Photo of the Week
Photo Title


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    [post_date] => 2014-06-16 10:21:06
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-06-16 16:21:06
    [post_content] => Parents,

Alas, the same news that will come as a relief to you leaves myself and a whole lotta kids here in Nicaragua feeling more than a little nostalgic: The group boarded a plane that left Managua shortly after 7am this morning.

They're on their way back to you now, and still we're seeing their faces and hearing them laugh, as they did often during these days we've just spent, when they too got to be at play, and in the moment, to learn, to live,  to accompany the kids next to them. Perhaps all that can be said about the distances between your children and those they were here with in Nicaragua,  this week, was no match for their delight in being together.
    [post_title] => On Their Way
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Nicaragua Collegiate

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On Their Way

Dhyana Kuhl,Nicaragua Collegiate

Description

Parents, Alas, the same news that will come as a relief to you leaves myself and a whole lotta kids here in Nicaragua feeling more than a little nostalgic: The group boarded a plane that left Managua shortly after 7am this morning. They’re on their way back to you now, and still we’re seeing their faces […]

Posted On

06/16/14

Author

Dhyana Kuhl

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    [post_date] => 2014-06-15 12:11:39
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    [post_title] => Our Final Photo!
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Our Final Photo!

Erica Coffey,Nicaragua Collegiate

Description

Posted On

06/15/14

Author

Erica Coffey

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    [post_date] => 2014-06-15 01:01:15
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    [post_content] => By Sean

The dancing continued into the morning when we went to watch/join in on the Los Quinchos dance class. The mornings are getting more uncomfortable as more and more people keep slipping down the poop scale. Despite the provacative dance moves we all joined in the fun, and didn't regret it. The boys and girls performed for us, and they were amazing. They are always willing to show us their amazing talents, and they never fail to impress us. It was upsetting saying adios to the girls, but we were all ready for our soccer game: Gringos v Quinchos.  A short rain delay had us playing on the concrete barefoot, a good warm up. We put our shoes back on and began our game. After an early goal by the Quinchos due to our goalie Griffin's dating a mango, but our unstoppable forward Riley did the Americans well, ending with 5 goals. The Quinchos were a tough team to beat, but the Gringos pulled out a victory after a late game winning goal. The smiles were contagious, and the love was real. I can say for myself that I was fully aware of the fun time with the Quinchos. We were lucky enough to meet them, joke with them, laugh with them, and enjoy their welcoming nature. I truly enjoyed the time we spent with them, but our fun wasn't over yet.
After cleaning off and heading to the restaurant, Riley, Griffin, Mark, Nash, and I coreographed our amazing dance routine to "Don't Wake Me Up" by Chris Brown. We were dancing and laughing and all enjoying ourselves, especially Jack Mac who continued to amaze the group with his suave moves. The restaurant made us some of the best lasagna I have ever had, and the dancing and karaoke continued. Riding back to the hotel, I thought back on our time in Nicaragua. This place was an amazing experience, and I can say truthfully that I stepped out of my comfort zone this trip, whether it was making all the balloons for the wild kids, eating things I never would have tried, or dancing my heart out every time we hit the dance floor. I am so thankful I chose this trip and am so lucky to have become closer with my fellow students and Quinchos.

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Nicaragua Collegiate

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Looking back

Sean O'Neill,Nicaragua Collegiate

Description

By Sean The dancing continued into the morning when we went to watch/join in on the Los Quinchos dance class. The mornings are getting more uncomfortable as more and more people keep slipping down the poop scale. Despite the provacative dance moves we all joined in the fun, and didn’t regret it. The boys and […]

Posted On

06/15/14

Author

Sean O'Neill

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    [post_content] => By Sean

