Monday, October 29, 2012

Men's Health Class at Colegio Chiquilistagua

I'm very excited to introduce our newest program for Manna Project Nica... Men's Health! This class came about 8 months after the Sexual and Reproductive Health class for girls at Colegio Chiquilistagua was started. SRH has a class of 11-13 year olds on Wednesday, and a class of 14-16 year old girls on Thursday. During these times, the boys in these classes would have an hour for extra recess! Seeing that this was a great opportunity to provide for the boys, JJ, Jamison and Javier decided to start a complementary Men's Health class. It's just beginning but we're all really excited about it. Here's what JJ had to say:

"This month we began a health class for 6th-8th grade boys at the public school in Chiquilistagua.  There was already a program in place for the young women at this school, so MPI Nicragua expanded our efforts to teach to the young men as well.  Now, we teach two classes a week to boys whom before the class begun had a free hour while the girls were in heath class.  Just like the women health class, we use Como Planear Mi Vida as a resource for our subject material.  A lack of information about health, gender relations, and sexual relation is present in this community so we see a lot of potential to provide a beneficial class.  We are very excited to continue get to know the students and provide a valuable lessons to the young men in Chiquilistagua."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Apply to be a Program Director!!

Tomorrow is the first deadline to apply to be 2013-2014 Program Director in Nicaragua, Ecuador, or Guatemala. But don't worry, you can still send in your application after October 15th!

Below is a video that I made for my family and friends about my experience thus far in Nicaragua. I spent my first year out of college working in an office and decided to go abroad to get more experience and adventure under my belt. It's been the best decision I could have made.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

We Are Family

This blog post was featured on Hannah's blog, and I thought it was beautifully written! If you are interested in applying to be a Program Director in 2013-2014, apply soon! The first deadline is October 15th.

"One of the aspects of Manna that really drew me to apply was it's very unique, strong relationship with the communities it works in.  There are many programs that can teach English or do microfinance which don't get me wrong are very helpful in developing countries. However, the people we are helping are not numbers, but people with personalities and families and life stories. They have experiences and values that can be shared and are important to understand toreally touch them in an impacting way.  Just like my own family, they face struggles and hardships as well as find happiness in the celebrations of births and graduations.  This is why since coming to Nicaragua and meeting the community members of Cedro Galan and Chiquilistagua, I have never once felt like an outsider or a person incapable of understanding their culture. Instead, I have been welcomed with open arms and been invited into each of their families.

Two nights of the week I am invited into Lorena's home for a delicious dinner while we sit in rocking chairs on the front porch talking about life.  She hugs me tightly and says "adios mi bebita" when it's time to go. Despite the rain, Jaqueline and Proyanka carry me through the lake of a road to their house so I can teach them English on a Friday night.  They don't hesitate to give up one of their sweaters so I don't catch a cold and give me their only candle when all the electricity is cut off. Tammy and her mom Lupe come over to my house to have fun in the pool and eat some lunch. As Tammy and I are catching up in my room, I am nearly knocked over when she throws her arms around me and says "you are my aunt!"

These are just a few examples of the love and acceptance I have received since coming to this beautiful country.  I am reminded of the beauty of human connection every day and I know I will forever be impacted by the kindness I have experienced here. Every day I can feel myself learning how to become a better person and I have the beautiful people of Nicaragua to thank for that."