I am home again.
Back from a week living and working in Nicaragua with a group of high school students and adults from Bedford Presbyterian Church and Temple Shaaray Tefila. All in all, there were 57 of us divided among three communities, helping to build homes for six families.
I asked Don Santos how long he had been hoping for the home we were helping to build for he and his wife. “Four years.” he said. I replied, “I think you have been working and hoping for a house like this for most of your life.” He looked at me. Was quiet for a moment. Then, shook his head “yes.” Don Santos is a year younger than I am. The home he will be moving into this week will be the first home he has ever lived in with a real floor and not just packed dirt.
Here are several snapshots from the week.
Memories I will do my best to hold onto.
- Rose Argentina, who is in her 60’s talking with us about her family and her life growing up in El Campuzano.
- Juan Carlos, one of the community leaders, saying thank you to our group with tears in his eyes.
- The Director of the local school telling us that because of the increase number of students one classroom has 60 students in it. 30 students don’t have desks so they have to stand all day.
- The hard work of the high school students who were with me who mixed cement and carried blocks and played with children, and who never once complained.
- The intensity and focus of a young woman who is in her first year at the university who had dinner with us one night and shared her dreams with us of becoming an accountant.
- The skill and leadership of the young man who is now an International Volunteer Coordinator with Bridges to Community. A young man whom I have known for most of his life.
- The gratitude of the families who will be moving into their new homes. Gratitude which both fills my heart and brings me to my knees.
There is, of course, more.
So much more.
Thank you to all who shared the week with me.