Monday, March 25, 2013

Day Six: Our own "Laguna de Apoyo"

By Shanice, Kaiana, Alisha and Hannah

It’s our fifth day here in Nicaragua. We woke up around 6:30am. Once ready, we ate our breakfast at 7:00am. Tr.Kate told us to eat the right amount of food for the day because we would be starting our service project. When our bellies were full, Don Pablo arrived to pick us up. We were on our way to Chacocente.

When we arrived at Chacocente we took a tour around the community. Our guide, David, explained a lot about the cost of the houses, the history of the houses, and the water. For example, the well the community uses cost 50,000 dollars. The inside of the houses were very dark, with cement floors and rooms separated by sewed-together rice sacks. It amazed us how a person could live in such a place and we tried to imagine ourselves living in that house. 

Also, before the community built their own well, people needed to walk ⅔ of a mile to get water from a neighbor.  At one house, we saw a dying chick being neglected by the mother hen. We were so upset at leaving the poor thing.  Also, we saw fruits that some of us have never seen before, like cashew fruit.

Once the tour was over, it was time to get to work on our service project, which was helping to build a basketball court for the Chacocente school. David took us back to the school to show us how to mix cement. First, we needed to shovel six wheelbarrows of crushed rock and sand in a pile. 

Then, we needed to add cement and mix it all together. After mixing, we put it in two separate piles, mixed them together, then made a huge center for water (our own "Laguna de Apoyo").

Once the water was put in place, we mixed that up really well and filled the wheelbarrows with the newly made cement. Then we poured the cement into a wooden frame to make the surface of the new basketball court. It 
was very difficult and a lot of hard work. We didn’t expect to do that much work at first, but working together made the job go faster and easier. It’s amazing that in America we use electronics to make cement, but in Nicaragua, they make it from scratch. It really showed us that the Nicaraguans that we met on this trip are hard workers.

Finally it was lunch time. The lunch was made  by the women from the community. For lunch we had chicken, rice, soda, avocado, beans, salad, watermelon,  and cantaloupe. Some of us were so tired, we couldn’t get up to reach the table where lunch was being served. Either way, it was very delicious.
After lunch, we had a quick fifteen minute break to explore the handmade products that the women from Chacocente had to offer. Their tables included lots of handicrafts, such as braided bracelets, hammocks, necklaces, and much more. 

Time surely passed quickly when our  break was over and we had to return to our exhausting labor of creating cement for the basketball court. When we arrived at our working destination, Tr. Kate and Tr. Steve decided to create a bet, which was to guess the amount of time we would need to finish our last batch of cement for the court.

Many of us said numbers like, 25 minutes, 50 minutes, 45 minutes, and even an hour. In case you’re wondering what the prize featured, it was an additional ice cream treat for dessert. After this bet, we all were in it to win it. Our body parts were dripping with sweat from our head to our toes as the clock ticked. Some of us started developing blisters on our hands and feet from constantly digging with the shovels and staying on our feet for long periods (thank goodness for breaks and especially water). We digged and digged until we felt like we were at our wits end. Then, some people gave their shovel to another student to rest, but some students dug to the end.

Finally we finished our duties and we revealed who the winner was for the bet. It was NICKY! Now it was official, we were finally saying goodbye to Chacocente. Just playing, it wasn’t quite over yet. The Magnificent Don Pablo (our driver) gave us tickets for a raffle to win a surprise that was a hammock made with the finest material. He gave us raffle tickets that either said, “Thank you for coming to Nicaragua”, or “You won!” Our winner was KADEN! 

Now it was really our time to say goodbye to Chacocente. We had a hour long ride to the hotel, which was kind of cool, because we were sweaty spaghettis after working so hard for straight hours. All the Take Flight travelers immediately went directly to the pool for some fun time as soon as we arrived at the hotel.

One hour later, we ate dinner at Pollo Tip Top, which is a Nicaraguan restaurant, but it isn’t your average Nicaraguan dinner/lunch place. The food specialized in American food, like fried chicken, fries, etc. We ordered two huge pieces of chicken, one biscuit, fries, and a drink for each person. The food was so delicious, and no worries if anybody didn’t enjoy it. After dinner, we ate dessert at a gas station, which served great ice cream treats.

