Saturday, February 26, 2011


Two weeks ago the feeding program at Farito started back up, one of the programs that Manna helps facilitate on a weekly basis.  The program was started by Kathy August, a missionary who also lives here in Nicaragua.  This year, however, she is taking a 6-month break from Nicaragua to teach in the United States, and so the Manna team has  taken over the twice weekly job of organizing and feeding lunches to about fifty to sixty kids that live in Cedro Galon.
How it works is we have an organized schedule that designates two cooks for every Tuesday and Thursday, who are women living in the community.  Everyone who volunteered to be on the schedule will cook about once a month.   Our duties then are to help make sure that all of the kids wash their hands before they eat, receive their food, and then brush their teeth afterwards.  We also assign a few kids to help with clean-up afterwards in order to get some Farito dollars for the Venta.  Despite the whole process being a little loud and crazy, everything worked out the past couple of weeks and the kids were happy and fed.  We had around sixty kids the first week and about the same this past week.  So far so good and we look forward for the weeks to come!
The kids getting ready to get their food. 

The kids enjoying their comida!

PD's Amanda and Johanna washing dishes.

Table of girls enjoying their meal.

Shirley smiling with her clean bowl after her meal.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

donating blood

Sara Zeledon Hernandez is an 8 year old girl in our Child Sponsorship program who was diagnosed with aplastic anemia 13 months ago.  Aplastic anemia is a condition where the bone marrow doesn’t produce enough blood cells – WBCs, RBCs, and platelets.  Every 8 days, she gets her blood counts checked and receives a blood transfusion if the numbers are below normal.  5 Manna program directors and 1 community member, Karen Bustos, donated blood at the Nicaraguan Red Cross in Sara’s name to ensure she receives the blood she needs!
Donating blood in Nicaragua was exactly the same as in the US.  I learned that Nicaragua has one of the greatest donor rates in the entire world!
500cc later... I've ensured Sara will receive blood :)
Katie and Matt finishing up and about to relax with some pear juice.
Amanda mid-stick.
When Karen learned she was a universal donor, she got extremely excited and asked how often she was able to donate.  The sense of community and desire to help others in this country is amazing.

Monday, February 7, 2011


This past Saturday, we gathered children and their families from our Child Sponsorship program and headed to the Land for a paseo (field trip)!  The Land is a sports complex created and maintained by the August family, missionaries from Seattle, Washington.  We danced to music, ate snacks of bananas and cremas, played on the swings, shot hoops, and played lots of soccer, keep away, and tag.  The day ended with a piñata and lots of smiles as the kids collected as many caramelas (candies) that their little hands could hold. 
The field trip was an incredibly fun opportunity for the families as they rarely leave the confines of Chureca.  It was an afternoon where the kids weren’t expected to help work and the parents could relax as their little ones ran out their seemingly endless amounts of energy.  The PDs also took advantage of this time to further our relationships with our CS community.
Douglas takes a swing at the piñata

how many caramelas can you hold?

Jose Antonio


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ready, Set, Fast!

This past Thursday and Friday the Manna Project volunteers and staff from all three sites participated in a 30-hour famine.  Yes that does mean each and everyone of us went thirty hours with only the consumption of water and juice, and I'll be the first to admit that it was not easy. It began on Thursday at one in the afternoon and ended the following night at seven in the evening.  World Vision developed the 30-hour famine as a fundraiser to help raise money and awareness toward its global effects to end hunger, and so we thought it would be something unique and enlightening to do as a team.  According to the World Vision website, more than 1 billion people go hungry everyday, and so for thirty hours we experienced a little bit of what about a third of the population battles with on a daily basis. Even though this event was a test to our physical and mental strength, I think we would all agree that we were grateful to have participated and for experience and insight we acquired because of it. To break the fast one of Amira's friends Kathryn, who works for the Canadian Red Cross, came to the house and gave us a brief presentation on some current nutrition issues here in Nicaragua and the work that she is specifically involved in.  She presented us with a lot of awesome resources and information, some of which the Child Sponsorship team might use.  And then after we had a feast of spaghetti and ice cream. Delicious!!

Also this past week Steph and Matt worked with Amanda Gutierrez, a local missionary here in Nicaragua, to help give out backpacks to kids who passed their last year of school.  In order to receive a backpack, the child had to bring their report card as evidence of their completion.  Inside of the backpacks were various school supplies for the upcoming year, such as notebooks, rulers, and pens and pencils.  The kids were definitely excited for their new things, and lets hope even more excited for the upcoming school year, which begins February 15th!

Steph and Alba signing people in.
All of the backpacks sorted by grade level.
Some of the boys excited to show off their new supplies!