Wednesday, August 17, 2011

...nicaragua, the short version...



After the group left, Jordan, Steph, Steve, Daniel, Ricky and I headed to Utila for a few days as a good bye trip! Utila is an island off Honduras and really, nothing like Honduras at all. I went there last year, right at the beginning of the year with Lindsay, Emily & Steph. We had a good time, but really it was just nice to be together again and reminisce about all the good times last year. Daniel and I got up early and did some diving while the rest of the crew hung out and went swimming. Ricky & Daniel left early, so the next day everyone else went kayaking and snorkeling. On Thursday morning we were on the boat back to the mainland and to say good bye to Steve.
Jordan & Daniel
Steve, me & Lacy
Best friends a girl could ask for: Lacy, Jordan, Daniel, Ricky, Steve & me
Kayaking out to snorkel

Most delicious place on the island, but HUGE portions!
Lovely traveling ladies!
Back to the mainland
We (Jordan, steph & I) ended up staying in Siguat on Thursday and went to see the kids for a little while because we had already began to miss them badly. On Friday, we were off again on a 10 hour bus ride to Nicaragua.

We spent a week in Nicaragua, but I wish it was longer. It seems like a really cool country, even if it might turn socialist. We stayed in Leon for about 3 days. The first day we just walked around and saw the sights of Leon. On Sunday we went volcano boarding! It was pretty AWESOME! The hike up the volcano was really hard but totally worth it. I highly recommend doing this! After volcano boarding we drove for like an hour to a lagoon that is in a volcano crater. This was also pretty cool!
Market in Leon
In front of the Cathedral

Our hostel
So many churches in Leon
On the way to the volcano
We hiked that & then sledded down it!

Our awesome group!
The lagoon


The next day we had to deal with immigration because I had some problems with her passport. I was only allowed to stay 5 days in Nicaragua and then 5 days in the CA-4 (countries surroundings Honduras). We were definitely staying for more than 5 days, so I decided it was best to travel to Managua (the capital) and get everything taken care of. We spent ½ the day in Managua at immigration but luckily I only paid $10 for an extension stamp to stay for another 30 days. After a lovely morning at immigration we headed to the bus station to go to San Juan del Sur, the beach about 40 minutes from the Costa Rica border.
Riding to Managua
We FINALLY made it- after a 5 hour bus ride- my worst bus ride EVER in Central America. But, we were there and stayed at an interesting hostel run by 2 young guys from NorCal. We had had enough of that after 1 night and moved to a super cute B&B run by Peppe from Italy. It was really fun and he was super nice and helped us a lot.
Caged at the Naked Tiger (our hostel)
View from the Naked Tiger
Our 1st day we went to the beach to try and surf, but the waves were so big! Think 5-8 feet! Even the good surfers were having trouble catching the waves, then it started raining so we just sat and watched for like 3 hours. Finally the tide started changing and we were able to surf (or practice) for a little while.


Our 2nd day we bummed around because it was raining again. Jordan and I ended up going on a fishing trip in the evening, which was totally misleading and ended up being a sunset cruise (in the rain, mind you). But luckily we had to british guys with us to keep us company and they were hilarious so we made the best out of it. 





Of course on our last day, the weather was actually nice! We debated staying another day, but had to get back to Siguat to get to Lindsay’s wedding. We traveled back, another 10 hour bus ride, but were VERY happy to get back and rest for a little while. The next day we went to the kid’s home and the wedding and spent the night say goodbye to some wonderful friends.
View of Siguat in the background
Aldo & Lindsay
Roomies
On Sunday, we said our goodbyes at the kid;s home, which is the HARDEST thing I’ve ever had to do! I miss all the kids so much and it’s so hard to be away from them! We saw Harry Potter that night, then Jordan and I left. It was really sad saying goodbye to Steph, she def. got me through the last two years at some points and Imma miss her a TON! 
Steph and I couldn't leave without a 1 dollar Bachata CD (type of music) at the gas station!