The dancing continued into the morning when we went to watch/join in on the Los Quinchos dance class. The mornings are getting more uncomfortable as more and more people keep slipping down the poop scale. Despite the provacative dance moves we all joined in the fun, and didn't regret it. The boys and girls performed for us, and they were amazing. They are always willing to show us their amazing talents, and they never fail to impress us. It was upsetting saying adios to the girls, but we were all ready for our soccer game: Gringos v Quinchos.  A short rain delay had us playing on the concrete barefoot, a good warm up. We put our shoes back on and began our game. After an early goal by the Quinchos due to our goalie Griffin's dating a mango, but our unstoppable forward Riley did the Americans well, ending with 5 goals. The Quinchos were a tough team to beat, but the Gringos pulled out a victory after a late game winning goal. The smiles were contagious, and the love was real. I can say for myself that I was fully aware of the fun time with the Quinchos. We were lucky enough to meet them, joke with them, laugh with them, and enjoy their welcoming nature. I truly enjoyed the time we spent with them, but our fun wasn't over yet.
After cleaning off and heading to the restaurant, Riley, Griffin, Mark, Nash, and I coreographed our amazing dance routine to "Don't Wake Me Up" by Chris Brown. We were dancing and laughing and all enjoying ourselves, especially Jack Mac who continued to amaze the group with his suave moves. The restaurant made us some of the best lasagna I have ever had, and the dancing and karaoke continued. Riding back to the hotel, I thought back on our time in Nicaragua. This place was an amazing experience, and I can say truthfully that I stepped out of my comfort zone this trip, whether it was making all the balloons for the wild kids, eating things I never would have tried, or dancing my heart out every time we hit the dance floor. I am so thankful I chose this trip and am so lucky to have become closer with my fellow students and Quinchos.
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Nicaragua Collegiate

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Looking back

Sean O'Neill,Nicaragua Collegiate

Description

By Sean The dancing continued into the morning when we went to watch/join in on the Los Quinchos dance class. The mornings are getting more uncomfortable as more and more people keep slipping down the poop scale. Despite the provacative dance moves we all joined in the fun, and didn’t regret it. The boys and […]

Posted On

06/14/14

Author

Sean O'Neill

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PHOTOS

Erica Coffey,Nicaragua Collegiate

Description

Posted On

06/14/14

Author

Erica Coffey

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    [post_date] => 2014-06-13 23:34:44
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    [post_content] => It´s hard to believe that our time with los quinchos is coming to an end. From the start, los quinchos were quick to welcome us with open arms and eager to demonstrate their talents and show us their lives. For us it has been refreshing to see how content they are with the few things that they have, and how dedicated they are to improving not only themselves but their surroundings.  In our time here we have shelled peanuts, built a wall, played countless games, made hammocks, and formed friendships that we will always treasure. We brought our soccer skills, balloon animals, smiles, and readiness to work, but we have left with so much more than we could have ever expected. From tasty food and World Cup soccer to bread making with kids that have completely turned around their own lives, we have cherished every moment of this trip. Although we may not have changed the lives of los quinchos, they definitely have changed ours.

 

-Nash y Liz
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Nicaragua Collegiate

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Looking Back

Liz and Nash,Nicaragua Collegiate

Description

It´s hard to believe that our time with los quinchos is coming to an end. From the start, los quinchos were quick to welcome us with open arms and eager to demonstrate their talents and show us their lives. For us it has been refreshing to see how content they are with the few things […]

Posted On

06/13/14

Author

Liz and Nash

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    [post_date] => 2014-06-13 23:33:27
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    [post_content] => After breakfast today, we visited la finca (the farm). La Finca is the place where all of the boys stay. Upon arrival, most of us went to make hammocks while Price stayed and played 2 vs. 2 soccer. While he was playing with the boys, the rest of us tried our hand at making hammocks. One of the boys, named Elliot, helped teach Aven and Nash how to make them. To string the hammock, you weave a stick with brightly colored yarn around it through the top three strings that form a triangle and then pull the string tight. You continue this process until you reach the end of the row and then repeat until you are finished. Nash believed that he was faster than Aven; however, Elliot declared that Aven was the faster weaver, much to Nash´s disappointment. Also, some of the boys chased Nash around with a spider and put it down his shirt, causing him to freak out and everyone else to laugh.

Meanwhile, Price was getting his butt kicked by Nicaraguan soccer extraordinaires. After a quick 2-0 lead, Price thought that he would easily demolish the other team and decided to ease up. This was a big mistake. The other team which was composed of two, small but quick boys scored three consecutive goals against Price and his partner. Another ten to twelve minutes passed, and the game was tied up at six. At this point, the rest of us were just coming back from hammock making, but we passed by his game and did not interfere. Price claims that he was distracted, and that is the reason why the other team scored to win 7-6. We think that he is just making excuses. Whatever went down in those few seconds, it led to a red-faced Price walking away in shame. The moral today was never judge a Nicaraguan kid by his size, though small in stature, they are bold in character, speed, and most of all, soccer ability.

