Happy New Year!

  2015 started off with the sixth visit to San Juan del Sur by a wonderful group of people from Ontario. The members of this group refer to themselves as "retired", but they are busier than most people who are still working! Every year, this group identifies a project they would like to work on to improve the lives of the children in the areas in which the NCF works. In the past, they have bought school uniforms and supplies and done repairs to school buildings. Last year, they improved the water situation in the large town school, San Francisco, and put in a large drinking fountain. This year, their focus is on building a sun shelter at San Francisco. It's a much needed improvement to the schoolyard, where the children spend their free time, often under the relentless hot Nicaraguan sun. Seeing this need, the group set out to make a shelter for them. As well, they will also once again be helping to purchase uniforms for students. We are impressed at all the hard work needed to make this a reality and are extremely grateful to these lovely women!

Eleven reasons NOT to go to Nicaragua…

1.    Every time we complete a project, five more appear out of nowhere and they are all important.
2.    Police everywhere. Luckily, many traffic police don’t actually have vehicles, so we are perfecting the art of not noticing when they try to pull us over. When they do, we either have to pay a fine right then and there or we have to try to talk our way out of it. And yes, we are getting better at that!
3.    Nicaragua is a beautiful country, but recycling is still a long way off and actual garbage cans are few and far between.
4.    Banks and government offices…so many delays and mountains of red tape!
5.    The simplest tasks become monumental feats of endurance and patience.
6.    Long stopovers in the Houston airport. Border security. Customs. Enough said?
7.    Changing money from Canadian to American to Nicaraguan and back again. As if our poor Canadian dollar wasn’t low enough already!
8.    Long and exhausting conversations in Spanish.
9.    No matter how high the temperature gets, shorts are for children and gringos.
10.    There are fifteen kinds of poisonous snakes, not to mention scorpions.
11.    Being asked to make impromptu speeches and then trying to remember everyone we are supposed to thank. You might imagine we would have picked up the pattern by now, but perhaps we are just eternally optimistic that we’ll somehow be overlooked (OK, if we hide behind this tree, maybe Veronica won't notice us.)

And one that keeps us coming back…

The people. They are unforgettable. Their patience and tolerance with us as we attempt to make ourselves understood, their careful explanations of the often unbelievable situations they cope with daily and their respectful requests for aid-all of this means that we know before too long that we’ll be back on that United flight, on our way once again to Nicaragua.

And we always leave for home knowing we did the right thing to come back.

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Elisabeth Rose Elder (photos courtesy of Elsie Elder)

Great news!

The annex to Los Pipitos is complete. We have a photo of it here and on our last trip we were able to see it in person. It is a beautifully finished and attractive classroom. It is actually less of an annex and more of another classroom in its own right. All it really needs now is appropriate educational materials! Luckily, Los Pipitos will soon be hosting two Canadian women who both work in this area and who will be helping us prepare and arrange the classroom. This is a very exciting turn of events! 

Many thanks go to Elsie Elder who made the new classroom a reality through her very thoughtful and generous contribution which she made on behalf of her daughter, Elisabeth. Elisabeth passed away in December, 2012, but her spirit lives on here at Los Pipitos. Her photos can be seen above.


NCF in the News

 Nicaragua Community, a small online newsletter, published this on November 30, 2014:

http://www.nicaragua-community.com/nicaragua-childrens-foundation/

The link below will take you to an online news site called DIPLOMATIC ASPECTS NEWSPAPER - YOUR EUROPEAN, INTERNATIONAL AND DIPLOMATIC NEWS. It is an article on organizations and people working for children in Nicaragua and it mentions the NCF! The article talks about the new preschool in Miravalle, the electricity in Ojochal and Kindness in Action. We were pretty surprised to see it!

"> http://aspectediplomatice.ro/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6452:nicaraguan-children-under-bondage-of-child-labour&catid=27:legislatie&Itemid=69