Day 6: Painting la Escuela Publica del Poder Ciudadano Salomon Ibarra Mayorga

March 29, 2012 - 19:58

3.22.2012: It was a good day – productive, with a variety of tasks. It was also the first day that I felt like I needed a midday nap. We were in the final stretch though, so I held it together.

Thursday’s tasks included finishing the U-blocks (you can’t escape ‘em!), assisting the masons with bricklaying, and (finally!) painting the school, la Escuela Publica del Poder Ciudadano Salomon Ibarra Mayorga. I think our team member Terrie enjoyed that most; she clowned about with the kids, tangoed with the teachers, and even took over one of the classes to teach 3-digit multiplication, though she didn’t know a lick of Spanish. We all agreed that besides math, laughter is a universal language.

Our paint, which was donated by a church group, was very limited and not all the same shades of blue. An interesting note: all of the schools and universities in Nicaragua are painted blue and white, the colors of the Nicaraguan flag. We had to mix our 3 cans of paint together, along with a liberal amount of thinner, to ensure that we at least had enough paint to cover the front of the school. The consistency was like water, but it was better than nothing. We painted the framework of the front, planning to finish the remainder on Friday.

New Spanish vocabulary I picked up during the week: nublados = clouds, which we were thankful to get that day; the average temperature over the week was 93-95 degrees, but with a nice breeze once in awhile to provide some relief. Another word: camanances = dimples, which the kids in La Gallina have in spades – they are all SO CUTE! And they get a kick out of saying my full name; it’s awesome that they remember me and tell their friends, “Omonivie.” I then meet their friends and have to remember new names, which was easy because they all made an impression on me. While we were painting the school I took pictures, broke up a scuffle, and told the kids in Spanish to return to their work when they got too distracted with what we were doing. Though I didn’t teach a class like Terrie did, I felt a bit like their teacher, or at least a yard supervisor, haha.

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I believe the most valuable thing we can do in our lives is help others, and Habitat does such a great job in bringing passionate people together who believe this as well. Providing essential services to others in need while gaining knowledge and... More >