February 6, 2006

Nicaragua February 2006 - A day in a life of a young Nicaraguan girl

February 5, 2006

Bob wanted to film a "day in a life of Maria Magdelena" and while he focused mostly on the video portion, he took some still shots and some are here. Maria, is a quiet and reserved young of lady of the age of 8 and has 7 siblings. She attends the 2nd grade in school and hopes to be a teacher when she grows up. When she gets up in the morning she helps her mother by going out and picking chilli peppers which her mother sells in the afternoon while the children are in school (kids go for only half a day in Nicaragua). The walk is long to find these peppers and the amount of money her mother makes is extremely low. Maria also helps with household chores since her mother is on her own (no father in the picture). They live in a house made of plastic and it amazes me how they manage to keep the kids so clean, especially for school.

The road to Maria's house.

and four of her siblings

Maria on her walk to get chilli peppers

Maria picking the peppers.

Maria getting her school uniform off the clothes line.

Maria and her brother.

Maria's lit
tle sister getting a bucket bath.

While Her mother cooks lunch Maria get's ready for school, as well as her brother and sister.

Maria gets ready for school.

She eats her lunch

Then off to school!

February 3, 2006

February 2006 - Impromtu Fiesta!

February 2, 2006

Today Maria Jose's grandmother came to pick up her school supplies as well as Maria's Jose's sister's. Maria is an special case of ours since she is located outside of the barrio Villa Esperanza where we are currently concentrating.

I met Maria Jose (see left as a street kid) over several trips to Granada. She was always somewhere in the city selling something and we seemed to constantly meet up. She and I became friends. Last year, in January 2005, I was in Granada helping to procure all the supplies for school and I ran into Maria Jose at the market where we were purchasing uniforms . She came in and asked what I was doing and I told her. She looked sad. I knew she was attending my friend Donna Tabor's school Yo Puedo for street kids regularly so I asked if she wanted to got to real school. She said 'yes'!!!

So we went to see her Grandmother who was her guardian and she agreed to allow Maria Jose to go as well as her sister Maria Luisa. Well, we had a change of staff over the year, and due to her location, we almost 'lost' Maria Jose. Anielka set off various days with Jude armed with a picture of Maria Jose and finally found her. It turns out she and her sister finished the year with utmost success, pride, and joy.

Well today, when the Maria's Grandmother came, she took me and grabbed me with so much joy and love. Tears welled up AND openly steamed down her face as she shared her gratefulness and pride. Her girls were doing so well in school AND she decide to take them off the streets to make me proud. We sat down and talked and we laughed and cried and laughed and cried. Never have I felt so much gratitude....well it at least compared to the crowd of 300 and the party the barrio threw for us. The grandmother said I was an angel from God. Well, I would not be that angel without all my angel backers (donors and volunteers).

I really wanted to see the girls so I invited them all for a dinner at the house that evening. The next thing I knew we started inviting everyone. Peder from another organization, Carita de Feliz, our renter Amara, other local friends and of course all of the staff and volunteers. It was a blast! Dancing, legos, the girls proudly reading to me, yummy local food, laughter, joy and love.Several said it was the best party they ever attended! I must agree!

February 1, 2006

February 2006 - Nicaragua In The Barrio

February 1, 2006

Today is Tom's last day in Nicaragua. We went to the barrio to visit families and Anielka had interviews to do for our new Sponsor a Child Program. Tom found some young boys playing baseball, which is the national sport of Nicaragua, unlike the rest of Central America where it is soccer. He found one star player Louis and had blast with him. So now I invite you for a visual trip thru the barrio. One thing I have neglected to mention was Bob had thevideo camera on us constantly, sometimes right in our face. Anielka and I at times were very uncomfortable and gave him a hard time. (Alex when you edit this you will see some funny things!) The other thing is it was so difficult to get Tom and Bob to 'move on' as we walked. Seemed they kept getting distracted by things and people etc. Anielka's favorite English comment (she is learning English now) was "Come on Bob!" with the most endearing tone.