Lastly, we went to reflect about our day at the hotel, which was a surprisingly good conversation. We discussed how the families at Project Chacocente had to work for five years to get their houses, and how in order for people to improve their situation, they needed education and training, not just a new house. There were lots of different opinions, but that’s what makes a conversation great, right? Alright see you tomorrow! Until then, Take Flight is always soaring to new heights.


  1. What an amazing day this must have been! Exhausting yet satisfying. We are so proud
    of you all.

  2. BTW-Nick-I can't believe that it has taken us 6 days to realize that you hid the iPad!

  3. Grandmom - Macho (Luis)March 26, 2013 at 3:44 AM

    Another eventful day for your all. Lots of hard work for such a nice cause. I'm sure the baseket ball court will be great when it is completed. You guys did a outstanding job from what I an see from the pictures and just knowing how happy the children will be is an extra bonus. You guys rock. Keep up the good work! Macho I just love seeing you working hard, how about you come and dig in my garden and do some planting this summer... Continue to enjoy..Dios te Bendiga. Love you Macho...Grandmom

  4. Dejah,
    This is your father, I miss you...comehome soon, save me from these CRAZY people (Mom, Marc, Fay), lol!
    I LOVE YOU!!!!!

  5. Hi my sweey baby Hannah,

    I am so proud of you and your friends and what you have accomplished. I know it was a lot of work, but you did it. I pray this was one of the most incredible experiences you've had. I loved the blogging during your trip, it was like I was there with you guys. Please Enjoy yourself today and be safe. Stay near your group in the market place and the lake. Can't wait to see the pictures. I love you very much and can't wait to see you tomorrow night.

  6. Bella,
    All of you must feel very proud of the hard work you put into making the basketball court! Very impressive! I can only imagine how fabulous it felt to jump into the pool afterwards! Btw, you'll be proud of me to know that I didn't take Cousin Allen's bait last night at the Seder ;) And we have a nice big platter of apple kugel waiting for you!! I can't wait to see you!!! All my love, Mom xoxoxo

  7. Hey kaianara,
    I have always known that you are a dedicated worker but I really loved to see how you got down and dirty.... Now I can send you to work with Mudo...... But in a more serious note ...It was very humbling to see how everyone in chacocente lives... How hard working they are...... it reminded me of how Kelly and I grew on cylinder blocks or rocks outdoors bought back great memories.... You must feel very proud that a part of you will always live in chacocente and you have contributed to the happiness of the children of the school.... T. Kate, T. Steve and Ms. Laura, thank you for giving my daughter this unforgettable experience.....

  8. Good Morning Everyone

    You guys looked like you worked so hard on the Project. You guys put in alot of hard work, sweat and pain but it will be worht it in the end. The students at Chacocente will enjoy the basketball court. I want to thanl ICS, All the sponsors, Teacher Kate, Teacher Steve and Laura for making all of this happen. This is an experience of a lifetime.

    See you guys tomorrow

    Angela Tyler

  9. Good morning! Hi Shanice i never seen you work so hard lol... Im so proud of you and the group you all have really made a difference @ such a young age its really awesome. Can`t believe its almost over..hope your enjoying yourself. See you soon LOVE MOM

  10. ¡Kaianara! ¡Wao!

    ¡Aja comay! ¡Esta fajá trabajando! Me siento muy orgullo de ti y de tus compañeros por su gran labor y buen trabajo. Shhh...Un secretito...Mao y Mamá han hecho la paz....Shhh..Que nadie lo sepa. Ayer Mao se sentó en las faldas de ella y ella le dio cariño...¡Ves todo es posible de bajo del cielo! Te amo mucho y te extraño mucho más pero estoy muy orgullo de ti y de la persona que eres. Le pido a Dios que te siga bendiciendo y que se siga desarrollando en ti ese espíritu de servicio a cual estamos lllamado...
    Con Cariño y Amor,

  11. Machoooo!

    We are sooooo pround of the way you and and your friends tackled the hard work of this project. I'm sure the children of Chacocente will remember all of you while they enjoy the court for years to come. We thank the good Lord above for the many life lessons that He is providing for you and us here back at home. Enjoy your last day in Nicaragua. As we continue to lift the Take Flighters in prayer for a fun and safe trip back home.

