Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2, 4, 6, 8... who do we appreciate!?

I can't imagine my childhood without organized sports.  The highlights of my weekends seemed to be running around with my friends and what the parents would bring for a post-game snack.  MPI provides the opportunity for girls in our community to be a part of a soccer team which meets every Friday for three hours of soccer practice, and 15-20 girls regularly join us each week.  Play may be interrupted by squeals of laughter as one of the girls nearly misses a soccer ball to the head, or choruses of "¿est├ís bien?" when a player trips and falls, or an eruption of smiles and cheer as a goal is scored.

This past Friday, we gathered the girls for a Premio Pool Party at the Manna house to show our appreciation for their constant enthusiasm and to reward their efforts with the team.  Premios (prize in Spanish) were distributed to the girls based on last year's attendance and included a selection of tennis shoes and athletic apparel.  Two of the girls had perfect attendance and were additionally rewarded with soccer balls!

Tatiana slides into the water!

uno...dos...tres...salta! (jump!)

Megan and Norma Alta sizing up their games.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Back in Managua

Happy belated new year blog-readers and welcome back to our blog here in Nicaragua! After a three week visit back home to the States, the program directors are back in Managua and ready to start full swing.  Joining the team this year are four new program directors, Joanna Lang, Amanda Pirilli, Matt Creeden, and Megan Fuson.  All are adjusting well and ready to get their hands and feet dirty in their new Nicaraguan community.
In this first week back, we have had the pleasure of hosting a group from Worcester State University, who make an annual trip to Nicaragua this time of year.  Led by Jackie Brennen, a professor at the university, the team consists of five occupational therapy students who spent the week volunteering at a school about ten minutes down the road called Tesoros de Dios. Tesoros de Dios works with children that are either mentally or physically disabled, and so the team travelled back and forth everyday to assist  them with a variety of activities and exercises, such as identifying colors and words, stretching and practicing physical movement, and much more.  They were not only a pleasure to host and get to know, but the work they were doing was an immense blessing on many children’s lives.  Steph and Katie also spent the week there, trading off days to help translate for the volunteers and doctors.  
Next week all of the regular Manna programs will be up and running again, and so needless to say everyone’s schedules will once again be full. Thanks again for checking in with us, and stay tuned for our post next week!

Tesoros de Dios School

Program director Katie working with one of the children.

Jackie, the leader of the Worcester team.

Program director Steph helping out with one of the exercises.

Stephanie looking for Waldo with one of the kids..

The whole group at Tesoros de Dios.  From left: Sarah, Dave, Jackie, Kristen, Sarah. Front: Steph & Caroline

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Christmas Play

As many of you already heard from manna mail, we put on a
Christmas play just before the end our first work term. The Hummingbird Kids Foundation awarded our site with a grant to help fund the Creative Arts program and really helped make the performance possible. The play consisted of a traditional nativity story and some songs. The PD's also put on a little skit that we all acted out in Spanish,
which was just as much fun as it was funny.
One of my favourite parts of working on the play was that every single one of the Program Directors were involved in this project. A lot of the work that we do on programs is normally in small groups of 2 or 3 PD's, so to be able to work on something all-together was really cool!
Here are some pictures from the night.

The costumes all ready for the kids.

Norman (a member of Nicayda, a NGO that we work with) helping teach the children a new christmas song.

As with all kiddies, group photos can be tough.
Out of 4 or 5 of them
this one by far is the best.

Even Santa came to the play!

Me and the boys.

One of our little Kings, Walter.

Trent handing out some snacks.

Sisters, Sara & Emily.

The cast getting some well deserved treats.

Fabricio and Norman from Nicayuda.

Santa's clothes aren't exactly practical in Nica.
Will was pretty happy to get the jacket off.

We couldn't have done it without your help!