soy nica ¿y qué?
9:08 PM Marcie Parson 0 Comments
People keep asking me what the best part of Nicaragua was. Do you realize that's just like asking me how living in the Holy Land for 4 months was? "Incredible" doesn't do it justice. It's impossible to describe, and it's impossible to pick just one "best" part of the whole experience.
Volunteering for HELP International in Nicaragua for 6 weeks was eye opening. I learned so much from and connected with a culture that was unfamiliar to me. I began to learn what development work was all about, and I experienced firsthand the challenges that come along with it. I made meaningful relationships with the people there, and most importantly, I was able to leave my mark in the form of sustainable development projects. At the beginning of the trip I was worried that I wouldn't be able to measure my success and that I'd never know if I was making a difference or not. Upon completing my projects, I feel like I successfully "did good" while I was there and know that was exactly where I was supposed to be.
The last few weeks in Nicaragua felt like a whirlwind of wrapping up projects. Julia and Cheryl taught a nursing seminar at the HEODRA Hospital. Charlie finished his dance classes. Cheryl led our group in conducting needs assessments for future HELP teams. English classes ended with a graduation party. The bottle school was completed, and keys were handed over at a ribbon cutting ceremony. Julia and I personally handed out 50 water filters and replacements to the community of El Tamarindo. Megan and Amanda somehow managed to keep us all alive through our "7 days of happiness" as we stressed over the completion of our projects and all of the paperwork that went along with it.
I have two go-to answers when someone asks me what the best part of Nicaragua was. The first is the feeling of handing a water filter to a young mother and her children, knowing there is a brighter future for them because of what you've done. Nothing beats that. Upon distributing the first round of water filters in El Tamarindo, we walked up the dark streets to the bus stop, and Salome pointed out a water filter in someone's front room. As we continued walking up the street, we could glimpse through front windows and see our water filters surrounded by their new proud owners. It was easily one of the proudest moments in my life.
The second is our graduation for our English classes. Even though I jumped in as a teacher halfway through the summer, I loved those students. I never expected to love teaching beginning English so much, in fact I was certain I would do a horrible job at it. I was surprised week after week when I could see how hard some of the students worked, and they began to progress. This project became one of my favorites because I could see the immediate results of our efforts. At graduation, two of the students gave speeches that brought me to tears. I was so proud of them.
- Washing machines & dryers
- Hot water
- Clean water
- Water pressure
- Air conditioning
- Stop lights
- Microwaves & toasters
- Garbage disposals
- Reliable snail mail
- Screens for doors & windows
- Liquid dish soap
- Absence of kissy noises
- Public trashcans
- Clean hospitals/ambulances
- Paved roads
You better believe the first thing I did when I got back was wash my laundry in a washing machine. God bless the inventor of the washer and dryer.
عائلة, משפחה, familia, family
9:25 PM Marcie Parson 4 Comments
When I came home from Jerusalem, I felt like my heart was breaking. It was hard to leave such a special place I loved so much and especially the group of people I shared it with. While everyone else was excited to come home to their families, I felt completely alone. I don't exactly have the luxury to go "home" to my family. It was a rough transition.
I had expected to feel that same way when I left Nicaragua, but this time it was different. I had a family to go home to. I was bubbling with excitement to go home to America because the day I got back I was going on vacation in Bear Lake with my family. My Jerusalem family.
Our relationship is impossibly difficult to describe. We all arrived in Bear Lake at different times, and each time a new car of people trickled in, it was the same explosion of emotions. Squealing, bear hugs, smiles, catching up. It lasted for literally hours. You'd think that with over 80 of us the reaction would settle down, but it doesn't. When we are together, we feel whole, and just being near each other makes us smile.
One thing I learned in Nicaragua was that even though my family is very spread out right now, God always sends me to places where a family is waiting for me. In Jerusalem, it was these people. Sharing something so special brought us so close. and the Rowdys (Ludlows) became our temporary parents.
8:29 PM Marcie Parson 0 Comments
Amanda la que manda wrapped up our chicken coop project in Ceiba and blogged about it here. Since I wasn't there myself, I thought it would be best to steal her blog post for your viewing pleasure. The following is Amanda's post:
"Yesterday was the last day of our chicken project in the rural community of La Ceiba. For this project we surveyed 20 families (picked by the local mother's counsel) and from them picked the 8 most needy and willing to participate.
Then they had to attend three workshops. The first was on nutrition, then I taught the second one on saving money, and a vet guy taught the third one on how to take care of chickens.
|Me teaching about saving money. Only one of the families had any kind of money saving plan.|
First, the eggs that the hens lay are going to supplement the health of every family member - and every family selected has a child in elementary school.
Second, there will be even more extra eggs that the family will be able to sell for supplemental income (none of the main providers for the families selected has a permanent job).
And third, as part of the contract these families signed to be a part of the project, they have promised that once they have baby chicks, they are responsible for donating three pairs (one boy and one girl) to three different families on our needy list. So eventually, this project will have positively influenced almost 40 families."
I am so proud.
masaya & catarina
8:13 AM Marcie Parson 0 Comments
She is awesome.
10:03 PM Marcie Parson 0 Comments
this means war
12:38 PM Marcie Parson 1 Comments
just want you to know...
6:56 PM Marcie Parson 2 Comments
The soilet is FINISHED! Hallelujah! Well done Bryce and Ashley. We're so excited for this school to have a sanitary latrine that doesn't contaminate their water.
We held two workshops this week: one Wednesday afternoon and one this morning (Friday). The workshops were extremely important because in order to qualify for a filter, you must attend a workshop. In collaboration with the community nurse and MPowering People, we taught about the water-borne diseases in Tamarindo, water purification methods, as well as water filtration. At the end of the workshops we handed out surveys to assess the eligibility of participants (a certain number of criteria had to be met), and we proudly handed out vouchers for water filters to every person who attended. The filters will be picked up and distributed next Wednesday!
We've been incredibly resilient with all of our setbacks, and I'm confident this project will be successful!
English classes have been going super well. I'm getting to know the students, and they are a riot. We have one more week of classes before our final exam, fiesta, and mini-graduation. We're still working on painting the pediatric unit of the hospital, but we've mostly done a lot of prep work and sketching. Pictures to come! Julia and Cheryl are still working hard of their patient education plans to give to the nurses at Heodra Hospital. Jamee has almost selected all of the families who will be given chicken coops to supplement their income. Jamee and Cheryl have been working with a special needs child at a nearby orphanage. and last but not least, we are ALL involved in conducting needs assessments in neighboring communities for future HELP teams.
Sorry for the novel. Team Nica rocks and we're "doing good" down here!
Max's first week was a hard one. For the first 5 days of his life he went to the doctor every single day. He had jaundice, so they had ...
Yesterday was our one-month mark, so in honor of a successful and blissful first month of marriage, I'd like to share pictures of the d...
Max Jonathan Parson arrived on Monday, July 27 at 7:24 AM. It was the most incredible experience. I am overwhelmed with love and gratitude,...
Two weeks ago I was in a car accident. While exiting the freeway, I was hit by another driver who lost control of their car and swerved int...
- ► 2017 (6)
- ► 2016 (23)
- ► 2015 (20)
- ► 2014 (20)
- ► 2013 (29)
- ► August (6)
- ► July (7)
- ► March (12)
- ► February (10)
- ► 2011 (25)