed the night before they left Goshen! From the airport we went to “Casa Blanca,” the house where we’ll be doing orientation and also the home of Compañeros, Inc. Compañeros is a social enterprise NGO (non-governmental organization) that organizes and facilitates short-term volunteer service and cross-cultural learning experiences in Central America. Our country coordinator, Dalena, works with Compañeros,…

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July 24, 2010

Back from service

I’m happy to report that all the students are safely back from service in good spirits and good health, with lots of stories to share and lots of energy pointed towards returning back to the States.  Tomorrow is our wrap-up day, devoted to final project presentations (every thing from cooking Nica style, to malnutrition, to Nica’s system of medical care…), reflecting on service (and telling more stories), celebrating birthdays, and starting to think about re-entry.  It’s going to be a full, and good day.

July 9, 2010

Gallo pinto

Gallo pinto is the national dish of Nicaragua; however, the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts have different recipes.  Here are approximate “recipes” for each.  Buen provecho!

July 5, 2010

After traveling through some of the northern mountains and plains of Nicaragua early last week, it was a pleasant change of pace to simply hop into a microbus on Friday (July 2) to visit Reuben at the Centro de Salud clinic in La Concepcion (in the department of Masaya), and then to hop in a taxi for the short trip to the biological research station located on the shores of Laguna de Apoyo.

July 1, 2010

Thirteen students and six programs were included in this tour of Estelí, Matagalpa, León and Managua; our travels started early Monday morning (6/28) and concluded late in the day on Wednesday (June 30).

June 25, 2010

Teaching English (all grade levels including a class of English teachers) in Diriamba, and planting frijoles and attending nation-wide farm cooperative workers’ organizational meetings provide a broad overview of two students’ service assignments.

June 24, 2010

Half-way Point

[student journal, posted with permission] Since Friday (6/11) marks the half-way point, for this journal, I’ve decided to do a review of the first half by making a list of ten ways I have changed, in the past six weeks.

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