Thursday, January 15, 2015

The last day at the village

Greetings to all from Tom in Nicaragua. Here are the final pictures from our last day.

The futbol game begins when Grant steps off the bus . . .

. . .as do the games!

A group of talented musicians begin the festivities

The NCC folks join in with snappy dancing and harmonica playing (the harmonica becomes a welcomed, if mysterious, gift to the village)

The whole audience enjoys the music

A surprise Master of Ceremonies, and an amazing role model for the young girls in the village

And the Master of Disaster arrives with his bible story

Ask Grant Kovac, (AKA the chicken wrangler) to explain this addition to the show

The story of the Good Samaritan never received so many smiles

The best dancer in the village

 To the baseball field for the annual grudge match!

I was told to report that this was the longest home run in the history of Nicaragua

The folks in the bleacher seats were not impressed

This is what a good hit actually looks like

And in the outfield, fellowship continues

It took a long time to get this picture because the throng of children always blocked the view

The baseball game was called for lunch!

One of the home team's best players. Note the "cleats" and home plate. Before and after the game this player is in his own parcel tending to his crop 

Today's lunch hosts explain that four years ago the husband had to travel to Costa Rica for menial work, and now the have all of this

The adios begin . . .and another amazing role model

The children bring gifts (not pictured) of their own creation . .  with another amazing role model

I was also told to report that one mighty and well-place blow destroyed the piƱata.

Well. . . actually, after many not-so-well-placed or mighty blows . . . the candy finally found its way to the folks!

The farewell and adios was an unhappy event for all

Even the Master of Disaster can't hold back the tears

And there were no dry eyes on the bus

In closing this blog, we chose this picture from the drive back to Managua. It is the back of a school bus on the busiest highway in Nicaragua, traveling in the dark, at highway speeds. These children are riding on the back bumper because the interior of the bus, a normal-size school bus by USA standards, is packed with perhaps 125-150 children. And the roof with perhaps 60-75 more.
This is just one reason why the families in Tierra Nueva , who used to be day-laborers with no future, and are now owners of land, are so thankful to Jesus, Agros, and NCC, because the families are now in control of their futures. And for full disclosure, I am not a member of NCC or Agros . . .but I wish I was. Adios!

Building community with the villagers

When there are no more seats, no more standing room, and no more laps to sit in . . .you improvise!

One of the first homes built three years ago. The proud homeowners somehow find time to tend their yard after cooking and working in the fields 

Some people have a natural knack for language

Who needs a bat to play baseball?

The parable of the farmer and the seeds . . .

. . .and the attentive congregation

The long path to the coffee crop

The coffee plantation

The many new buds mean next year's crop will be bountiful

Only the red beans can be picked, and it takes the entire season for all the beans to mature, meaning at least four passes through the plantation every year to harvest the entire crop

Not a bad harvest by the gringos!

The day's work yields about 100 pound of beans, which are carried on shoulder up the path to the village. This bag, worth about $100 US at the market, allows the purchase of clothes, shoes, medicine, tools, equipment, and the money to repay the Argos mortgage on the land 

The village President, Israel, explains that the next project for the village, now that the latrines are finished, is to try to build a road to the fields, but Argos has no funds for a road. When asked what he would do if he were "King for a day" and could do anything he wanted, Israel replied, "A better life for the people in the village"
 (Note that yesterday's blog incorrectly identified Henry as the Village President. Henry is the Vice President)

This is the path to the fields that the villagers want to rebuild as a road

No caption needed here

Waiting in line for fingernails to be painted. . .
 . . .
. . .and more people keep arriving for fellowship

This is the correct way to limbo

This is not the correct way to limbo

And more people wanting their nails painted (Special thanks to Lori Senft for the donation of the polish!)

The long lines for nail polish put a new meaning to all hands on deck!

And another line!

But it wasn't really the polish that made them come.

This is why they came.