Nicaragua Day 1

Hello world! As I mentioned in my last blog I, Rosalind, am out of the office and photographing for the next week and a half in Nicaragua. I am not actually here to photograph this time, as I was the last two times I was here. So, this is not really Dekaios Designs, it's more just Rosalind Kealiher. A lot of photos are involved regardless and it is a great project I am here with. So for the next 9 days this will be a travel blog. I hope you enjoy!

I am in Nicaragua on the Learning Center Trek through WI Nicaragua Partners.  I came on this very same tour on a travel grant with the purpose to photograph in 2009. The purpose of the tour then and now is to provide an awareness of what Wisconsin is doing in Nicaragua. WI/Nicaragua Partners (W/NP) is a people helping people organization that brings people together and helps them. In WI we will collect for needs and then send the items down to Nicaragua. Once they are here, the items will go to where they are needed. W/NP has a variety of projects, from helping with bee keeping and farming, to providing Ambulances, to teaching beauty and hand art techniques, to providing books for kids to read, and skills to teach women how to make doll dresses. Check out there website to learn more: wisnic.org

So today was our first day here on the tour. We landed late last night at the Managua Airport and right away headed over to one of the best hotels in Managua. Today we got a late start so I kicked my day off with taking photos of our place.

This hotel is unique and for an American, unusual. It has halls and rows of rooms. In between the rows of rooms there are yards and plants. So this first photo is looking up at the trees. Compared to Feb 22nd in Stevens Point WI this place is so green and beautiful!

**What makes this not Dekaios Designs is that these photos are straight off the camera. I shoot in Manual. They are not always properly exposed, they are not edited, and some are crooked!

DSC_0711.JPG
 There are two pools in the hotel. This one is just so beautiful. I swam a little today, it was refreshing!

There are two pools in the hotel. This one is just so beautiful. I swam a little today, it was refreshing!

DSC_0718.JPG

There are 19 Travelers with us. Some have never been here and some travel here regularly. Some are only recently a part of the organization and some are in charge of the organization. It is fun to have such a variety. Here are two from the group.

 This is one of the many hallways in the hotels, each few rooms are like little houses. There are yards, and dividers, and a lot of outdoors all over.

This is one of the many hallways in the hotels, each few rooms are like little houses. There are yards, and dividers, and a lot of outdoors all over.

After a slow leisurely morning we left the hotel, W/NP works with Carelli Tours, our bus came and we headed to the W/NP office (Nicaragua Version) Seeing this office is especially cool if you have seen the Central WI office. I wish I had more pictures of that one to share.

On the way there we traveled along the PanAmerican Highway. This highway is not like any highway in the US, as you can see.

 This bicycle taxi was carting a family to the bus stop.

This bicycle taxi was carting a family to the bus stop.

 This also a very common scene. Fruit, water, window washers, lots of things are sold along this highway!

This also a very common scene. Fruit, water, window washers, lots of things are sold along this highway!

DSC_0741b.jpg

Although our hotel was very beautiful, this is more common. This is a place for photo copies. But a lot of houses also look like this.

 This type of passenger is also more common than I would ever like to see!

This type of passenger is also more common than I would ever like to see!

This is the dining area that was prepared for us when we arrived at the W/NP office. They had a lovely lunch prepared and many people who are part of centers around the country who came to greet us and express gratitude and give testimonies to all the benefits that have been provided as a result of W/NP.

DSC_0748.JPG

The dolls adorning the tables are wearing Chica Nica Dresses. These are made here, they were initiated by a woman named Lynda Pracht. She has passed away sadly. But not without leaving an impression. Many women work hard to make these dresses. Since 2006 over 10,000 dresses have sold in the states.

 Some people sharing who they are, their involvement and gratitude for the centers. They man speaking started coming to the center at age 10 with the desire to repair sewing machines. He is now the head repair man there.

Some people sharing who they are, their involvement and gratitude for the centers. They man speaking started coming to the center at age 10 with the desire to repair sewing machines. He is now the head repair man there.

DSC_0885.JPG

If it wasn't for that man's love to repair, one specific machine would not have been fixed and the women who make these compression bandages would never have had the ability. One big project at the center is this project of making these for burn victims. They serve as a temporary "Skin" that brings healing and makes burns bearable. The impact of this workshop is beyond words.

 After the lunch there was music. The tall boy in the middle is the teacher for this recorder school. He's 15, he has done a great job of instructing them!

After the lunch there was music. The tall boy in the middle is the teacher for this recorder school. He's 15, he has done a great job of instructing them!

DSC_0836.JPG

The main person that made W/NP possible was Sherin Bowen, Amy's mom. She passed away in 2009. Today Amy is still going through and sorting Sherin's belongings. She found a letter or recognition for Careli Tours among her things. One decade later Amy is honoring the recognition and presenting it to our tour guide here.

DSC_0853.JPG

The American Ambassador stopped by the office as well. Our Stevens Point Mayor is along with us on the trip. Here is him receiving recognition from us.

 

 This is the sewing machine repair room at the office.

This is the sewing machine repair room at the office.

DSC_0882.JPG

Cari who is with us is a Spanish teacher at SPASH, her students made books for the lending libraries here, there are over 13 libraries here, some were left at this library, of course the students should see their books on display and the excited children who received them. There will be many more, this is a new library and sees over 30 children a week. Some libraries see 100s of children a week. Nicaragua doesn't have libraries as we know them. It's super cool.

From the office we left to see a sculpture garden not too far away and a beacon.

DSC_0888.JPG
DSC_0894.JPG

The wife of the current President, Danilo Ortega, thinks in color. She has made Nicaragua a brighter place. Often you will see billboards like this throughout the town. That's the president and his wife.

DSC_0740.JPG
 These trees line the roads all along the town. And culminate at this park. This photo is to give you an idea of size. They light up at night, when we were landing into the airport this is all that could be seen.

These trees line the roads all along the town. And culminate at this park. This photo is to give you an idea of size. They light up at night, when we were landing into the airport this is all that could be seen.

 This was just a photo moment.

This was just a photo moment.

Clintonville WI had a light beacon that they removed and were getting rid of. W/NP accepted it and sent it down. The beacon was placed at the end of this pier and is even a landmark included on some of the money. It's extra neat to see a donation from WI everywhere and recognized by everyone because it's on the money. We could even see the light shining from it as we landed as well.

 The beacon donated from Clintonville WI.

The beacon donated from Clintonville WI.

This pier is in a very scenic area as well. Of course it is very beautiful and I must share.

DSC_0931.JPG
DSC_0960.JPG
DSC_0964.JPG

The first day was a short and relaxing day as we adjusted to our surroundings. This last shot is graffiti from the drive back from the hotel. Thanks for reading.

DSC_0974.JPG