 
    [post_title] => Soccer, Spiders and Shameful Defeats
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Nicaragua Collegiate

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Soccer, Spiders and Shameful Defeats

Aven Jones and Price Withers,Nicaragua Collegiate

Description

After breakfast today, we visited la finca (the farm). La Finca is the place where all of the boys stay. Upon arrival, most of us went to make hammocks while Price stayed and played 2 vs. 2 soccer. While he was playing with the boys, the rest of us tried our hand at making hammocks. […]

Posted On

06/13/14

Author

Aven Jones and Price Withers

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    [post_date] => 2014-06-13 23:32:21
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    [post_content] => Hungry and tired
We want a snack
Searching around
The boys give the tree a smack
Climbing trees like a monkey
Los quinchos race to the top
Dont pick a mango thats funky
When they hit the ground they go plop
Catching the mango in midair
Peel off the top of the skin
The precious fruit we share
Silence is among us
All we can hear
Are the sounds of us munching
And smiles from ear to ear
    [post_title] => Mangoes
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Nicaragua Collegiate

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Mangoes

Blair McLarin and Sydney Stein,Nicaragua Collegiate

Description

Hungry and tired We want a snack Searching around The boys give the tree a smack Climbing trees like a monkey Los quinchos race to the top Dont pick a mango thats funky When they hit the ground they go plop Catching the mango in midair Peel off the top of the skin The precious […]

Posted On

06/13/14

Author

Blair McLarin and Sydney Stein

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    [post_date] => 2014-06-13 06:05:33
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-06-13 12:05:33
    [post_content] => Niños Niños Niños
By Griffin, Mark, and Riley

After an eventful morning of making bread with twin quinchos, Pablo and Jorge, our group exited the restaurant looking for something to do with their free time.  We looked up and saw about a hundred students playing in the yard outside of their school.  They were first through third grade and couldn't be happier to see us.  We ventured onto the yard and were quickly greeted by dozens of smiles.  The girls from our group left for the boys' house and farm and we stayed to play with the kids.
Griffin's experience:
Imediately after we stepped onto the recess fields we were surrounded by grinning children. The kids dropped what they were doing as they ran towards us yelling with delight. I tried to introduce myself to as many kids as I possibly could, but so many children came to play with us, there was no possible way for me to keep track of all the names. I picked up a child and put him on my shoulders. Immediately after, the children ran to Mark and Riley in hopes they would do the same with them. They screamed with delight as we ran with them on our shoulders while throwing around the deflated ball from child to child. After putting the child down, more kids ran up to us and pointed to our shoulders. I put tons of kids on my shoulders before I was done. Thankfully they did not mind me sweating profusley. I put down what I hoped was going to be the last child and told the crowd of children I was too tired. I looked over to my friends Riley and Mark to help me explain to the children why I was stopping. They were far off talking to Señora Coffey. I sat on the ground and told them "un  momento". This was a mistake as all the children took this as an opportunity to have a dog pile. Being under the pile of hysterical laughter was with no exaggeration one of the happiest moments of my life. With a loud playfull scream I pushed my way out of the pile and flung two boys on my shoulders and started to run while being chased by a pack of wild children. This is the only moment in my life I have ever enjoyed running. When it was time to go I told all the children from the school I would be back tomorrow and the Quinchos that I would see them later that day at the farm. The Quinchos took this time to proudly inform their schoolmates that these huge Gringos were thier friends. I can not wait to see what tomorrow has in store.

Momentos de Oscar
We all are writing about the recess time because it had the biggest impact on all of us thus far.  Immediately after taking one step onto the school's dirt field, los niños  crowded all around me and got as close as physically possible.  I bonded with a young kid with a star shaved into the side of his head, and he took my visor from me.  I could easily distingiush los Quinchos from the regular school kids by the different behavior.  The Quinchos were well behaved and outgoing, always walking up and giving me hugs.  I must have put twenty kids on my shoulders and I tired out very quickly, and it was difficult for me to tell the kids no, so I just kept doing it.  This span of 30 minutes was one of the most enjoyable 30 minutes of my life.  The kids did not look for anything from us except to be recognized and played with.  They do not take anything for granted and I can tell they are all very happy to be Quinchos.  I am already amazed by this organization, and am looking forward to working with them in the close future.

