We often talk about how difficult it must be for this Nicaraguan community to watch Manna PDs come and go each year. With a new group of gringos entering their lives each season, hellos and goodbyes have become the norm. By now they know how the system works: we walk into their lives for 13 months and then return to the States. It’s a struggle on both sides as friendships form and hearts connect, only to be separated come summer. Not that these relationships aren’t valid; they are some of the dearest and most pure I’ve experienced. But last week we got a little taste of the hardship of goodbye when PD Kyle left us on May 5.
Kyle is carefree and fun, loud and enthusiastic. He brings a joyful energy to every room he enters. He was an asset to Manna and a dear friend to both Nica and gringo. We sent him off last week with a surprise piñata party in El Farito, complete with gooey cake and blasting regaetton. The question is inevitably, “When are you going to come back?”
But if the house felt empty afer Kyle’s departure (Let’s not lie – We definitely moped around for a few days!), it’s now busting at the seams. Three days ago we welcomed ten volunteers into our Manna world to spend the month with us. These college kids hale from all over and are beginning to make Managua their home. They’ve mastered the handwashing system at Feeding Program and survived an hour in Creative Arts. They’ve hiked through the trash in La Chureca with a smile on their faces and braved the cold showers for three(!) days in a row. We’ve put their Spanish (and patience) to the test many times… and we think that we like them :)