Last week the Manna house turned into party central – a pizza party, that is, with our Advanced English students! The MPI Advanced English class consists of about 15 “adult” students, a group of enthusiastic and sassy Nica kids who have grown to be our good friends. Because the majority of the class is our age, it has been so natural for in-class relationships to grow into solid friendships. We visit their homes and meet their families. Maddie and Christina spend hours each week learning guitar from Gabriel. Mose has a fierce chess rivalry with Fabricio. As months go on, friendships deepen. It’s incredible to see the ways that differences in culture and language fade into the background…
So, for said crazy pizza mixer, we ordered tons of Valenti’s (Nicaragua’s very-Latino version of Pizza Hut) and piled the red boxes high on the dining room table. Drinking too-sweet/too-red Nica soda and eating hundreds of Tressa’s cookies, the crowd played guitar and chatted in a hilariously creative English-Spanish lingo. I found myself astonished by the normalcy and joy in these Nica-gringo connections. The sing-a-longs, jokes, deeper one-on-one conversations… all parts of the night meshed into a beautiful picture of what Manna Project is all about: communities serving communities. Mutual learning, mutual sharing.
And of course a night so dear could only end with a little “let’s throw everyone in the pool completely clothed” fun. Basically, Nica boys are mischievous and have no concern for nice gringa jeans :)
Full of pizza and still trying to dry my chlorine-y clothes,
*Definition. Gringo: white, English-speaking, obviously foreign individual