    We love and miss you sooo very much.
    Mom-ie,Daddy,Chacha and Flamer

  12. Hi Machooo !!

    It's your cousin Delilah! I've been going through all your pictures; it looks like you’re having an amazing time! I've been telling all my friends and coworkers about what you and your classmates are doing and their all really impressed. I can't wait to hear all of your stories.

    The Hernandez Family

  13. Hey Baby Girl,
    It looks like you guys had a wonderful experience! Enjoy the adventures of today and your dinner toningt.
    Looking forward to seeing your smiling face tomorrow when you return! I love you, pray before you travel and get back home safe!!!!!
    Double check to make sure you don't forget anything!!!!!

  14. Macho lindo,
    Kudos to you and the team for mixing the cement, I know that was not an easy task. You are all making a difference with helping this community in need! I am very proud of all of you!
    Macho you missed the conversation Uncle Tommy had with your dad about the next time your here in Florida, taking you both out on a fishing boat instead of going to the pier. We will talk more about it when you get back. ;-D

    Beba, sends her love.... her laptop is with me. I am updating an antivirus program so she does not have access to her laptop. She says she is so happy you have this opportunity and proud of you.. her 'prince' or is it 'king' now... lol, I don’t know… well that is between you and her. :-)

    Love you so much, DTB
    xoxox Madrina

  15. Nickkkk
    it’s a tough life out there brother. Glad you were able to make a worthwhile contribution. I’m sure you’ve got a lot to think through after this experience; I look forward to the conversations and to hearing about all of it. I hope you are enjoying your last day. Be safe on the way home.
    Love – dad

  16. Hi guys, looks like you guys were working very hard today! Nice job.

  17. Love you, and miss you Alisha. your mom

  18. OLA Macho! Wow! This looks like such fun. This is up there with "One in a million" experiences. Enjoy it all. Looking forward to the pictures. Sheryl

  19. Grandmom - Luis (Macho)March 26, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    One more day and your trip comes to an end. How time flys....I know you will be glad to be home but at the same time wish you had some more time in Nicaragua. We are so greatful to all who made this trip possible for you and your classmates. It has shown us how grown up your are and that you can do so much on your own. What a great young man you are turning into. We are truly proud of you and all of your accomplishments even if we don't tell you enough. Looking forward to seeing you and hearing your stories. Have a safe trip back. Hope to see you on Friday. We love you lots. Dios te bendiga. Grandmom and Grandpop. xoxoxoxoxo

  20. Hi! you guys had so much fun. I am very glad you were exposed to a diffenrent way of living and see first hand that life is not to be taken for granted. I'm very proud of you...seing how you are working so hard to help build the basketball court for the children overthere. Enjoy your last day and this will be a life time of memory for you. Safe travels back home.
    Love you!

  21. Thanks Tr. Kate and Tr. Steve for doing a very good job with the kids. I know you're very proud of their accomplishments and they made you and ICS proud. Have a saft flight back home.

  22. Thanks to the group for doing such good work! This looks to be quite an experience. You should all be very proud.

    Bella: We miss you very much! See you soon. Love-


  23. Ah! Don't drown Teacher Steve! I need him back! haha


    PS Good job doing such hard work with smiles on your faces!

  24. Machoooo!!!

    Can't wait to see you!!!!! We are soooo excited!!!! Miss you soooooo much. Daddy can't wait to have his buddy back home.
    See you soon mi amor.
    Que Dios te bendiga.
    Mom-ie and Daddy

  25. Dear LolaCola
    Is the Magnificient Don Pablo single? I'm willing to relocate. What a trip little girl. So proud of you.

  26. Lola...I'm glad to see that you are working hard and then having a great time afterwards...this is an adventure you'll never forget, especially the food (hahaha) when you get home, maybe you'll try different foods in Philly. have fun love you...grandma