Sailfish Softball Diaries from Nicaragua
May 28, 2012
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team is currently away from Florida as they are taking part in a missions trip to Nicaragua. This short dialog allows everyone to keep up with their travels as well as catch a glimpse into their ministry. The softball team is being led on the trip by James Kryger with nine girls on the journey.
The first portion of the diary comes from Coach Kryger.
We left the States at 12:30am and landed in Nicaragua at 12:45 am (mountain time). We went through customs, yes they even let Mari in, and then met up with two of our hosts, Mario and Banks. About 45 minutes later after a great late night bus trip, we got to Grenada and our home base for the week, El Puente. At this time it was about 3:30 and the only thing on our mind was making our beds, taking a short shower (showers are limited to a few minutes each time to conserve water) and getting to bed as we were to be up in 3 and-a-half hours. Cling, clang, clang clang - does anyone know what that means? Well for most it means meals are served but for the softball team it meant go ahead and sleep for another thirty minutes.
No ribbons, no makeup - minus two; not mentioning names (but you can guess if you know the girls) and day two got off to a fantastic start with french toast, fresh fruit, cereal and scrambled eggs.
- Coach James Kryger (Team Leader)
The next section comes from Sailfish senior, Mari Stokes.
Breakfast was at 6:45 in the morning and we quickly followed our first morning with a community bible study and worship. Bible study was about an hour long and allowed for the opportunity to step outside our comfort in worshiping God in a different language followed by a lesson led by Charles and Mario, translated it in Spanish. There were around forty people from the community there and after the bible study was over we had time to meet some of the children and really test out our Spanish.
From the bible study we hopped in our transportation truck and headed to the city dump, now you might ask why we did that, well there are generations of families that spend the whole day at the dump. These families used to live inside the dump but recently got moved outside by the government to the outskirts; however every day the families come to the dump to search through the garbage in hopes of finding useful things to either use or sell. Our ministry was to come and share the Gospel, followed by a feeding program that allows us the time to spend with them to start conversations and provide the children with smiles and some games.
After Coach shared a lesson to the crowd on compassion and miracles and a blessing for the food, we set up the food table (bread rice, beans, cheese and juice) and became surprised that these people who don't get regular meals, jolted off to the a new arriving truck instead of staying for the meal. The eye opening part about this experience was seeing young kids (under 12 years old) out in the dump, dressed in clothes that by American standards would be filthy, and not using gloves to dig through some very dirty conditions. When the last dump truck left the people came up and we could then begin our feeding.
After the dump, we returned to El Puente for lunch. After another great meal of chicken salad we got a chance to hang around our dorms to journal and/or nap for about an hour. Around 2 pm we split into two groups. Half of us went off to the old train station (as called by the locals) to play with young kids in a VBS style setting while the other half went to a nursing home. Those that went to the train station got a chance to play, sing, color and love on the kids. At the nursing home the girls got to help the workers mop floors, serve meals, chat with the elderly and then put them to bed.
Chicken with rice and beans awaited us as did our beds after a long day.
There are two things we will look forward to in about seven hours, one the noise bombs they set off at 5 am to remind people of Mass and the guinea hens that start chirping at 4am.
We look forward to sharing more tomorrow.
- Mari Stokes