Tuesday, October 30, 2007

No soy gringa! (but these are some Gringa thoughts)

Hello! I am honored to join the cyber world as the guest blogger for Dylan and Lauren’s blog. Though I have to say I have never blogged before, I am excited for this opportunity to share with you my experiences so far in Nicaragua. I have only been here for 4 days, and I am sad that I have only 2 left! It has been wonderful to be here, and I encourage all readers of this blog to quickly buy a ticket and come for a visit. Dylan and Lauren have built a wonderful life for themselves here, a life of generosity and sincere thankfulness that is not about them, but about the people of Nicaragua. They have managed to do things I only wish I had the courage to do; the more I stay with them, the more I am impressed by their presence and love for the people they encounter while living here.

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Lauren’s orphanage. It was an especially exciting day, however, because an organization called Frontier Horizon (Dylan traveled with this group a couple summers ago) brought the orphans to a beautiful resort in Granada for some good food, some soda and ice cream, and of course many hours swimming in the pool. I can not tell you the excitement boiling over in the van as we drove to the resort with the kids screaming at the top of their lungs: “Ayyy! Piscina!” (translation: “Ayyy! Pool!”). I was overwhelmed by their excitement. When we got there, the kids had a blast.

I don’t think I have ever seen children having so much fun doing the same thing for such a long time. They were content with what they were given, and they never wanted more. Nobody even asked for ice cream. It was offered to them, and though they were thankful to receive it, they were not looking for it, nor did they ever whine for more. It is unheard of that 10 children in a pool would not fight, but not one tear was shed. They only wanted to be cuddled and loved and thrown around in the pool. They eagerly offered this to one another by taking care of each other, feeding each other, playing with each other in the pool like siblings who can overlook any rivalry. Through blatant contrast, I was reminded of some of the kids I baby sit for at home; they always want to do something else…they are never content with one activity, one soda, one candy. It’s never enough; they always want more. If it means taking down their sibling in a fistfight, they will do what they can to make sure they get more.

As I played with the orphans in the pool, I was convicted. Do I live like that? Always wanting more and never being satisfied with what I have? Within that conviction, I realized there is a poverty that exists within me and within the culture of the United States. It’s a different kind of poverty, with a different face, nameless to those who buy into it: it lies to us, telling us we can never have enough, that we will be happier, more beautiful, cooler if we just have a little more. As I sat in the sun with my new friend, 3 year old Katherine, I was humbled. Today was my first day hanging out with these orphans, and they had already taught me so much in the few hours I knew them. Even though it is clear their lives are hard and they are poor, I was starting to see how wealthy they really are. Their wealth is not of materials or money, because, unlike me, they do not subscribe to the lie that there is never enough. Even though they are just kids, they practice their wealth in the form of an ideal I claim to uphold to the very highest degree, more in mere talk than in actual walk: elementary kindness. They are rich in ideals we can not afford to forget: thankfulness, generosity, and a non-cliché, very sincere love.

Much love,


Hello! This is Lauren - I am interrupting Nefret's blog to let you know that I have loaded some pictures from todays adventures. You might have to scroll through some other orphanage pictures to get to them - but I promise they are there. Here's the link:

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