Wednesday, July 3, 2013 | By: Jake

Starting to Get the Hang of Things

Nap time has only been going on for five minutes and all four of the kids are already sleeping. All eyes closed. No talking. Peace.

They each have their own stuffed animal. They each have the blanket they want. Each in their respective beds.

The windows are open, but the curtains are shut. The breeze flows in while the sun stays out.

And, of course, they have been bribed with being able to eat mangoes if they all go to sleep well, but hey...they're sleeping.

In the morning, the boys now get to listen to music on my phone if they actually get out of bed and take showers without complaining or being lazy. And now, we look at the "News in Pictures" every morning, but only if they get up fast enough. Surprisingly, we get ready much quicker.

When the kids aren't in school, we usually just let them play around, but recently, we've been trying to do a few more structured activities like relay races, leap frog, and musical chairs, which occupies them a lot better.

Playing Musical Chairs in the Backyard
In our Spanish class, Josh (the other volunteer) bought pizza for the winning team (we've been playing a review game fairly often over the past few weeks). And last week, I promised the class that I'd buy pizza for anyone that got an A on their exam that they have this week.

Most of the students know me now, and always ask me where my coffee is...pretty sad that even if by Nicaraguan standards, I'm still seen as the coffee addict. This morning, I was able to preach to all 300 students about my three milestones, and since I knew most of their names, I was able to make it interactive and more engaging. Thank God for that!

For dinner, I've been helping the cook prepare all of the food (which also means that I get to eat a bunch of stuff as I prepare...the mangos here are amazing). And in addition to learning how to cut mangos, make fruit juices, and fry bananas, I've been able to have some really fruitful conversations in Spanish. The cook knows very little English, which has allowed me to really get better at communicating in Spanish.

Usually, when we go to church on Sunday nights (the Spanish-speaking church), I have absolutely no idea what is being said, but yesterday, I actually was able to recognize most of the songs. And for the first time, I actually understood the entire sermon, which is awesome because now I actually understand what's going on!

I've had a lot of free time during my time here, but recently I've started trying with the marketing for New Hope Children's Foundation. Right now, I'm starting a facebook page for them where I'll be putting up pictures of all of the kids, and hopefully, will be able to start filming some videos! Be sure to like the page! Although, I will warn that over the next week, I'll be putting up a lot of pictures.

And finally, at night, when I put the boys to bed, we have exactly 15 minutes for them to get changed into their pajamas, and any time left over is used for reading them a story. Every night, we seem to have more and more time to read. :) thankfully, we have some longer books here, which allows most nights to end with somewhat of a "cliffhanger" which gives them more motivation for getting changed faster the following night. Like tonight, we will finally find out if Winnie the Pooh actually saw a Heffalump or if it was just a dream. And after reading, we've started praying together, which has proved really fruitful.

And after the whole day is over, I've made time for prayer, journaling, and reading, which has been more than a blessing.

All in all, I'm definitely starting to get the hang of things here. :)


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