Professionals Without Borders

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  • December 16, 2014: Day 4 by Sara

    Posted by Lauren Rochholz on 12/18/2014 04:56:12 PM

    Buenos Dias,

    This week we have had a series of interactions with Nicaraguan wildlife. It started off with an encounter of the painful kind when Jane unintentionally petted a scorpion. Thankfully it was a small one and didn’t send her into the land of pink elephants, which we were told that a sting can often do. The next day brought an unexpected visit to the house by a coral snake, no one was bit, but there was pain involved. Let’s just say it won’t be back to visit. The two foot lizard that tried to take a shower was shown better hospitality, and seemed to enjoy the ride out the door on the push broom, especially since I held back Larson, the cat, who wanted to eat it.Nicaragua Day 2.2

    Wednesday took us on an excursion to see the Nicaragua outside the boundaries of NPH. A visit to San Juan Del Sur supplied our first real coffee for the week (until now there has been only instant), and we used that energy to surf and play in the water at Playa Hermosa. Que Tuany! (Nicaraguan slang for “It’s cool”).

    Posted by Sara

    December 16, 2014: Day 3 by Olivia

    Posted by Lauren Rochholz on 12/17/2014 10:13:28 AM

    Dío 3 at NPH Nicaragua!

    This morning we got back to work on the wall. Large cement bricks were laid down in the trench. Some of us shoveled large piles of dirt and gravel to be used as filler for the cement.Nicaragua Day 3.1  

    The work was grueling but very satisfying. We are starting to see height and the trenches filled.Nicaragua Day 3.0  

    This evening we had dinner an hour early because the niñas had to prepare for tonight's Posada. There was a procession from each girl's house to the Ranchon. They danced and sang to several songs with homemade Christmas decorations all over their bodies. It was a sight to see!

     Nicaragua Day 3.2

    After the dances they brought out piñatas for each age group to attack with a bat. Once a kid was able to break the piñata the rest dove to the ground to pick up candy. It verged on chaos. Wayne got to hit a piñata and it broke completely, the kids were very impressed.

    Nicaragua Day 3.3

    There were lollipops and hard candies of different fruit flavors, chocolates and bags of juice. We are hyped up on sugar - hopefully we can fall asleep! Big day tomorrow.

    Hasta pronto!

    - Olivia (con Pelo Rubio)

    December 15, 2014: Day 2 by Bianca and Hillary

    Posted by Lauren Rochholz on 12/17/2014 10:12:44 AM

    Greetings from Nicaragua!

    Nicaragua Day 2.0, 2014

    Today was the first full day that we worked on the retaining wall for the slope behind the little boys’ house. We had a late start since breakfast showed up late, but no one minded except for El Jefe (Wayne).  Along with our group there were several volunteers who worked with us, like a student who lives at NPH Nicaragua and goes to college in Jinotepe.  The first task of the day was to move concrete bricks.  They were too heavy for most of us to lift, so others moved the soil that will be used for backfill of the wall.  Then, some of us started digging the trench for the foundation of the retaining wall. We used different tools to break up the soil such as a macana which is a really heavy long stick with a pointed end. Using the macana was one of the most challenging tasks of the day.  While we were working, a group of boys started to gather around us.  At first they were just watching, but as time passed the boys picked up the shovels and wheel barrows and started working with us.  They were so excited to help us and they responded very well to how appreciative we were for their help.

    While some of us continued to work on the wall, others helped the girls with making Christmas decorations for the las posadas this week.  Las Posadas is a nine day celebration, with each day representing each month the Virgin Mary was pregnant with Jesus.  The celebration lasts from December 16th to December 24th, and the children have parades that re-enact the nativity scene and also perform dances.

    Nicaragua Day 2.1, 2014

    Since the older boys left to go on a retreat, we ate our meals with the girls today.  Two or three people went in to each of the houses and we all enjoyed some beef soup with the girls.  A member of our group, Mark, has his birthday today and the group of girls he was eating with found out.  They started singing him birthday songs and cracked an egg on his head, which is a birthday tradition. 

    After lunch, we worked on the retaining wall some more. We finished digging out the trench and made reinforcements for columns that will be part of the wall.  After some rest, we had dinner at the same houses we had lunch at.  The girls were a lot more comfortable with us and opened up to us some more.  Some presented their dances that they will be performing tomorrow and others braided the hair of our group members.

    Love,

    Bianca and Hillary