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Nicaragua.

A country of beautiful beaches,

of delightful people,
and of economic hardship.
A country that is the second-poorest in the Western hemisphere, behind Haiti.

A country that we visited a few weeks ago on a mission trip through the Nicaragua Resource Network (NRN), an Indianapolis-based non-profit with a heart to serve the Nicaraguan people.

We spent the week participating in NRN's vision in a small fishing village on the coast called Poneloya. Our team, comprised of 7 Indy residents, a founder of NRN, Cecil Campbell, and our Nicaraguan translator, Aaron, worked in Poneloya on various construction projects and activities with the children and youth of Agua Viva church.

We built some walls,

painted,

served 100 children lunch for $100,

put plans in place for a gardening cooperative,

ate lobster for lunch and dinner on the same day,

modeled in several photo shoots,

scared children to tears with a skit,

learned to make rice and beans,

and made lots of new friends.

We found the Nicaraguan people we met to be beautiful, gracious, and welcoming.

Our team members were also inspirational in their hearts for serving others, as well as their unique talents and personalities.

In talking with our team members, we explored such questions as what is "need"? How are we called to respond when we see a need? How does our American culture interfere in the way we perceive a need, and the way we feel that it should be filled? How do we determine to how best use our money and resources to help people?

We are still exploring these questions, among others, that were spawned by the trip, and considering how the experience has and will shape us.

Many thanks to the Nicaraguan people for receiving us so graciously and to all the volunteers that make NRN's vision a reality.

Click here for our complete set of photos from the trip.
Sonja

1 comments

Erin said... @ January 27, 2009 at 8:55 PM

I just looked at some (not quite all yet!) of your photos - WOW!!!! So beautiful! You both have such a great eye for colors and angles. I hope you make rice and beans again at home and share the method/recipe with us on the blog :)

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