We have now been here in Nicaragua for a year. It probably won’t surprise you to hear that there are days when I feel like we have just arrived, and days when I feel like we are part of the furniture. There are days when I could get on a plane and leave and there are days I feel like this could be our place long term. Such is life here. Just like our local volcano Concepcion…you never know what each day will bring.
I look over the year and I am amazed with the things we have done and the experiences we have had. I look forward to the coming year and I am both excited and overwhelmed with the tasks still ahead. But as my dear mother-in- law would say “Eat what you can and leave the rest!” This is how we go through each day.
We are both heading back to Australia for a bit of a holiday. We leave behind a year that has started very positively.
Casa Si A La Vida is full to capacity with children and young people attending regularly. As a team we have introduced some new strategies to try and build and an environment of respect within the Casa. We now have a time where we have board games and card games when the children arrive so they can experience taking turns and working together. We have new expectations for the teachers and the students so all are clear of the boundaries within the house. We have introduced a routine when it is time for the children to leave. This allows us to gather everyone together to reflect (very briefly) on the day before they go home. All of these things are starting to positively impact the environment within the CASA. Added to this is the arrival of a new psychologist who has had wonderful experience working with families in the area of domestic violence. She is an invaluable addition for our team and children.
In the finca (farm) the chickens continue to eat, get fat and end their life on the plates of local families and hotels (sorry vegetarians). They bring in much needed funds. The fences are built for the cattle and we are just waiting for them to be purchased, and the plantain harvest made a very ‘fruitful’ contribution to our funds.
All this being said, there is still much work to be done. Si A La Vida is in a year of transition. They are rewriting their documents to reflect the change in profile, from protection to prevention, that occurred last year. They are also still coming to terms with shifting their thinking from being an organisation reliant of funds from foreign donors, to being more financially self sustainable. As many of you have experienced, change is very challenging for an organisation.
Enough from me! We are off on holidays and looking forward to enjoying good friends, wine and food. We look forward to returning rested and healthy ready to embrace the experiences that come our way.
Thanks for being with us in all of this.