Ok, I left off in the middle of the youth team from Edmunds Washington. They were our teams of firsts, even though it was their second time in Nica. After painting the school in Chiquilistagua, we traveled to Rio Blanco. It's about a four hour drive to the middle of the country. Our project was to build a latrine for a school that had no restrooms. The children were going to the river next to there school to use the bathroom. The same river that others in the community use to wash their clothes, dishes etc. We also painted their new two room school with a protective concoction of diesel and oil(?). And while the hard labor was going on we had other groups playing games and doing crafts with the students. It was a great school and the students and teachers were really fun and appreciative. The team had a great time problem solving and being creative with the limited resources we had to do the construction projects. It's a great way to work with in their culture. I have found Nicaraguans to be incredibly creative and inventive. They are the masters at making things work.
In Rio Blanco, at this time of year, there is a lot of rain. Consequently it rained everyday in the afternoon. The field at the school would often have cattle pass through during the night. They would in turn leave little "gifts "on the field that would mix with the mud during the rain. I enjoyed watching the older boys from the school and some of our team boys play soccer in the rain every afternoon. Slipping and sliding away, not caring that they were smelly and filthy. All that mattered was the smiles on their faces.
The kids loved the crafts and games our team brought. Necklace beading, bracelet making, foam crosses needed to be decorated. We had a quite complicated angel to make for the older kids who turned out to be mostly boys. Who, I heard, loved the project and were excited to take the treasures back to their mom's and grandma's. And for the little kids we had Spanish Bingo!!!! It was great to see them match the pictures to their game cards and learn new words (it helped my Spanish as well, hahahaha). We hope to go back next year and build on the relationship that has begun.