We are jumping for joy in that we’ve been in Managua for just over a month this week! In some ways it is hard to believe that a month has gone by already. Each day we are learning more about this wonderful place and we are feeling more and more settled into our home. However, living abroad is often a life of contrasts and comparisons. Just when we think we have something figured out or we feel one of our assumptions is correct, the next day it changes or is proven wrong! Just the other day I said, “there really doesn’t seem to be too may people who use strollers outside of our neighborhood,” then on a drive, we passed two families pushing babies in strollers down the street. There are days we wake up and say, “Wow, it feels really cool outside.” Only to be dripping wet with sweat an hour later. Or yesterday one of us said, “it looks like the mosquitos aren’t as bad now as when we first arrived in July,” to then later look at their arm with 5 huge, red mosquito bites.
I’m making adjustments too in my role here in Nicaragua. In the last week I have made quite a few comparisons to what the month of August has looked like the past 13 years to what August has been for me this year. While I haven’t been busy preparing for a school year and double checking lists, tasks, and emails, I have been learning the ropes at this stay-at-home parent gig. I have a new found appreciation for all of you parents who have chosen to stay home with your kids or have watched ours while Susan and I have been at work. Preparing Lucas for the day and keeping him safely occupied takes up the bulk of my time along with, driving the school shuttle, working on communication to our supporters back home, and checking off the list of Spanish verbs to memorize.
My mind is often thinking about education, teaching, and learning. That is just a part of my DNA I guess and I’m sure I will use these skills in the near future. Susan and I are learning a lot about how the system of education works here and we have many discussions about the similarities and differences we notice. But what is true here as to back home in the states, the teachers at our kids’ school love God, love their students, and want them to succeed. Our kids love school here. The even have had a few new experiences such as having a weekly dance class to practice for the upcoming Nicaraguan Festival in September. We’re looking forward to seeing our kids show off all their new Nica moves!
Each week our kids have chapel at school. Lucas and I often stay to participate too. Chapel at NCA – Nejapa is very similar to what Praise Assembly was like for them last year at GCS. There is often singing, the teachers tell a Bible story or do a skit for the kids. Lots of clapping and even dancing! We took a little video of Julia’s second grade class leading part of the chapel worship time with a song and dance. Check it out by following the LINK. You can find Julia on the left side.
We are so thankful for each of you who are lifting us up in prayer, sending us email, Facebook messages, phone calls, and financial support. Being away from home isn’t always easy but we are thankful for the many ways we can still be connected from a distance. Our thoughts and prayers are also going out for you too. We know many of you were affected by the recent storms in W. Michigan. We are thankful that no one was injured. Our prayers go out to our teaching colleagues who are jumping into a new school year! May God bless this new year as you reach the hearts and minds of your students.