It’s our last full week in Nicaragua and the GROW team minus Eliza sitting here in our little technology corner of Juan’s living room, all in our respective chairs with our laptops, as it rains outside (again…. it rains every day in the winter!), is a typical scene after a work day. It’s been an eventful week! We’ve made a significant amount of progress on the fence and I feel like we have gotten to experience some of the most exciting elements of Nicaraguan culture this week, especially with celebration of Mother’s day, a huge holiday here.
Our typical day this week began with breakfast at Juan’s house and heading over to the shelter around 9 and doing whatever we could with the construction of the fence for a few hours. This is when my talents as a metal worker (or lack thereof) were showcased. Eliza and I learned how to make these metal squares out of wire, probably about 5×5 inches, each worth approximately one cordoba! I think Dan, Phil, and Juan have explained the function of these metal squares to me at least three times each, but to be honest, the extent of my knowledge is that they are somehow supporting the fence, which is enough for me! They probably aren’t even called metal squares. Anyway, Phil made some metal squares too but mostly the boys were digging holes and taking out posts and unloading heavy stuff from the trucks. Eliza and I would also go with Juan during the day to get quotes on the prices of the beds or kitchen items and figure out when all of our supplies would be delivered to the shelter. We would go out for lunch every day with Juan and then in the afternoon, return to the Salud Sin Limites office, work on the shelter more, or have meetings. We also went to a couple festivals for Mother’s day, which included a traditional dance performance, something like a community fair with games and prizes, and a fashion show. On Friday, we visited Inatec, the local university, again to help Sebastian teach his English classes. Everyone is really friendly and I feel like getting to know some of the students has given us more of a presence in the community. Plus, it’s always nice to see familiar faces if we are out walking around or at a soccer game or one of the festivals. We’ve also had some pretty competitive games of “Yuker” even though Dan and I have yet to win (must be rigged) and we taught Juan and Shellda “Rummy,” which was fun too.
So that’s a general idea of what our days have been like this week! Since tomorrow is our last full day, we are thinking about going to a ranch with Juan and his family or possibly going swimming in the river again. It should be a good time!