I am now back in Nicaragua after three weeks in Melbourne. My time was super busy and I was able to catch up with many friends and of course my kids and my family. Thanks to all who welcomed me home, I am sorry that I did miss a few people, but hopefully next time we will connect.
Many people both here and in Melbourne have asked me how I feel. I feel like I have two parallel homes. Both places are very different yet both place have elements the same. The differences are obvious, like climate, standard of living, language and the number of biting bugs. But the similarities are the things that have more impact for me. In Altagracia and in Melbourne I have a great community, I have people who are dear to me, I have work that is engaging, challenging and that I feel has integrity and I have amazing experiences. I some how manage to immerse myself in whichever place I am in… and continue on. There has been a moment when I arrived in Melbourne and then back here that I was confused about which space was my main anchor.
The work here in Altagracia continued. Mart picked up my work with the primary school children and was able to see first hand how challenging this work is. So many of our kids have enormous learning, social and emotional and psychological difficulties. We are beginning to see some really positive changes for some of the kids, which is heartening for the team, but we really need to keep our focus on the long term when it comes to impacting sustained change.
Mart also had the “wonderful” experience of killing and preparing the first 100 chooks from the farm. An exercise that has left him feeling rather frustrated and traumatised, as it was fraught with mishaps, miscommunications and comical errors. I am sure in time, and after a few wines, he will tell it as an amusing story. That being said, we have enjoyed eating the fruits of the labour. The sale of the chooks has been heartening and he is hoping that this will prove a steady revenue raiser for Si A La Vida.
The community is enjoying the celebration of San Diego, the patron saint of Altagracia. The celebrations include a drumming band walking the streets from 4.30am most morning and daily church services beginning at 6.00am. The neighbour next door is planning to kill the pig that lives outside our kitchen for the feast day next Sunday. November is also the last month of school before a two-month break for holidays. The kids, as you can imagine, are pretty excited about all of this.
As you prepare for Christmas, don’t forget to consider buying our Christmas gift cards (information of the home page www.bcasnicaragua.com)
Much love from my parallel home to yours