...brining clean water, and the message of Christ...


A few weeks before the mission team came, our VBS mission project set out to help the kids home, they raised about $500 for the kid’s home to build a chicken coop and buy chickens. So, the group arrived on June 26 to the hot and mugginess of San Pedro Sula. We had lots of help picking them up and stopped at Pizza Hut on the way home for lunch. (I think I had Pizza Hut like 3 times in a week span!). The focus of the group was water filters, sewing and doing a VBS for the kids who lived at the kid’s home.

Each day, the group spent the morning in a village (think mud/cardboard houses, little sanitation projects, kids without shoes, the nicest people you’ll ever meet) and the afternoons at the kid’s home. In the villages, the group gave and did demonstrations on how to use the water filters they brought down, showed the women how to sew little bags and played with the kids. It was so cool to get out of Siguat for a bit and see how the majority of Hondurans lived. 

Lacy, Steve, Jordan, & Randi

Honduras is so beautiful!

Playing jump rope with some school kids
Futbol of course!

Drinking clean water!!!
Giving the water filter demonstration


In the afternoons we did VBS at the kid’s home. On the 1st night, all the kids got a present & seriously were they blessed! They each got SO MUCH STUFF! It was amazing! The kids were so excited and only wanted to play with their new toys and clothes for the rest of the night. I helped in the middle age group so it was fun to see the kids actually quiet and listening. 



On Saturday, we left for Copan Ruins, about a 5 hour drive from Sigwa but we knew it would be worth it. We had a nice ride through the mountains and finally arrived just in time for half of the group to go zip-lining. After that we wandered around downtown, did some necessary shopping and found a good place to eat. The next day we got up early for a great horseback ride up into the mountains into an indiginous community where we saw some Mayan ruins. We had a few problems with heat exhaustion and other issues but we made it safely back down with everyone! Then, again about half the group went to the larger Mayan Ruins tour area and really enjoyed it. It was a great trip and a nice way to end the week!
Having breakfast
The group!

Friday, June 10, 2011

... Sponsor a Chicken Project ...

Welcome to the "Sponsor a Chicken" Project for VBS! 

Thank you for taking the time to check this opportunity out to really make a direct impact on kids lives! Okay let me tell you a little about what you would be getting involved with! The children's home I volunteer at is looking to start a "chicken project" - where they would build 2 chicken coops like the one in the picture below. These hens would lay almost 40 eggs PER DAY! The three main staple foods for the kids at the home are rice, beans, and eggs - so this would save them a lot of money every week and provide extra food! Also, this project would teach the kids so many good lessons because they would be caring for the chickens - they will learn responsibility because they will be in charge of caring for them, feeding them, gathering eggs, packaging the eggs, and more! If you have ever taken a mission class or been on a mission trip you would know that as we are there to serve people, we also need to teach them and equip them to help themselves, so that they may provide for themselves and not rely on people to just come in and help them and provide for their every need. This is such a great opportunity to do that and to help them have a sense of pride as they are providing for one another! 

Soooooo - How can YOU help through attending Vacation Bible School, you ask?! We are asking kids to "Sponsor a chicken" - the ideal number is 40 hens and 2 roosters - and each hen costs $10 dollars. 

The photos below are from a "chicken project" started about 2 hours up into the mountains of Honduras in a village called "La Masica". They have about 4 coops and 80 hens laying eggs for their village. I visited there last year and could absolutely tell the impact this program has had on them. The kids and the adults were eager to walk me over to show me their coops and their chickens - they are very proud of them! They have been able to provide food their village through this program AND they take the eggs into a larger town to sale them to provide other things for the village! 






WHO would you be helping, you ask?! The children's home of Vida y Libertad (Life & Freedom) which has 40 amazing kids from ages 3 months - 18 years. These kids LOVE animals - they found a turtle recently and about 15 different times I was asked to go see the turtle they found. To have the opportunity to care for these chickens would be sooo exciting for them and give them such a sense of pride! Below are some photos of the kids...