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This post is part of a series of posts about a Madison Youth Listen and Learn Cross Cultural Engagement trip. You can read more about the purpose of the trip here in the blog post titled A Different Kind of Short-Term Missions Trip. You can also read about our first day in Nicaragua here, our second day here, our third day here, and our fourth day here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Today's update about our fifth day in Nicaragua was written by Aryale Cannon: 

Last night was a pretty restless night for a few of us.

I woke up to Audrianna telling Paola that the water was off.

God help us.

That meant that the morning shower people had to wipe off layers off sweat, bug spray and sunscreen with a wet wipe.


Regardless of how rough our start to the day was, Leida, our guest house lady, blessed our stomachs with yet another delicious breakfast. Then, we all filed into our amazing air conditioned van and headed over to Campo Royale, where we had a FIT (Families in Transition) Adoption talk.

There, we watched a video that previewed through some of Nicaragua’s beautiful scenery. After the video, Carlos and Sharla Martinez (Directors of FIT) explained to us the adoption process, what the families involved go through, and what their role is in supporting families as they welcome new children into their lives. The children are brought into situations better than their own, but have to deal with adjusting to new people, a new culture, and a new language. Having the parents come from their home country to stay at Campo Royale benefits the child by easing them into their new families. However, it usually takes a huge sacrifice on the part of the parents that have to be separated from their lives until the court makes the adoption legal (which is a very long process). Two of the parents who had been staying there shared their stories with us and answered any questions that we had.

The adoption talk ended a little earlier than expected, which gave us time cool off in the pool. Those of us that didn’t want to swim sat in the shade of the pool side and talked to Steve’s family (Steve and his family are World Missions missionaries in Nicaragua). I was able to get some really funny pictures with his eight year old son Nathan (who by the way looks almost exactly like the kid from Home Alone), using the Snapchat face swap filter.

Campo Royale then served us an amazing lunch consisting of chicken, rice, plantain chips, and salsa. After we finished eating, Abby, Audrianna, and I (attempted) to bachata to the music the resort was playing as we waited for everyone else to change into their regular clothes.

Next, we visited Iglesia Bautista Emanuel - Diriamba, a k-12 school/Baptist church. We were given a tour from Pastor Consuelo and a brief history lesson of education in Nicaragua since the 1980s, and the long process that it took to build different parts of the school with help from her friends in Canada and Japan.

After praying for her and her school, we hoped back into the van and drove up to Las Nubes for a hike.

At first, we took the wrong trail which featured some very steep, suspect steps up a hill and then trusting on the branches to help us climb down that hill, where we were all freaking out.

God help us.

Meikea, who was in front of me, had her branch snap and slid down the hill.

I really thought it was over for her, or at least a couple of her limbs, but thankfully Ezra was able to catch her while I stood there helplessly. It didn’t take long for us to realize that this path took us back to where we started in a matter of five to ten very scary minutes.

When we found the real trail, we were able to see a bunch of coffee plants and even monkeys. On the way back to guest house we stopped and watched the sunset. While posing for a picture with the rest of the girls, I felt my feet and lower legs begin to burn. Apparently, I had stepped in a fire ant hole, and it didn’t take long for a couple others to follow in my steps.

Ayudanos Dios.

Fortunately, the water was back on when we got to the guest house. While rushing to get first dibs on the showers, I realized that I laid my wet beach towels on my pajama shirts so I had to ask Messiah, my brother for one.*eye rolls*

When I went into the guy’s room, he and Ezra were rapping and made me spit some bars in order to get the shirt.

After debrief and another delicious dinner provided to us by Leida, Abby and I broke our pact with Audrianna, which we formed specifically against not playing the Resistance game… and played the Resistance game with everyone else.

Overall, I had a really great day and I enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful scenery, and I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for us.

Thank you God for helping us.

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