It was Monday morning. Our Nicaraguan guests had departed on Saturday, and Sunday had been busy with Run for Water. I was getting ready for school and found myself looking for the light under the bathroom door, listening for movement from the guest bedrooms, and wondering if it was time to put the coffee on. It’s nice to get back into normal routines after having guests in my house for ten days, but I realized that I was definitely missing these lovely friends.
On May 18, the principal and a grade two teacher from our partner school in Managua, Nicaragua arrived in Vancouver along with a translator from Edudeo Ministries. We have been involved in a school2school relationship with them for six years, and they graciously hosted our team each year in March. This year we had the opportunity to host them.
Our time together was filled with experiences and memories. Here are some of them:
- Watching them experience snow for the first time.
- Letting our school community experience the traditional and liturgical dances that I have been blessed by on each of my visits to Nicaragua.
- Sharing a variety of new foods with them and finding out which ones they really like and which we didn’t have to serve again.
- Laughing together as we discovered that one of our “national” dishes is actually an impolite word in Spanish. I will let the Spanish speakers out there figure out which one it is.
- Watching my granddaughter become deeply attached to our visitors and giving them the hugs I get to enjoy on an (almost) daily basis.
- Trying to find enough clothes to share with them as the visit was during the coldest days this May.
- Seeing their excitement at being able to join the grade 1 classes on their visit to the zoo.
- Hearing about how much the secondary foods class enjoyed the gallo pinto that our guests taught them to make.
- Learning how to make corn tortillas by hand.
- Watching Sandra pick out some art supplies at Opus for her husband who is an artist and the art teacher at Centro de Fe.
Most importantly, of course, our relationship was strengthened in a way that would not be possible if the visits are always one way. They saw what school is like here and our students had opportunity to ask questions and find out more directly all that we have in common, and ways in which our experiences differ.
Though our cultural and educational contexts are different, we each engage minds, nurture hearts, and shape our parts of God’s world. This experience again helped us see more of how big God is and how He is at work in the lives of His people around the world.