By Nancy Klos
The school year in Nicaragua began on February 11 and our MMO team arrived at the end of that first week. Most students had already returned to the Albergue Mayflower, and new students were just getting settled in. As you can imagine, routines were still to be established and new children were just beginning to figure out their new home for the next 10 months. For these new ones, never having been away from home or to a school, it can be overwhelming, but the Albergue staff do a wonderful job of helping the children adjust to being away from family and developing relationships with the house parents and with new friends.
Casa Mayflower, our new transitional home for the older teens, opened on Feb 1, in preparation for the school year. Newly hired house parents, Meylim and Omar, moved in with their 2 young children and the family pet, Stewart. They provide supervision for the 5 students who have made the transition to the more independent living situation. When our team arrived it was clear that Omar and his family had already begun making the new house into a home. The older students report to be thrilled to have a place of their own, with rules and routines more appropriate for their maturity.
Over the break in November and December, upgrades were made to amend the single family home to a house equipped for multiple young adults. In addition, while Team MMO was there in February, more work was accomplished, such as, painting inside and out, plumbing a larger bathroom for the boys, creating a new walkway, and adding new appliances. Both students and volunteers worked together to spruce up the attractive new home. The star feature at this point is the large rose garden in the front yard.
We sent a large shipping container in January. It had not arrived in time for our visit in February but it did arrive late this month. Inside were donated furniture and household goods to furnish the new home, as well as, donations for the main residence and educational materials. In addition we sent many boxes of donated medical supplies for our clinics and medical equipment to donate to various hospitals and newly established ENT clinics.
Continuing to be sure we provide the best educational program possible for our students, we always visit the 2 schools where our students attend, Max Senqui Special Education Elementary School and Jose Dolores Rivera High School. Also, this trip, volunteer, Carolyn Wade, did further work with the Albergue teaching staff on a literacy curriculum and added more books to the library.
We were updated on the lives of our students, including the newly enrolled.
On our final evening in Jinotega, the students and staff delighted the volunteers with a good bye party which included pizza, music, and dance. The dances were performed by students under the directions of Jasmina, one of our teachers.
Our next trip to the Albergue Mayflower will be June 22 till June 30. Our partners in Jinotega look forward to seeing familiar faces and to meet new volunteers. We hope you will consider joining us in June to have the opportunity to spend some time with our dynamic students and care giving staff. Please contact Nancy Klos at email@example.com or phone 405 630-7263 if you are interested.
If you are unable to join us, there are still ways for you to participate. We can use donations of art supplies, used clothing items for youth to young adult, maternity and baby clothes (for Casa Materna), twin bed sheets, and Spanish language books (all ages).
Also, don’t forget we can use old or broken hearing aids, for which we receive salvage credit to purchase new hearing aids.
Till next time…….ADIOS!!!