Dad and I went on a charity trip to Nicaragua this past May for 7 days to build two houses for impoverished families, donate scholarship money to children, and give books to the local schools.  Here is an excerpt of a presentation I’ve given a couple times about the trip, how it affected me, and sharing general experiences.
The presentations used videos and photo slideshows, which I hopefully will add to this post in the future.  I’m at Denver airport and the internet isn’t top notch to upload media.
I want to convey to you my experience, what and how I felt on the trip, for the first time.  Here are some experpts from my journal. 
the 24th of may 2009
In a hammock in Chacraseca.  Day two concludes soon.  We arrived last night around 10 pm in Managua where we walked across the street to a Best Western.  Very fair accommodations.  Woke up this morning at 7:45 for breakfast at eight.  Continental breakfast here is awesome – chef mafe omlettes, chicken in tortilla spices, fresh fruit and juices. 
We went to the Managua marketplace this morning where I acquired a hammock to sleep in and a hat for the workplace. 
We’re outside Leon at Casa de Paz (peace house).  Christy (Kelly) and I made camp in a gazebo.  It’s thundering. 
25th of May .  Monday
We began our mission today.  Construction of a house for a very poor family in Chacraseca.  Their family, a husband and wife with a few kids, lives in a shanty about 15 feet by 12 feet, made of tree shoots with walls of black trash bags and a smoothly swept dirt floor. [IMG_0525].  They cook over an open fire and eat seemingly almost exclusively rice and beans. 
I’ve never until this trip – today particularly – understood what it means tho have little.  These people have next to nothing.  And many mouths to feed.  Farming is their sustenence, and the fields are small and dry, and the animals are thin. 
Such great opportunity is afforded me in America.  Some things that come so easy to me are a burden of life to some of the families here in Chacraseca.  Dry shelter for you and your family during the rain..-?
29th of May.  Friday.
What a week.  Es increible (it’s incredible).  On Wednesday, Mauricio, our foreman, and Dan Cole built the roof, a task that suprisingly to me, takes a lot of work from only a few people, so the rest of our team occupied ourselves with the people here. For a whole day. 
We started in the morning with football, or I should say, American football :).  Then Jim Teed and I took part in Pato Pato Patito, duck duck goose, with about fifteen kids in the 100 degree shade on dry dirt.  They LOVED to pick “ella” and “hombre” – “her” and “man” – and laugh at our attempts to run in work boots that several times ended in hilarious wipeouts. . I was so covered in dirt by the end of our game that the girls and their mothers asked me if I wanted to come into their house and change. (!) 
I did makeovers for the girls in the afternoon.  Later that same day, they saddled up a horse for me to ride!   Fifteen kids ran behind me the whole time laughing and yelling .  
After we were finished playing, I talked with the girls for a while about the U.S., fruits, the house..  Maria, a child who lived next door, asked me if the house we were building was two homes. ..  twenty two feet by twenty two feet. ..  she was surpised that it was just one.  And I saw in her eyes that moment that she had just realized that we were not building a home for her as well.
We can’t give everyone all the things they need; but we can help some and hope that they continue to spread the love and kindness that was was shared with them.  This mission provides necessities – a home, water, means for better education – things so basic I wasn’t able to comprehend them until I witnessed this different world with my own eyes.  We do a great thing, and I thank each and every one of you who has helped to make this possible from the bottom of my heart. 
Jan 26, 2010.  Finally, here are the photos 🙂

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