Visitors!

During the past couple months I’ve had some wonderful people who deserve a tribute for making the effort to fly, bus or even bike their way to Managua for a visit. We’re always happy to have people crash in our spare bed, share some beans and exchange stories of their travels and life. It’s great to reunite with old friends (or as fellow VMM missioner Sarah Rich would say, our old cast of characters), I’ve realized that living in a foreign country you are happy just to see a distant acquaintance. Even if you just ran into your college roomate’s ex-boyfriend’s cousin, you would greet them with a hug and ask if they need a place to stay. And surprisingly that probably happens more than you think, it truly is a small world. But none the less it’s especially exciting to have my worlds collide; some of my old cast of characters meeting my new cast of characters. I’m so grateful for all of the visitors I’ve had so far and hopefully many more to come!IMG_1756

Will Dehogus, Allison Yoder and I are all proud Iowans who grew up going to church and school together. Will was passing through on his travels through Central America and decided to stay in Managua for a week and live with a host family in Batahola. We ended up spending Thanksgiving together and ironically seeing fellow-Iowan, Allison, who was visiting at the same time on a break from her volunteer work in Costa Rica with Mennonite Central Committee’s program SALT.

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Fellow Goshen graduates Michael Miller, Abe Stucky and Levi Smucker stopped in Managua for a weekend on their bike trip from Paraguay back to Goshen, Indiana. I had a good time showing them a little bit of Managua and going to an acoustic guitar concert at a local bar. I also got the chance to learn how to make a biker breakfast of gluten-free oatmeal pancakes and plantain smoothies! They had plenty of interesting stories to tell about their adventures and I’m sure they will have many more to tell in the rest of their travels. If you would like to hear about some of them here is the link to their blog: http://panamericacycle.wordpress.com/

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And last but not least, my parents and sister visited me this past week. Even though their trip was short, I showed them around many beautiful parts of Nicaragua and also around Managua and the barrio where I’m living. I got some great practice translating since none of them speak spanish (yet!) and also got to explore some new places that would normally be a bit out of my volunteer budget. Our biggest adventure included a ferry ride to the Island of Ometepe where we spent two days enjoying the sunshine and tropical forest which I’m sure was a nice change from the brutal winter going on back in the U.S. It’s great knowing that they now have a sense of what my life and work is like here in Batahola and most importantly got to get to know some of the people that have become a part of my new cast of characters.

Thanks to all of you characters who have been part of my life, past and present, from near and from far, for a short amount of time or all of my life.

Paz y amor,

Kelsey

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