October has been an unusually wet month here in Nicaragua. Lots of tropical storms in the area have resulted in very heavy rains. When you live somewhere that all the roads are paved, and peoples houses are well built, it is hard to imagine how difficult life can become for some in times of extreme wet weather. Not just those who are flooded out and make the news, or at least attract some aid because of their sad plight. But all the every day people whose roofs leak, whose children can’t walk through the rutted muddy roads to get to school, and families who can’t dry the bedding etc. for days at a time, waiting desperately for some sunshine. People get sick, pnuemonia stikes both the very young and the elderly, and there are some truly hard times in the poorer barrios.
On the positive side the drought of the past few years is well and truly over, ground water levels have risen and the lake is full, all boding well for the dry season to come.
Volunteer numbers have still been a little low, which is normal for this time of the year, but on the rise now and we are looking forward to when we can open the Pancasan Learning Center.
The final month of the school year is upon us, there is a graduating class of 19 children who will complete 5th year in high school at Nueva Esperanza, who will be hoping to be sponsored to attend university and continue their education. And there are four times that many who will be starting at the high school next year, completing sixth grade in primary this month. Please let us know if you would be willing to be a sponsor for either high school or university level. It is a tremendous help for these young people.
We have had the news that we will have to vacate both our office and the largest of our volunteer houses next year. Moving the office is inconvenient, and difficult, but losing the volunteer housing is much more critical. Our volunteer housing does much more than provide an affordable place for overseas volunteers to stay while they are working with us. This of course is an important facet. The main benefit though is to the young children that the volunteers are tutoring and mentoring.
Living together in the volunteer housing brings the team spirit and support that living as a family does. The multiplier effect goes into top gear bringing forth the very best of their creativity, the dedication to help that led them to volunteer, the support and confidence to give their all to the young children wanting to learn.
I have read a lot recently of social enterprise donations, where people may invest money, and be repaid that money, making the investment for the amount of good their money can do, rather than high interest rates. Perhaps we should be looking to raise funds to build our own office building and volunteer housing, which could be repaid by the rents, and thus guarantee the sustainability of La Esperanza Granada and ensure that willing helpers from around the world will continue to come and help for many more years. (any thoughts on this or ideas welcome)
Volunteers here this past month were Robin Leloup, Judith Verret, Lemercier Camille, Goizeder Ariztimuño Ochotorena, Izaskun Villagarcia Pinto, Iraide Paredes Baglietto, Miriam Den Toon, Arkaitz Uturregi Barandika, Annina Fink, Kieran Crichton, Marilena Rossi, Elsa Cappon, Sebastien Guillerm, Maximilian Benjamin Richmond, Rob Zintl, Ruth Verona, Stien Franssens, Kimberly Zito, Shannon Lee, Lidia Carbo Sanchez, Marielene Stenz, Rose Braisher, Miriam Eyre, Antonia Grasshoff, Maja Klostermann and Ginger Lawrence.
We also had a Outlook Expeditions group from the UK who came did a great job on some of the finishing work on the walls of the new center at Pancasan.
Wonderful donation received this month of $5025. Our good friend Roger Simmons of Adstock, UK, celebrated his 70th birthday and requested donations in place of gifts. We are so grateful to Roger who has been taking up a collection in Adstock for more than 10 years, and to all the wonderful people of Adstock for their generosity, and also to Roger’s friends and family that contributed too.
We also had a donation of $300 from Winnie Thai, a former volunteer and her partner.
Finally here is a link to some great pictures taken in October: https://www.flickr.