It’s a marvelous thing – to return to a special place, to bring new friends, to reconnect with old, to re-experience the familiar and be encouraged to explore the unfamiliar. Catherine Stern and I returned to Nicaragua in early November. This was Project Grace’s third trip with Seeds of Learning, and, as our good fortune, Todd Evans, SOL’s Founder, joined us once again.Six others signed on, too.From the nervous first hellos, to the teary rushed good byes, our 8 days together were unforgettable. Thanks to Mina and Chamba, our SOL in-country hosts, and their beautiful girls, we became members of the Matagalpa community. We worked in the LaLaguna district – helping put some of the finishing touches on a Resource/Community Center that will be used by a more than 1,000 residents. And we joined in the dedication of a new school serving another district that SOL helped construct. Knowing our mission, our purpose for visiting their country, the Nicaraguan people have shown us nothing but tenderness and appreciation (not to mention patience). It is no wonder – we love this trip.
This trip we honored boys and men – Mike, Dan, Cody, Robby, Pat, Cord and Nick. The stories shared were filled with adventure, hilarity, deep sorrow, and even deeper love.
Perhaps it is fitting to end with something from Nicaragua’s best known poet, Ruben Dario.
The tree is happy because it is scarcely sentient;
the hard rock is happier still, it feels nothing:
there is no pain as great as being alive,
no burden heavier than that of conscious life.
***And yet, thank goodness we are allowed to share our burdens, as well as our joys, with dear friends.