After a much-needed night’s sleep after our marathon travel day, we enjoyed breakfast at our hotel and headed to Oasis de Esperanza at about noon. The drive there reacquainted us with the amazing pulse of life in Managua, with its variety of roadside vendors, omnipresent pedestrians, and zany traffic!
Our arrival at the school led to many hugs and greetings from friends we have known for years. It was quite exciting to be back after two years’ absence. Wayne MaGouirk gave us a tour of the new counseling and computer building, the upper story of which has a view of nearby Lake Managua. Many of the staff were in the midst of decorating for that night’s annual Christmas concert, and the cafetorium soon took on a festive atmosphere. We were able to help set up several hundred chairs, that would soon be filled by people in the neighborhood.
At about four, our team dashed out for a quick dinner at Tip Top chicken, a Nicaragua fast food standard. Sometimes it seems that Nicaragua is fueled by chicken (and gallo pinto)! Then it was back just in time to find the school grounds filled with 700 to 800 people and the concert just beginning. All of the classes had part in performances, which were some combination of song and/or dance. Many of these kids have real talent and the true Christmas message came through. It was just amazing to see the support in this very poor community for their kids. There seemed to be a vibrancy present that is often lacking in much of impersonal American culture.
We enjoyed some great conversations today, including Lyn with Alvaro, Caron and Marcia with Flor, and Todd with former student David, and present student Gerald. We are looking forward to many more thanks to our excellent translator Jhonny.
Tomorrow is Staff Appreciation Day, as we head south to Granada for sightseeing, a great lunch and zip lining! Please pray that the staff will know our love for them.
We will call this our official Team Photo for Managua Mission 2019. Jhonny, Todd, Wayne, Lyn, Marcia, and Caron.
The lovely pool at our hotel. This evening we processed things together at poolside in the tropical warmth.
Preparations for the concert: teachers Diana, Flor, and Sylvia clowning around a bit.
Todd and Nate and friends.
Fatima, Sadia, Carolina and Flor just outside of the kitchen.
At Tip Top Chicken for dinner. At right is our driver, Eddie, who handles Managua traffic with ease.
The neighborhood crowd at the concert was simply amazing!