I want this to be seen as well, so I will put it first. ITeams Nicaragua has a Facebook page of their own where they post pictures and updates: https://www.facebook.com/ITeamsNicaragua/
(Once I am in Nicaragua with the team, I will use “I” words less in my blogs and write about how you, the donors, are helping with our goals and how we are helping the community of Masatepe)
I got back from my Vision Trip in Nicaragua on October 31 and I heard back from Nicaragua on November 24.
I started off with my cousins Jon and Wanda Burgi and their children Matthew, Joanna, and Rebecca. After being with them for three days, I was picked up by Stephen and Natalie Goff and taken to Masatepe, where ITeams is located in Nicaragua.
Jon picked me up at the airport in Managua and drove me to their house. I got through customs at around 9pm. Managua is not like other capitol cities. Nicaragua has had a long revolution that ended in 1990 and has had several earthquakes, the last one being in 1972. There was a category 2 hurricane go over Nicaragua over this past week and a 7.0 earthquake that was 6 miles off of the coast near the Northwest part of the country near the border of El Salvador. The team in Masatepe says that there were hurricane warnings and a tsunami warning, but nothing drastic occurred in the Masatepe community.
My three days with the Burgi’s were very good. On Saturday Wanda took me and Rebecca to Matthew and Joanna’s Ultimate Disc/Frisbee practice at their school. Their school is an international student school. The student population represents 18 different countries as shown in these two pictures below.
We also went to the pier, or el malecón. The pier had a passenger plane you could walk through, a kid’s train, and a model of what Managua looked like before the earthquakes. There are only two multistory buildings that still exist from before the earthquakes. One of the buildings is a church that is not used anymore, due to the damage.
Managua is different than most capitol cities. It is spread out and does not have a centralized downtown or districts.
After visiting with the Burgi’s for three days, the Goff’s picked me up and drove me to the ITeams office in Masatepe. The scenery changed from lots of tropical trees to flat grasslands and sudden steep valleys.
The property that ITeams has, includes the team leaders’ house, Beto’s Bistro, and the ITeams Office (each location is walled separately and has two front doors).
While at the ITeams’ office I attended the daily morning meetings, visited ICIDRI, a local research farm, two local schools, the current location of the chicken farm, and where the American employees of ITeams live.
ITeams has partnered ICIDRI with local middle schools to teach about gardening and the environment.
My takeaways from my vision trip were how well everyone knows everybody else, I need to work on my Spanish a lot, and that I fit in with the team and I and felt at home while with the Nicaraguans and Americans.
On the 24th of November, I received an email from Brandon about what to do before I go back to Nicaragua. Three of these include practicing Spanish well enough to hold a 30 minute Skype call, take a course that teaches both bookkeeping and QuickBooks, and completing the required reading for new members. The book that I am starting with is called Blood of Brothers: Life and War in Nicaragua. It is about the history of the Nicaraguan revolutions and the rise of the current leadership.
Prayer Requests: Finding people that I can practice my Spanish-only conversations with.