Mark's Experience:
When the soccer ball was kicked into the area that we were standing we felt the urge to play with the kids across the street.  Within the next thirty seconds, we were busy introducing ourselves to the kids.  We gave many of the kids rides on our shoulders and tossed the orange ball back and forth, giving the ball to the kids on our backs to throw.   They didn't stop smiling and were full of happiness.  I then played soccer with kids on my back and started to grow tired.  I couldn't stop though, it wasn't just fun for them, it was a ton of fun for us.   When one kid was getting off my back, I started spinning in circles and his feet flung from my body and he held onto me with his hands while spinning.  This turned into giving spinning rides for all of the children.  I would grab onto their hands and spin them off the ground, and when I would let them down dozens of kids would rush me in hope of getting the next ride.  I was super dizzy and needed time to regain my senses but I was loving every minute of it.  I absolutely loved playing with these kids, sharing a moment, and just having fun.  I was inspired by the kids and how they are so content with just a simple ball.  Seeing this makes me realize that we have no place to complain.  This moment was awesome and I can't wait untill another one comes around.
    [post_title] => Niños niños niños
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Nicaragua Collegiate

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Niños niños niños

Riley, Mark, and Griffen,Nicaragua Collegiate

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Niños Niños Niños By Griffin, Mark, and Riley After an eventful morning of making bread with twin quinchos, Pablo and Jorge, our group exited the restaurant looking for something to do with their free time.  We looked up and saw about a hundred students playing in the yard outside of their school.  They were first […]

Posted On

06/13/14

Author

Riley, Mark, and Griffen

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At the breakfast table Blair and I sat at a different table from the group with Dhyana and Adelaide to have a talk about their lives and what they do with the Where There Be Dragons organization and outside of it.  It was very interesting to talk about different options than the usual jobs and lifestyles.  We enjoyed hearing about their personal stories of how they became involved with the Dragons organization as well as their travels and other experiences moving from job to job.  It's refreshing to see that there are more options than just the regular jobs we think of when we imagine our future professions and it gave us confidence in focusing on something we love doing and truly care about rather than what is expected of us.
Later in the day the group went over to "La Yahosca" (the girls' home) and spent time with the girls we met the day before and we also helped clean up the area of rubble from one of the exterior walls of the orphanage that was ruined during the recent tremor. We divided into three groups and carried, wheelbarrowed, and sorted the rubble into piles based on size and reusability. At the end of our stay with the girls, Sean pulled out his belt of balloons and mesmerized the girls with his talents by creating personalized balloon animals for each one of them.  Sean learned how to make these balloon animals in 4th grade-- who knew it would come in handy now!?
After showering off all of the dirt from the wall repair back at the hotel, we made our way to the the Los Quinchos resturant, "La Osteria Italiana,"  for a delicious fried chicken lunch that reminded us of home.  Soon, the restaurant became filled with the Los Quinchos boys and girls to watch the Brazil vs Croatia World Cup game.  It was neat to see how even though not everyone could communicate through language, everyone can communicate through the language of "futbol".  Each goal Brazil scored the restaurant echoed with intermingled screams of "GOAL!" and "¡GOL!"
Later the group went to the "Parque Central" (Central Park) and bought more bread from the brother and sister that we met the other day in the art gallery. It was nice to see some familiar faces and buy delicious, traditional bread.  After this excursion we went to a cafe and had "batidos" (milkshakes/smoothies) while listening to a "Ted Talk" on youtube about the difference between service learning and learning service as well as the ideas and common misinterpretations between sympathy and empathy.  With this video the group shared thoughts about what service meant to them and how we would each try to come into trips with an open mind and respect for the country's culture.
At the end of the day one of the directors of Los Quinchos, Carlos, talked to the group about where the children come from and the streets that they used to live on.  We learned about their struggles and the problems they faced while addicted to glue.  This eye-opening  talk with Carlos was hard to believe because all we see are the smiling faces and positive attitudes of the children when we visit and play with them each day.
    [post_title] => A great day
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Nicaragua Collegiate

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A great day

Blair and Sydneb,Nicaragua Collegiate

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  At the breakfast table Blair and I sat at a different table from the group with Dhyana and Adelaide to have a talk about their lives and what they do with the Where There Be Dragons organization and outside of it.  It was very interesting to talk about different options than the usual jobs […]

Posted On

06/13/14

Author

Blair and Sydneb

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