Success 2019!

I returned from my second project visit to Ometepe Island,  Nicaragua, at the end of February 2019, after spending 5 weeks there.  The project originally was inspired by a conversation with my guide Jose Antonio in 2015, when on holiday there.  During the five weeks,  I was able to use the funds, so kindly donated by supporters, working to support two schools with The Forgotten Children of the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes. The aim is to improve educational facilities and access to education, as an investment for the  future.
Re-entry into the world of plenty is always a culture shock after the simple life in Ometepe, where animals roam the dirt streets, children run barefoot and houses use water sparingly with outdoor kitchens and toilet facilities. Yet the people have big and generous hearts and will help as they can and always have time to talk. One of the poorer families we visited.  We later returned with a food parcel on Valentines Day.  It seemed a suitable day to give some love.

Final farewells

On Saturday I had a lazy morning enjoying the view and the beach before going to lunch with Anna, Antonio and the family.
After lunch we walked to Martin's coffee plot where he had grown his own coffee.  He presented me with a mountain of coffee which he had grown, roasted, ground and packed especially for me. He said it was for me, my brothers and sisters  and to give to the people who have helped with his project.

What a lovely family. Edward is his child but he has taken on two daughters of his wife, who had all been abandoned by their father. He clearly loves them all very much and works very hard for them. He is a quiet and sincere man. On Sunday,  I had a short visit from Jesus, at the hotel, then headed to Marvin's where we awaited the family to go to the ferry. We were all quite quiet, thinking about how things will not be the same once I head for home. They still talk a lot about when I am going to live here. I had a minibus outing to say farewell excepting Jose, Idal…

Last day of Project work

Thursday was a day off and  I spent a lovely day at the Ojo de Agua with Lourdes, Jesus and the children, Rachel and Marcel.

Unfortunately, when we came to the homeward journey, Jesus had a puncture. So we walked to the main road, with  no complaints from the little ones! Lourdes got a lift, I walked home along the beach and poor Jesus had to,push his bike all the way back to Urbaite.

On Friday, I had a meeting at the school, so after lunch I got all the invoices copied and sorted for the two head teachers. At three I arrived and finally met Macy from Vermont Rotary who has been raising funds and working on the school building.
We had a lovely presentation of thanks from the school.

And this was followed by more food and then a meeting.
The outcome of the meeting was that Macy would continue working with Roger, in the way that he is at present addressing the issues in the toilet block, which have been out of action all the time I have been visiting and to continue the work with the ol…

Another farewell Nicaraguan style

On Wednesday I was invited to Las Pilas, Marvin and Lourdes accompanied me with little Marcel. When we arrived the local education delegate was there so I met him. That ticked off another item on my list and I was able to clarify things with him. Apparently the previous management of the school didn't let him use the Wi-Fi. ! I clarified that straight away.
We were seated to await a little presentation.
It began with a lovely poem recited by the little girl in the middle. This was followed by local folk dancing in national costume, one to the local tune of Ometepe which Marvin recorded so I can listen when I go home!

After this we shared some lunch and coffee. I ate a little knowing that Sylvia was also cooking. So I ate a little of two lunches so as not to offend anyone! Everyone is very friendly, looking forward to my next visit. They all tell me I am welcome in their homes and I sense they mean it. That is how things are here. We finished with a photo with the flag. The childre…

Farewell Santa Teresa

On Tuesday, Allan took me to Santa Teresa for a farewell and to ensure all was ok with the computer setup. Everyone arrived in Nica time, the headteacher an hour late and the technician an hour and a half. So we just sit on the verandah and while away the time, whilst the children pop out for a hug and a chat. Interesting little comments are made just like children everywhere.
You colour your hair, you wear glasses like a grandma! None meant unkindly.
The office section has been completed, and the headteacher is pleased, as it could be moved easily if necessary.
I'm not sure what the children were doing but the office was locked at the time and I imagine they lost something! This is in the corner of the pre school classroom. They only attend part time, so it is a good location.

Next the table was prepared and we shared coffee, biscuits and fruit and chatted.  There was a formal thank you, and I thanked all who had helped me, Jose and his family, Allan my moto driver.

They gave me …

Running repairs

On Friday, I had a relaxing morning arriving in Urbaite at lunchtime.

I will miss my daily wanders along the beach. It has unwound me very well.
In the afternoon, after lunch with Marvin and Sylvia, I went to the school accompanied by Lou, Jose's sister. They don't like to leave me to walk on my own. Besides I needed to hand over funds to pay the carpenter over the weekend. The table was nearly ready on Saturday for Sunday delivery.
This is for Santa Teresa school for their computers and has been completely hand made by a local craftsman. I am pleased we have given work to local people, shops and drivers, thus contributing to incomes. I have also done this with my personal needs. We arrived at the school and had to wait some time for Jefferson to arrive, he did an installation of the laptops I had delivered, an overhaul of what they had, plus a donated desktop, therefore giving the school a little ICT suite. Jefferson came to my hotel Saturday afternoon to collect payment, $94…