Recent Posts

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

Granada

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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June 8, 2015

Week 5 contained a variety of learning and fun experiences, from exploring religion in Nicaragua to dance and more.      Monday, June 1 was a typical Monday with morning Spanish classes followed by lunch and reunion time at Casa Goshen in the afternoon. Tuesday, June 2 students attended Spanish class and an afternoon lecture on literature and poetry by Juan Carlos Vilchez.  We were to play soccer against a team from a local church but due to the death of a coach associated with the futbol club we were not able to play as scheduled but still enjoyed a pizza supper together. Wednesday,…

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June 6, 2015

Last weekend our group traveled north to Matagalpa, Esteli and the remote mountain community of El Lagartillo.  It was a weekend full of ups and downs, literally and emotionally.  Two flat tires, hearing pain-filled stories from the 70’s and 80’s, games along the roadside, a children’s play about sustainable environmental practices, a night-time volleyball game and discoteca were just some of the activities of the weekend.                 MATAGALPA REGION Our first stop in the Matagalpa region (Fri.5/29)  was the family organic coffee farm of Vicente Padilla.  This was after we made a stop…

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June 5, 2015

A JOURNAL ENTRY BY EMILY SCHROCK One week ago, my Mama Sandra asked me if I wanted to cook a traditional meal with her. I was excited and told her I certainly would. The next day, my Mama was ready for this traditional meal preparation to begin. All morning a neighbor kept coming with containers of what I concluded were ingredients. I thought it was extremely awesome how it is a community effort that makes many things function in Nicaragua. Different families have their specialty and it works well for collaboration. Well with the right ingredients, my Mama Sandra put…

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June 3, 2015

Week 4 was again filled with many activities and learning experiences for students. Monday 5/25- Students attended their normal morning Spanish classes followed by a reunion gathering at Casa Goshen in the afternoon.  This reunion time involved a quiz on the previous week’s topics of gender and natural world; worship led by Brianne & Emma, reflection and sharing with one another, and of course, a delicious lunch prepared by the amazing, Connie.                 Tuesday  morning 5/26- Students split into 2 groups visiting 2 different public health clinics in the city of La Concha.  One…

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June 3, 2015

A JOURNAL ENTRY BY MADDIE BIRKY This past Sunday, I went to church with my family at the Baptist Church where both my parents are pastors. The first hour was all singing, but it’s a very different type of singing than we have at my Mennonite Church back home. As my host father began his sermon, I began to really miss my church community and the gratifying feeling of singing hymns that are familiar every Sunday morning. I followed my father’s sermon fairly well, and then near the end, he began saying, “We can’t know what lies ahead of us…

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May 28, 2015

The second half of the week we spent more time focusing on the Natural World. On Thursday afternoon, Roamir Manzanares, an environmental rights activist since the early 1980’s, met with our students. He shared of the current environmental concerns of Nicaragua as well as the hopes and positives that are happening.  Roamir noted that though there are laws regarding environment, they are not always enforced. He also talked about some of the potential effects to the environment should the canal be built, connecting Pacific with Atlantic oceans via nature reserves, Lake Nicaragua, and other lands and rivers. On Friday we…

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