Saturday, May 05, 2007

Nicaragua: school assembly in February

There was a goodbye school assembly to honor a delegation that came to visit Chacocente from the U.S. We had such a delegation about twice a month for my first few months, churches or college groups coming down by the sixes and the twenty-fives. Lately it´s been various twenty-something year olds.

Anyhow, the delegation brought lunch in for everyone, everyone being the school kids, the Chacocente families (not all the school kids live in Chacocente, about half of the 50 or so students live in the surrounding farmland), and the small delegation from Hurlbut UMC in NY that happened to be there at the time as well.

Here is little Jason drinking a Bolí while sitting on a pile of gravel. Jason is in my morning session of preschool, Bolís are flavored water in a plastic tube that you bite the corner of off in order to drink, and the pile of gravel was for the school construction. Currently the pile of gravel is part of the new parts of the school building, gracias a Dios!

Also here is the first grade teacher saying something to the assembled kids; the translator, the school director, the president of the Chacocente committee, and Charito (from left to right); a mix of Chacocente family members and teachers; and three students performing a traditional dance.

I really like school assemblies because of the sense of gatheredness, of working together on something bigger than our individual jobs. It´s easy to feel unconnected when I am so new to a community, and assemblies help me feel more plugged in. Now, in early May, I´ve had a few experiences at a gathering, notably birthday parties, where I look around at the faces and see people I´ve really gotten to know. It´s a good feeling and reminds me of how it was to live in Oberlin, where I had a healthy network of people that I met at church, visited in their homes, saw in the bank, passed on the street, sat next to at events, and chanced upon while sledding in winter. And it makes me look forward to the next time I will live somewhere for more than a matter of months. In the meantime, yay birthday parties and school assemblies!

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